Fani-Kayode: Saying “Yes”, When You Mean “No” -By Olalekan Waheed Adigun

Filed under: National Issues |
Olalekan Waheed Adigun

Olalekan Waheed Adigun


When the All Progressives Congress (APC) was formed, one of its immediate challenges was in dealing with the ultra-conservative elements who had found their way into its ranks. At that point, the party could not provide satisfactory answers to the question of the presence of reactionary elements like Femi Fani-Kayode within its fold. Perhaps, the party leadership thought these elements could be reformed and turned around into seeing things through the party’s ideological disposition, only to be proven wrong shortly thereafter. That inspired my article, “APC Crises: Turning Tables?”, showing that apart from the unifying ambition of defeating former President Goodluck Jonathan, it appears the party has no further ambition.

Even though my views, like those of many Nigerians at that time, were in tandem with those of the APC, I never felt comfortable with people like Fani-Kayode in the party. To me, his presence could only guarantee monumental embarrassment (which I think he represents) to the party. I told a friend, who like me, was a Buhari sympathiser but unlike me admired Fani-Kayode for his attack on Jonathan in the early days of the party, that the man is only on holiday in the party and should not be taken seriously. My friend would not agree with me because he was carried away by Fani-Kayode’s criticisms of President Jonathan in the social and print media, which drew undeserved popularity to him at that moment. On that, FFK, as he is known among his admirers, is a very smart guy who knew what he was doing.

Everything worked for him in the APC. He used the platform to rain personal abuses on President Jonathan (not sparing the Igbos who support him alongside). His diatribes against the Igbos, in no small way, contributed to the branding of the APC as an “anti-Igbo” party. Surprisingly, many pro-Jonathan Igbo writers, who earlier criticised FFK and APC, saw no wrong in his views anymore when he turned around to start “revealing APC secrets” subsequently. All was well for those folks, as long as you supported Jonathan, even if you had earlier insulted their mothers. Like I observed earlier, FFK is a smart man who knew well what he was doing. All these he did till he had the strange dream that the APC was fielding a “Muslim-Muslim” ticket for the 2015 presidential election.

I am not aware, till date, which privileged position FFK was in to have had such information on the APC. I am equally not aware that the APC would ever have taken FFK seriously enough – knowing fully his antecedents – to consider him for a serious position in the party. Well, not only did APC field a respected and staunch Pentecostal Christian pastor, Professor Yemi Osinbajo as its Vice Presidential candidate (as against FFK’s strange revelation), but also won the March 28 presidential election.

This leads to my main point that FFK is a baby that will not grow. Babies cry for everything, especially for food. You can easily know when baby FFK wants to eat. He cries the loudest when he is hungry. He dances at his best when his belly is full. He does not know how to call it quits when it comes to eating. That was why former President Obasanjo aptly described him as a dog that will bark at his boss’ enemies (real or imagined) and shake his tail or sing his paymaster’s praises when he is given food. It hurts, but it’s very true.

Only recently, FFK made it into the news again. Before, he had largely been quiet since the presidential election, as he was busy going from one court to another over his trial on money laundering charges. As though in a victorious mood (after winning his money laundering case), he launched attacks (as he usually does when hungry) on the Buhari administration for its inability to tackle the Boko Haram challenge. He restated his traditional argument that Buhari is, in fact, a “silent sympathiser” and financier of the deadly group. It takes no less a person than FFK to manufacture such Made-in-Ife revelations!

I will say this for the records: FFK told the world at the time he re-joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that it was General Buhari (one of his several lies against the General) who is the prime sponsor of the dreaded group. He opined that the North was using the terror group to frustrate the Jonathan administration, and that the General was part of the ploy to make Nigeria ungovernable for former President Jonathan. Facts do not matter to FFK (just like it didn’t matter to his role model, Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s minister for propaganda) as long as the lie sounds good and big enough.

One would have expected that this baby will grow up from breast sucking to at least chewing solid food. If Buhari, taking FFK’s infantile logic, was the one behind Boko Haram in order to frustrate Jonathan, except FFK stays in the Mars, he would have known that the terror group’s insidious activities occurring under the new Buhari administration clears the retired General of previous allegations in this regard. Could it be reasonable for anyone to be working against him own administration, particularly when such a person has the historical precedence of fighting religious intolerance and terrorism, as in the battle against the Maitatsine sect in the early 1980s?

My unsolicited advice to President Muhammadu Buhari is to beware of this hungry baby, now that he is idle with no food in sight. This is his natural way of seeking employment and the President must be on guard against considering his unattractive resume. This is exactly what his recent attacks on the Buhari administration is intended to achieve. Fani-Kayode was on record to have led several opportunistic attacks on former President Olusegun Obasanjo before he was invited to join the latter’s administration as Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs and later as Minister for Aviation. This method was also deployed to get former President Jonathan’s attention before he was appointed the presidential campaign spokesman for the 2015 election. He can, at best, be ignored; those who have learnt to do so, he largely left alone. President Buhari should consider taking Obasanjo’s advice, but regarding him as a dog which barks and when it tires out, it maintains its peace!

Perhaps, Fani-Kayode did not properly understand the lyrics in the old school matching song which goes thus:

“Wherever you go;
Wherever you be;
Do not say “yes”;
When you mean to say “no”.

In parenthesis, please don’t add “Baba Ibadan”, which is usually the most exciting part of the song. Can we still recall that this same FFK went on air, even before the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) could commence collating the results of the 2015 general elections, to announce that his party, PDP, was leading in 23 states of the federation? Need I say more that he says “yes” when he means “no”?

If he tells you it’s raining, it is imperative that you go outside to check the weather yourself. Like Squealer in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, if he calls something white, it’s time to check well to see if it’s not black. This exactly is why no responsible person should take FFK seriously because he is known to say “yes”, when he means “no”!