By Sunday Oyinloye
The story of Adam and Eve is known to the young and old. Snake was it that deceived Eve to eat the forbidden fruit who in turn gave it to Adam and the rest is history. It is also common in Nigeria to hear a phrase like “Green snake under green grass” which means a treacherous or deceitful person. When a man is crafty, he is expected to speak out of both sides of mouth, and honour is not likely to be found in his dictionary. It is therefore, not surprising that former Nigerian Aviation Minister, Femi Fani- Kayode has left the opposition Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) to join the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC).
However, what surprised me was his claim that “the spirit of God” led him to the ruling party. I have not known FFK as he is fondly called to be a servant of God who could probably hear directly from Him. I guess the man must have heard from the same creature that persuaded Eve to eat the forbidden fruit.
That a politician decamps in Nigeria is as normal as drinking water. Political parties have no ideologies, some politicians also lack integrity and principle, therefore, they can be in the ruling party today, next week, they are in the opposition and the following week, they are back to the ruling party. In Nigerian politics, the word hohour is scarce, little wonder some call our politicians harlots. AS a political scientist, I know there is no permanent friend or permanent enemy in politics, but even among the thieves, there should be a measure of honour.
I have no doubt in my mind that some politicians have reasons to decamp because of the way parties are run in the country, but many decamp not necessarily because of principle, but for personal gains. In recent times, a couple of politicians including state governors who had hitherto condemned the ruling party have defected to the party they once condemned. Rightly or wrongly, it is generally believed in Nigeria that when you steal and decamp to the ruling party, you are likely to be let off the hook. That is how low Nigerian politics has become.
Many Nigerians have decamped to the ruling party, and their action never generated the kind of reactions that FFK has gotten. This was a man who would romance with the ruling party at night and lambast the same government in day time. He has called President Muhammadu Buhari unprintable names and severally condemned his government to the extent that he swore to die rather than cross to the ruling party. Interestingly, he has run back to the man he condemned many times. According to M.K Soni,” integrity lies in doing what one speaks; speaking what one does,” but this is not for FFK.
Again Charles H. Dyer says “conduct reveals character, and we best understand integrity when we see it lived out in a person’s life”.
FFK has probably forgotten what Dr. Laura Schlessinger said about integrity “people with integrity do what they say they are going to do”.
Ask him whether he decamped to the ruling party for financial gains and Femi Fani -Kayode will tell you how rich his late father was and how rich he is. But we are not told the kind of business he is doing to make his so called riches. What FFK will also not tell anyone is why he is moving from one governor to another when he is not in government.
Because the media gives him unnecessary attention, FFK has no respect for journalists, just as he has no respect for the word ‘ honour.’
In August last year, I did an article on this same self-acclaimed “bridge builder” (that is what FFK calls himself) when he insulted a journalist calling the young man “stupid”. In that particular article, I described him the way he is, and this week, he has confirmed my true description of him.
‘’Like the Netherlands weather, you cannot predict his next move, and like a chameleon, he not only changes colour he destroys his foes with his sharp tongue. Perhaps, the only thing you can predict about him is careless talks.”
That was how I described him last year when in a space of few minutes, he called Daily Trust Newspaper Cross River State’s Correspondent, Eyo Charles “stupid’’ four times for asking him who bankrolled his tour of projects in some states.
I am not surprised that a year after he insulted Eyo Charles, he has done the same thing to Seun Okinbaloye of Channels Television who asked him a simple question, which should have been answered without any form of arrogance.
The young man had asked FFK whether his leaving the opposition party was finance related and the arrogance in him came alive.
He responded in fury after a deceitful laughter “Seun, I don’t expect that kind of ridiculous and absurd question from you. I have never lacked in finances, there has been no inducement; politicians don’t move because of finance. If I wanted finances, I would have moved sooner than today. I have struggled and I have fought over the last six years than any of the little monkeys that said what you just said to me now. I stand tall, the kind of family I come from , the kind of background I have, finance is not an issue but of course, this is always the absurd narrative, that people with a very small brain and low intelligence quotient will always put out when they feel threatened …
“I am considerably wealthier than most people think and I don’t need anything from anybody, I work hard and I have never lacked anything good. When I was fighting the government, you didn’t talk about finances or no finances, now that I am not fighting the government, you are talking about finances .It is an old narrative; it’s an old story. It is the same thing that Nigerians, particularly those from particular segment of the society like to say about those of us that are elites and I am not prepared to respond to such rubbish”
Can you blame FFK for his rudeness? The media is giving him undeserved attention. In the real sense of it, of what electoral value is FFK? This is a man who will ‘vomit’ in the morning and eats his ‘vomit’ in the afternoon.
This was what former Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung said about the defection of FFK to the ruling party: “Admitting discredited former Minister of Aviation; Femi Fani-Kayode into the ruling party is both shameful and insensitive. Femi Fani-Kayode insulted President Buhari and swore he will prefer to die than joining APC. He is now the latest political bride of the President whom he earlier called ….” If this is what our party can offer at this critical stage of our national history, then Nigeria has entered one-chance.”
I wouldn’t know anything about “one chance”, two, or three chances, but the facts on ground have clearly shown that there is nothing like honour in Nigerian politics, particularly in the dictionary of FFK. And I will not be surprised if by next week, FFK returns to PDP. He will probably lie again that he heard from God to return to the opposition party. After all, God is not a man who will come out to say He didn’t order FFK’s steps.
Let me leave Femi Fani-Kayode with these two quotes on the importance of integrity
“When you make a commitment to yourself, do so with the clear understanding that you’re pledging your integrity”. Stephen Covey
“The wind might cause a kite to rise, but what keeps it up there is the fact that somebody on the ground has a steady hand. You have to hold steady to your values – your integrity. It’s your anchor. You let go of that . . . well, it isn’t long before your kite comes crashing down.” Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen