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Fani-Kayode: Delivered or possessed? – By SOC Okenwa

Question ought to be asked as to whether Fani-Kayode has been liberated, nay delivered, from his multiple sins against God and man and his economic crimes

Chief Femi Fani-Kayode (FFK), the former Minister of Culture and Tourism and later Aviation under the Obasanjo ‘Babacracy’ is a typical Nigerian politician of fortune: hypocritical, opportunistic, corrupt and mendacious.

Like many of his PDP colleagues he has had some highs and lows in government. 

And like some of them he could be described as an ‘AGIP’ politician (All-Government-In-Power). 

One of his high points in power was when he was appointed a Minister by former President Olusegun Obasanjo whom he had dutifully served prior as a Special Assistant on Public Affairs. 

Though he never delivered any great thing in the various ministries he oversaw the ministerial appointments marked perhaps his greatest accomplishment as a politician of light-weight division, one who had never won any election from his village to the national level.

And the lowest point could be said to be his recent encounter with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) agents.

Fani-Kayode was arrested weeks back and taken into custody for the funds he collected from the detained former National Security Adviser (Sambo Dasuki) under the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan. 

During the last presidential election of last year he was among the PDP Chieftains who were paid huge sums of money meant for the purchase of weapons for our military to empower them to fight Boko Haram soundly. 

Dasuki simply ignored the complaints of lack of adequate weaponry for the armed forces to be able to frontally confront the terrorists up north and went about sharing the largesse for the re-election of the ex-President.

Though FFK has since regained his freedom it was not the first time he would be interacting with the anti-graft agents in Lagos or Abuja. 

Middle of 2008, it would be recalled, he was picked up in connection with the alleged misappropriation of billions of Naira. And again in December of the same year he was cornered by the EFCC and slammed with 47 counts of money laundering! 

He was later discharged and acquitted by the federal high court in Lagos. This time around the man was charged for his role in Dasuki-gate but he was released on bail pending another date and day in court. 

He spent weeks upon weeks in the EFCC detention facility.

Fani-Kayode was educated in the United Kingdom from where he had a law degree in 1983. 

His academic profile is rich enough that we cannot take him as one who is academically challenged or describe him as barely educated.

He did fairly well in school which he terminated in Cambridge University, but in terms of service to the fatherland in his political career, there is nothing much to write home about here. 

He has been a freeloader, a rabble-rouser and executive errand boy who during the Obasanjo presidency was throwing insults about, talking down on those greater than him. 

Today he has ‘worked’ very hard to become a columnist with the ‘Sun’ newspaper based in Lagos.

Fani wants us to see him as a social critic or a public commentator who defends the interest of the people or one who regularly points out omissions in government policies and programmes. 

Criticism is good but when it is not constructive enough it becomes an avenue for self-advertisement and drawing silly attention to one’s folly or failures in life. 

And when one criticizes for the sake of making some noise or causing controversy then silence becomes golden.

Today the former Minister has gone back to his pastime of social criticism. Weekly (if not mid-weekly) he churns out articles in the ‘Sun’ and online about the state of the nation and other mundane and spiritual issues of the day. 

He sounds holier-than-thou and more Catholic than the Pope in some and in others he sounds like a man in search of personal re-discovery. 

And in some others he sounds incoherently didactic and in some others confused and desperate for attention. 

Yesterday he would lampoon the “Mai Changi” (a tasteless mockery of the President’s ‘Change’ mantra) and today he would tell us why Hausa language is a language of domination for the northerners. 

And tomorrow he would inform us about the impending socio-economic doom in Nigeria. 

The way he quotes the Bible and refers to Biblical figures in his articles would make one to want to take him seriously as a repented executive crook who has somewhat undergone the Saul/Paul dramatic Damascus experience in our modern time. 

But the truth is that Femi is after something: maybe a job! 

The money he has made defending the indefensible in government and attacking his perceived ‘foes’ or those of his paymasters must have been depleting fast given the fact that cheap money is no longer coming his way. 

So a way must be found to replenish the bank accounts for the good times to continue!

Fani-Kayode is frustrated politically. 

And history shows that whenever he is found in this kind of precarious situation of dwindling fortunes he becomes desperate demonstrating certain nuisance value and putting himself forward as an opposition figure whose dissenting views should count and be taken seriously. 

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