Like the Biblical saying which proclaims a God that changes not, not many were stunned at the news of a former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, defecting back to the Peoples Democratic Party, as he was merely living true to type. Ojo M. Maduekwe writes
A certain man was told that “Femi Fani-Kayode has defected back to the PDP,” to which he replied: “I am not surprised; he’s done it before; he’s only being true to character by doing it again.” For the student of history, the former Minister of Aviation during former president Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode’s defecting back to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) does not come as a surprise.
Yesterday makes it two months that Fani-Kayode was at the Presidential Villa, where he reportedly met with President Goodluck Jonathan for roughly an hour behind closed doors.
The thrust of the meeting however remains secret. On his way out, an excited Fani-Kayode (one could tell from his response to the press), wouldn’t reveal why he met with the president. “I won’t go into what I discussed in there,” he said.
Even though he was not straightforward with a response, Nigerians knew his visit was preparatory to his leaving the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), which he has done. What gave credence to this assumption then was that during his little hide and seek with the press, Fani-Kayode had described those who work in the presidency as “wonderful”.
In all of his many syndicated columns, Fani-Kayode had never used the word wonderful or anything near it to describe the president or those who work for him. Not long ago, both the president and the PDP were everything but right for Fani-Kayode. Once he described the party as a “sinking ship” and it’s National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, as representing a sinking ship. The APC until that day when Fani-Kayode first saw the light in Aso Rock was the party for Nigeria.
Expectedly, when he saw that his visit to the Villa was trending on the social media and had attracted negative reactions, he quickly put something forward. “I was at the Villa yesterday and what transpired there has been the subject of much online speculation. What I said to the media whilst there was very clear and I chose my words carefully. Let those that are interested read those words in today's newspapers rather than speculate. Other than that, I will say no more on this matter until I am ready to do so.
“A few days ago, all the APC governors from the South-west were in the State House where they held a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan. What they discussed has not been made public until now. Does that make them PDP governors?
“The presidency belongs to every Nigerian irrespective of religious and political persuasions. Again, General Buhari was recently honoured by the same President Jonathan during the centenary celebration which the APC did not support. Does that mean he has joined the PDP? Again the on-going federal government confab has some APC chieftains participating in it despite the fact that the party is against it. Does that mean that they have left the APC?
“People should get real and stop speculating. Meanwhile Biodun Ishola Ladepo wrote ‘If I were Femi Fani-Kayode and my party planned to field a Muslim/Muslim presidential ticket, especially in the age of Boko Haram, I would bolt faster than Hussein Bolt’. I am glad that someone is seeing things clearly.
“This is not about leaving parties but about principle. Let us hope that the leadership of the APC sees fit to clarify this matter at the soonest and assure us all that they will do no such thing. Their silence on the matter and their refusal to rule it out is simply fuelling more speculation and dissent from within,” Fani-Kayode had said.
Since the leadership of the APC won’t quell the speculation that was creating bad blood, Fani-Kayode has gone back to the PDP. In a press statement widely circulated, he said: “I wish to inform the general public that as at today, June 2, 2014, I have left the APC and gone back to the PDP”.
On the Channels Television programme, ‘Politics Today’, where he described Metuh and the PDP as “sinking”, Fani-Kayode said the PDP was a sad testimony of everything that is wrong with Nigeria. He said the PDP that existed during the administration of President Obasanjo was the good old PDP which redeemed the country from international debt.
“The country had since the Goodluck Jonathan era gone back to debts”. What has changed in the PDP that Fani-Kayode now finds it a better alternative to the APC?
Before he was appointed by Obasanjo, Fani-Kayode was a public critic of the former president. At the time, no living Nigerian was known for criticising President Obasanjo like he was known to do. To silence Fani-Kayode, Obasanjo appointed him his personal ‘attack dog’.
In fact, two of his interviews- one for and the other against- on Obasanjo were published at the time by THISDAY which questioned the honour in his stand. Judging from the Aso Rock visit and the different tune Fani-Kayode now sings in his defection, President Jonathan too has proven to be a student of history.
Forget Fani-Kayode’s excuse that the APC as a party is sympathetic to Boko Haram. While that is debatable, the immediate reason for his returning to the PDP is simply because the president, during his earlier visit to Aso Rock, must have made Fani-Kayode an offer he couldn’t refuse.
With Fani-Kayode, one finds it difficult differentiating between the definitions of consistency and inconsistent. Both words find meaning in the character of Fani-Kayode. Once he is inconsistent, another time he is consistent. He’s inconsistent in talking from both sides of the mouth, but consistent in the goal his doublespeak seeks to achieve. “I must talk my way into this government” seems to be his objective before he sets out to criticise any administration. He is simply consistently inconsistent!
The job Fani-Kayode has proven to do very well is to criticise, either in writing or by holding press conferences. Maybe the job most appropriate for him would be Special Assistant on Media since there is a Minister of Information in whom the president appears pleased. Before President Jonathan makes up his mind on how best to use him, Fani-Kayode would certainly live up to his billing in the coming weeks by engaging the APC’s publicity secretary, Lai Mohammed, in war of words.
In one of his essays about the sacking of the former PDP National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, Fani-Kayode wrote: “May he enjoy his forced and long-overdue retirement from public office and partisan politics and may he live long enough to see the PDP defeated and an APC president sworn in 2015.” One wonders, therefore, what the former minister would be singing now. If anything, that position has changed completely.
In the said essay, if it qualifies to be called that, titled ‘Jonathan, Tukur and a Government of Jezebels’, Fani-Kayode after commending the president for Tukur’s sack and the “removing and reshuffling” of some principal officers in the military, maintained that the moves were commendable but “will change nothing because they are both too little and too late.”
According to him, “The PDP will continue to sink because it is a political party that has lost its bearing and its soul and it has mortgaged its conscience. It has also lost the source and strength of its inspiration and moral authority in the distinguished person of President Olusegun Obasanjo, who really was the glue that bound the party together and kept it going against all odds.”
Still in the same essay, Fani-Kayode said the PDP has become a party that is beyond redemption and that “the removal of Tukur cannot change that. I say this because no sensible person will go back to a stinking carcass simply because the head of the dead animal has been cut off and thrown away. A carcass remains a carcass whether you cut off its head, legs or any other part of its body or not. Whichever way, it remains as dead as a dodo and it only awaits a formal burial.
“The truth is that the vultures are already feeding fat on the rotting and decaying cadaver of the PDP and whether anyone likes to hear it or not, the truth is that the party can never be whole again. As I said eight months ago, it is a party that has been rejected by God and whose leaders are suffering God's judgment for their unjust, gluttonous, wicked, foul and evil ways.”
Now that he’s gone back to the PDP and taking a cue from his very own words, it is justifiable to conclude that Fani-Kayode has become a person without reasoning by joining a sinking ship and stinking carcass, with the intent of feeding on its decaying cadaver. Now that he’s gone back to his vomit, has he been rejected by God and awaiting judgment for being unjust, gluttonous, wicked, foul and evil?