Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Opinion: Femi Fani-Kayode attended the best schools but lacks class by Pedro Christian Kalu

Femi Fani-Kayode
In the words of John Okiyi Kalu “the views and actions of charlatans like FFK cannot and will never represent the views of the learned and hard working entrepreneurs of Yorubaland but rather that of a drug damaged mind seeking to ride on ethnic conflict to actualize his gubernatorial ambition.”
I once admired and extolled the ranks of eminent personalities in Nigeria, including ministers of The Federal Republic of Nigeria both past and present not just because they have attained such high social profile but because I always thought that before such persons are invited to participate in government, they would have been a brain box of ideas, intellectuals and men of noble character, who would have been found worthy of admiration to personally represent Nigeria as a collective entity.
Only a few days back Femi Fani-Kayode, a former minister of aviation, rephrased a question going on in my mind, maybe it is not just a matter of distinction or nobility but some are products of political compensation hence could be tagged as “THE ACCIDENTAL PUBLIC SERVANTS’ in mallam’s own words.
In the words of Femi Fani-Kayode ‘Those that call me a tribalist and an Igbo-hater are simply misguided and ignorant” yet we also have this: “Firstly that those (Igbo) that I have described as being collectively unlettered, uncouth, uncultured, unrestrained and crude in all their ways really are all those things and a lot more.” For a former minister and a representative of our collective entity ‘Nigeria’ it’s so sad and shameful for FFK to belittle himself into petty social media debates and ethnic rivalry that tends to divide our national unity instead of playing the role of a statesman, cautioning our young and teeming youths against the effects of such inflammatory statements. Then I begin to ask myself: How on earth could FFK be also referred to as a former minister where the likes of Chief Bola Ige, and Chief Obafemi Awolowo, could also be referred to as same? A wise saying once goes “The higher a baboon climbs the more it exposes its bald ass.” FFK has indeed shown us all he is a bald black ass baboon, an unintelligent personality who doesn’t know what topic of discuss to meddle with or rather even avoid so as to abstain from mudslinging. Unlike his close friend and political associates el-Rufai who would deliberately avoid certain topics of discussion, FFK does not select his choice of words and topics of discussion, he should look around and ask himself, how many former ministers and cabinet holders are involved in this type of untamed debates? It only goes to say we have failed as a nation if indeed we ever had the likes of FFK as former ministers and a supposed nationalist.
According to John Okiyi Kalu, FFK is a product of Nigeria’s dysfunctional system where people move up the leadership ladder on the basis of mundane considerations like whose son you are, not the content and quality of your character. Otherwise there is no basis to appoint a hate-filled individual as minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria made up of Igbo, Hausa/Fulani, Yoruba and others.
When Femi Fani-Kayode speaks about the accommodating spirit of the Yorubas, I undoubtable agree knowing fully well that it is a distinctive description of all Nigerians but that’s not the reason we have a large number of Igbo businessmen doing business in the Lagos, even in Maidugiri the Boko Haram stronghold, we still have a large number of illustrious Igbo sons still going about their businesses. FFK forgot that the Igbos are very optimistic by nature, everywhere whether conducive or not as long as it has the potential of a profitable business and means of livelihood is habitable to an Igbo man. If the Igbos are increasingly large in Lagos it is because Lagos was a former capital and has the required infrastructural viability for a profitable business, apart from Ibadan which is close to Lagos, where else in the southwest do we have a large and teaming population of Igbos doing business? Is Lagos the entire South-west? The Yorubas only seems more peaceful and accommodating because of a common religious identity (Christianity) and lack of Islamic radicalism unlike the core North. How many Igbos where in Abuja before its creation as a Federal Capital Territory, Now, I can confidently tell you that apart from the people of Northern extraction, Igbos are the largest Ethnic group from southern Nigeria in Abuja, successfully building their business empires everywhere. Owning close to 70 per cent of properties in Abuja, that doesn’t make Abuja an Igbo land.
He goes further to say in his usual propaganda that the Igbos are laying claim to Lagos, when and who said that? For FFK it is however a show of shame and ignorance for a man of his status to collectively disrespect and insult the sensibility of a group of people over some perceived utterances of one person. Does Orji Uzor Kalu speak for the Igbos? No Igbo man can lay claim to Lagos. I was born in Lagos, but does that make it my state of origin? We may build our mansions and business empires in Lagos but we as a people have a sense of origin, that is why it is hard for you to see any Igbo man be buried in another man’s land when he dies, he must be traced back to his roots to lay his remains, there are times when Igbos go to the extent of exhuming corps of buried relatives, perform traditional rites and rebury their own in cases where they have already been buried before the arrival of their kinsmen. If FFK says Igbos have claimed they own Lagos, I challenge him to produce evidence of such claim or shut up and stop being an instrument to tribal bigotry, fanning the stokes of ethnic hatred and tribalism.
In the words of Femi Fani-Kayode “Those that know me well like you can confirm the fact that I am not a racist or a bigot and that I consider such sentiments as being unworthy of a man of class, good breeding and culture.” It then bothers me how a man of class, good breeding and culture, would make this statement. “I was not a tribalist when I had a long-standing and intimate relationship with Miss Bianca Onoh, an Igbo lady, who later married Colonel Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu the leader of Biafra and who is now our Ambassador in Spain. I was not a tribalist when I had a long-standing and intimate relationship with Miss Chioma Anasoh, another igbo lady, who I almost married. I was not a tribalist when I had a long-standing and intimate relationship with Miss Adaobi Uchegbu, another Igbo lady, who was exceptionally close to me and who is now a leading figure at the National Headquarters of the ruling PDP”. In the words of a famous rapper Jay Z who FFK has also described in his usual propaganda as illuminate, without proof You can pay for school but you can’t buy class.” Men of class don’t kiss and tell, how can anyone who describes himself as a man of good-breeding go on his Facebook page to tell the world who he has slept with, just to show and prove that he is a detrabalised Nigerian, does dating or sleeping with women of a different ethnic extraction for your sexual satisfaction make you a detrabalised Nigerian?
Femi Fani-Kayode may pay for Cambridge but he sure can’t buy class, it is earned, not even given like a ministerial appointment. It only makes me wonder how myopic in thoughts a man of his status could go, if at this age and stage in life FFK thinks like a toddler, I wonder what he might have been like when growing up.
In the words of John Okiyi Kalu “The views and actions of charlatans like FFK cannot and will never represent the views of the learned and hard working entrepreneurs of Yorubaland but rather that of a drug damaged mind seeking to ride on ethnic conflict to actualize his gubernatorial ambition”. If you ask me, I think Femi Fani-Kayode speaks for himself and the bulk of other ethnic bigots he represents. My closest friend is Yoruba, I don’t think Femi Fani-Kayode speaks for him, I was born and bred in Lagos, schooled in Ibadan and have lots of Yoruba friends, I don’t think FFK speaks their mind in this statement “When the Igbo, or anyone else, find a real writer that can cross swords with me and give me a good run for my money someone should please let me know. I am itching for a real debate with a worthy adversary on this issue. Like the great Achilles I feel that I have no match. Are there no Hector’s out there? Sadly it appears that my accusers, traducers, opposers and haters cannot find one.” In the words of the great writer Chinua Achebe “Those whose palm kernels were cracked for them by a benevolent spirit should not forget to be humble.
Femi Fani-Kayode can be likened to Nza the little bird who after a great meal, decides to challenge his Chi to a wrestling match. The Igbos have no match for a demented personality, we have searched but cannot find anyone worthy of a fool to challenge FFK in his show of shame and radical tribalism. Everyone seem to be busy with his business, buying, selling and excelling in our various travails while consciously aware that there may be many FFK out there fanning the stokes of ethnic violence because according to FFK, “The message is clear and it is already out there. It cannot be called back in”
In the interest of our national unity I implore all well-meaning Nigerians and leaders to call Femi Fani-Kayode to order before he succeeds in causing tribal disaffection amongst us. The APC should denounce FFK now and dissociate itself from this blatant spread of tribal sentiment, if indeed it wishes to establish itself as a true national party and redeem its already perceived image as an Hausa/Yoruba party. The Lagos state government should condemn this hate message and dissociate itself from Fani-Kayode’s inflammatory statement now, in order to redeem itself from sentiments already arising from the Ladipo market crises and deportation program. It is rather unruly that a man who should bow his head in shame and shut his gutters over the decadence of our airports and the entire rot of the aviation ministry under his watchful eyes is the same person engaged in this naked dance of shame. Femi Fani-Kayode says he is a servant of truth; the truth is… He is just a man who could afford to pay for Cambridge but can’t buy class.
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Pedro Kalu tweets from @Peddykal
Culled from YNaija.
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