By Isaac Asabor
If there is any leader that has always held me spellbound each time he mounts the soap box to speak, he is unarguably David Oluwafemi Adewunmi Abdulateef Fani-Kayode, a politician, essayist, poet and lawyer, popularly called FFK, and who was a member of the then ruling People Democratic Party (PDP), and a member of the All Progressive Congress (APC) until June 2014 when he returned to the then ruling party, PDP, and now back to the ruling APC. No doubt, he has an oratorical prowess that is capable of arresting the attention of any of his listeners.
What about his dress sense? I usually see him as one that has a likable dress sense. Without being funny, he has stylishly endeared me to the wearing of native attires. This goes to show that he is a personality that is capable of inspiring the rest of us, particularly the youths, and many youths apparently look up to him. But as it is today, favourable perception about him is fast eroding. No thanks to his predilection to criss-crossing in between the two most popular parties among the 18 registered parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the country.
There is no denying the fact that since his recent defection, once again to APC even as his defection was well received by President Muhammadu Buhari as he was reportedly led into the President’s office by the Caretaker Chairman of the APC and Governor of Yobe. Mr Mai-Mala Buni as well as Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara, that there has been a deafening hullabaloo as not few key stakeholders in APC has been uncomfortable with his defection.
Speaking to State House correspondents after Kayode’s presentation, Buni quoted the President as describing the defection of Kayode to APC as a welcome development, saying that the president was pleased that the former minister had joined the APC.
At this juncture, it is no more news that the hullabaloo triggered by his defection has been unprecedentedly reverberating, particularly as he is neither the first nor the last politician to have made such political blunder.
For instance, the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Political Matters, Babafemi Ojudu, described Thursday September 17, 2021, being the day FFK joined the APC, to be the saddest day in his political career. He posted the message on Facebook, hours after FFK met his boss at Aso Rock and defected to the ruling party.
Ojudu posted, “This is the saddest day of my political career”, and subsequently shared a previous vow by FFK that he would never join APC, adding “I prefer to die than join APC”.
In the same vein, Joe Igbokwe, the Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Drainage and Water Resources, said he was unhappy as he has never got the kind of presidential red carpet treatment granted former minister, Femi Fani-Kayode.
Igbokwe, a dyed in the wool supporter of APC, wrote on his Facebook page late on Thursday, “Despite all my push for APC, Abuja has not given me a phone call, talk less of inviting me for a coffee with C-in-C; but here is a political charlatan and prostitute being given a red carpet in the seat of power, Abuja”.
He continued his histrionics with another post early on Friday, September 17, hinting that his loyalty was being tested by the turn of events.
Igbokwe said in another post that the party must ‘learn consequence management’, noting that indiscipline and impunity can destroy a nation.
To illustrate this, he made a follow-up post with screenshots of the terrible things Fani-Kayode has said about APC and Buhari in the past, captioning it, “We are not students of consequence management.”
In yet another post just before noon, he said that many foot soldiers of the APC are feeling unappreciated by the party, despite the challenges they’re facing for their support.
He wrote, “APC will be going round bringing charlatans, enemies, and dolts into the party at the drop of a hat. APC should look inwards and do the needful.
“A labourer deserves his pay. Reward hard work and the people will do more.”
It is expedient to say at this juncture that Ojudu and Igbokwe are not alone in the disapproval of FFK joining the APC as not few individuals and groups have condemned his defection to the ruling party.
For instance, Precious Chikwendu, his ex-wife joined those criticising him for joining the APC as she took to her Instagram page and shared a post that reads, “My Father always told me this, Chi nwam ‘ezigbo afa ka ego’. A good name is better than riches. Truly it is. ‘Ifele adi’ghi eme onye ori, Obu umunna ya ka ona eme’. A thief is never ashamed but his kinsmen are ashamed on his behalf.”
Against the foregoing backdrop, there have been a couple of flashback news about the former aviation minister, joining the APC, particularly as FFK is top known for criticizing, backlashing and insulting the ruling party for their alleged failures and most especially the president.
However, this writer is at a loss over the reactions of some Nigerians as they are yet to come to grasp with the dynamics of FFK’s political disposition, particularly as former President Olusegun Obasanjo has aptly described him as far back as in 2015 to be a personality that dances when given food. Without doubt, the former president’s perception has been relatable to his political personality, even in his present move in 2021 and previous years.
At this juncture, it is expedient to recall that OBJ in 2015 said about him thus: “He’s my boy, provide him food, he’ll praise and sing for you”.
To my view, there is no need for anyone to be wasting his or her precious time discussing about FFK’s defection as Edith Henderson has in her work, “76 productive habit” advised thus, “Stop wasting time with trivial matters that don’t add value to your life or push you one step closer to your goals”.