By Tahir Ibrahim Tahir
There was so much furore and drama generated last week, by the cross carpeting of Femi Fani Kayode, FFK — with his reception at the Villa by PMB the crux of the umbrage by most APC supporters. PDP stalwarts were very unhappy and became the FFKs of themselves, throwing one invective after the other, rubbishing FFK, the APC, and PMB all together.
FFK’s move caused a lot of melodrama, and public commentary was pitch high, causing one to ascertain that indeed FFK is one fella to be reckoned with, in Nigeria’s political discourse of today. On one hand is Gimba Kakanda’s ‘FFK And NOI: A lesson on privilege’, which wouldn’t give FFK any space to breathe or move, in its stranglehold. On the other hand is Femi Adeshina’s ‘Buhari, FFK & the quality of mercy’, where he waxed Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice: The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest.
It blessed him that gives and him that takes. It is an attribute of God himself! Adesina came to FFK’s rescue, like the new Rescue Nigeria Party RNP — even though one of the founding father’s 5 billion naira properties is in need of rescue, but that is talk of another day.
Gimba said FFK and Ngozi Okonjo Iweala rode on the coattail of academic models, which I agree with. But however, FFK dovetailed into politics and rose to its ‘highest esteem’ circles, becoming a Minister, on the level of a governor or senator.
Not every politician becomes a President. On the other hand, NOI was practically raised abroad, and adopted foreign culture, taking her to heights of International banking and trade. NOI’s life has been of academic excellence, FFK’s path has been of the murky, dirty and precarious politics of Nigeria. The most ‘accomplished’ politician in Nigeria today, just behind PMB of 15 million votes, is Atiku of 11 million votes. Atiku has cross carpeted from one party to the other, especially between PDP and APC, and then back to PDP.
Defection in Nigerian politics is the norm. FFK’s move is an embodiment of the practice and philosophy of the Nigerian politics of today. If NOI’s resume of academic excellence and International Finance experience swept OBJ off his feet to give her a ministerial appointment; FFK’s barks at OBJ also swept off OBJ, as he scampered for safety to make him a Minister too! So many ways to skin a cat huh?
Nigeria is that country where the most critics, journalists alike, get the most attention and get called to the ‘dining table’.
This is where a cripple is arrested for kidnapping in Kankia Katsina state when he was about to pick up a 2 million naira ransom in the forest. The police say to date, they haven’t been able to find his tricycle for the disabled in the forest!
This is where a sales clerk of The Nigeria Examination board says a snake swallowed 36 million naira. This is where women are caught transporting petrol to bandits in the forest.
This is where a father took his own baby from his wife and sold him for 300,000 nairas, only for the mother to discover the money in a nylon bag in his room. This is where candidates for an interview to secure a job in a corruption-fighting institution, The ICPC, get arrested for falsifying their documents. Instead of being invited for job placements, they are invited to face prosecution!
How many of us are not rattlesnakes, spitting venom at Fulanis or Yorubas or Igbos? How many of us can be absolved of religious intolerance? How many of us are indeed patriotic and can be called our brother’s keeper? How many of us conduct ourselves as examples of the next generation? How many of us are not back biters and are honorable and keep our promises? How many businesses remain legitimate, don’t cook books, and don’t cut corners? How many Nigerians do not curse and ‘piss’ at their leaders day in day out, year in year out? Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Khalifa and leader of Dharikatul Tijjaniyya, feeling the depth and the scale of invectives slung at our leaders, had to openly caution at how it is wrong to always abuse them.
Most APC supporters are livid that FFK, despite all he had said and done, shunts everyone and meets Baba at the Villa. Anytime Baba is apolitical and static, devoid of the dynamism and intrigues of Nigerian politics, he is still bashed and fumed at. Now that he has acted malleable, he is still not safe. Accepting FFK is not only a religious or Godly act, it is also a worldly one, and a political tactic.
Sometimes people say if it were OBJ, he would have this and that, and now that PMB has ‘OBJayed’, it is still up for debate.
Politics is a game of numbers, and a game won partly by the media. FFK is one huge noisy fella that no matter what you feel about him, you simply cannot just wish him away. FFK is a perfect mirror of your everyday Nigerian who has mastered the earth of Nigerian politics in its entirety, the whole length and breadth of it. Whether one likes it or not, FFK is a good catch. He is a problem solved.
He is a huge MC of the opposition and they were marvelled at him and enjoyed his use of the microphone. Now the APC has tackled the opposition and taken away a huge mic with loud bass and mid-range. What remains is for the APC to use him well, to the chagrin of the opposition.
Tahir is Talban Bauchi.