MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
As President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Thursday formally received former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode who defected from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the week, many Nigerians have described majority of the country’s politicians as a bunch of people lacking in integrity and self dignity.
A cross session of enlightened commentators who spoke with AtlanticNewsonline said they were not surprised at the defection because Fani-Kayode is the “archtype” of the average Nigerian politician when it comes to issues of principle and integrity. They see the average politician in Nigeria as one who wakes up in the morning as member of PDP, goes for lunch as member of APC and goes to bed as member of SDP with no shame in their ignoble movements.
According to Mr. Muyiwa Akintunde, a veteran journalist and public affairs analyst, “ordinarily I would not have liked to comment on Femi Fani-Kayode but because this issue of defection bothers on leadership that affects all of us, may I say that he is a character known for switching of political parties.
“The truth is that there are a few Nigerian politicians who have maintained membership of one party for long. Femi Fani-Kayode flip flops. He is not a character to be taken serious.”
In the words of a senior lecturer in the Department of English Studies at the Obafemi Awolowo University, (OAU) Ile-Ife, Dr. Chijioke Uwasomba; “true to type! If Femi Fani-Kayode and his ilk are the leaders we have, there cannot be Nigeria. Those who know Femi would not be surprised with his life style and politics. He is a man who always eats his vomit. Such a man corrupts the youth and fouls the country with his shenanigans.”
A graduate of the University of Port Harcourt and time tested public analyst, human rights activist Achike Chude, like other commentators was not surprised with Fani-Kayode’s defection. In his words, “there is nothing surprising about the defection to APC from PDP. Sources in the APC who were in the know had indicated sometime ago that such was Femi Fani-Kayode’s plan. It was very well opposed and Fani-Kayode recanted and renounced that ambition saying that nothing will make him ever go to APC which he had described as the “Almajiri Peoples Congress.”
“Obviously, the defection is clearly a justification of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s statement about Fani-Kayode as somebody who is externally guided by the dictates of his stomach. A man who believes in nothing and stands for nothing. Fani-Kayode had said so many terrible things about APC. He once called it a party representing darkness while he represents light and God.”
“So for him to do a-360 degree volte face, the way and manner he has done to a party that he said was irredeemably evil, that the party under the leadership of Buhari was diabolical, speaks volumes about the character and nature of the average Nigerian politician.”
“They do not stand for anything and do not believe in anything and that is why we see their intervention in our politics as only negative. So Femi Fani-Kayode is symbolic of the decadence of our politicians in the country. With such people, we cannot go anywhere.
“There is no shame, no embarrassment that you will say one thing in the morning and at night, it comes another thing. It is typical of Nigerian politicians. It is unfortunate.”
“Femi Fani-Kayode has really done nothing different but perhaps because of the degree and manner, the way he had intervened in the politics of this country and the way he gives sanctimonious impression about himself as a good guy, guided by principles is clearly indicative of how dangerous people like him are, to the politics of Nigeria.
“Nigerians do not need people like Fani-Kayode because the likes of him are the enemies of this country since they do not stand for anything good. The likes of him have no other business other than politics and Fani-Kayode’s stomach actually dictates where he goes.”
An APC stalwart; Joe Igbokwe has even joined in the criticism against Fani-Kayode whom he described as a political prostitute lacking in integrity and decency. While other APC members including the acting National Chairman of the party Mai Mala Buni would be rejoicing in depleting PDP’s population with the defection of Fani-Kayode to APC, the likes of Igbokwe saw it as ‘a bad market’ for the party.
Igbokwe is disappointed that the party leadership could give Fani-Kayode a red carpet reception at Presidential Villa when himself he has always worked for the progress of the party has never been invited to the Villa to fraternise with Buhari.
Islamic scholar; Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has also taken a swipe on Femi Fani-Kayode’s defection from PDP to APC, describing him as a Yoruba traitor. Gumi did not mince words to call Fani-Kayode a traitor who is capable of even betraying his new party. To Gumi, the man Fani-Kayode cannot be trusted any day. He is a Judas, he posited.
In the same vein as other Nigerians have spoken, former Presidential aide to Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and now a social activist, Reno Omokri has described Fani-Kayode’s action as going back to ones vomit because of hunger. Omokri recalled all the diatribes of Fani-Kayode against APC and its leadership and vowed never to have anything to do with the party. He wondered why the former Aviation Minister would suddenly forget his vow and ignobly reneged, all because of hunger of the stomach. Omokri pleaded to God not to allow him find himself going back to his vomit any day like Fani-Kayode.
Many other Nigerians who pleaded anonymity have spoken with AtlanticNewsonline condemning the entire political practice in Nigeria where cross carpeting has become a norm.
They contended that if sanctions against cross carpeting are taken seriously by the electorate and judiciary, politicians like Fani-Kayode would not find a place in our political system. “Such politicians are evil and would remain our enemies because they are selfish,” some said.
Some of the commentators have therefore challenged human rights, civil society and judicial activist groups including the media to wake up and oppose the unconstitutional manner politicians like Fani-Kayode jump from one party to the other in a very despicable manner.