By Olalekan Waheed Adigun
The Yorubas have a saying “Were dun wo loja, sugbon ko se bi lomo” meaning “A mad man is fun to watch in the market square, but no one desires having him as a son”. My first instinct on reading one Femi Fani-Kayode’s letter, if not properly so-called, and his later remarks, to President Muhammadu Buhari’s maiden media chat, was like “Has this man gone mad again?” Even before I could read the contents of the supposed letter and his latter comments, I came to the firm conclusion agreeing with the Yoruba saying (quoted earlier) and alluded to by Professor Ola Rotimi (of blessed memory) in his, Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again, this man had for a long time gone mad, and he is in desperate need for psychiatric attention!
It is never easy losing one’s job in a country like ours especially a lucrative one like a presidential spokesman, especially the one that promises one of unhindered access to public treasury. I have seen people run mad-I mean, MAD-on being told they have lost their job(s). These, jobs may not pay as much as working as a presidential spokesman, yet losing them can get some people really mad. Is anyone still in doubt of the primary cause of Fani-Kayode’s present psychiatric condition?
Watching from afar, I have seen street-walking mad men display some irredeemable features, like our brother. There is a certain voyeuristic charm that comes with watching mad men. It feels like you’re “peaking” into another world, a world that is both familiar and taboo. They display characters like doing things that are no longer deemed acceptable by society. They say things they “shouldn’t” or occasionally regretted to have said. They eat, drink and smoke in a way that’s hedonistic by today’s standards. All these traits, our brother has displayed, and we find it safe to say he has gone haywire, but needs someone who really loves him to confide this in him!
I recall tweeting (on Twitter) that I will be grossly disappointed if FFK (as he is often called by his praise singers) is dignified with a Presidential response to his “open letter” to Buhari. I thank God that response he was waiting for never came. There is really nothing wrong in bending to help a dwarf in picking an item from the ground, but reducing oneself to his height is what can be disastrous. On my part, I am not responding to his letter or comments, but diagnosing the root cause of Femi’s present mental crises!
When the All Progressives Congress (APC) was formed in 2013, one of its immediate challenges was how to deal with the ultra-conservatives elements within its ranks. At that point the party could not provide satisfactory answers to the question of the presence of reactionary elements like Femi, our brother, within its fold. Perhaps, the party leaders thought these elements could be reformed and reconstructed into the party’s ideological dispositions only to be proven wrong before long. My best guess then was that the party was only presenting itself as an all-inclusive organisation, Nigerians could trust. No one was surprised when our brother suddenly had a strange dream (or is it hallucination?) leading him back to his original base, his beloved People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
He played his cards right while in the APC. He used that platform to rain personal abuses on the then president Jonathan. He told us, “The Bitter Truth About Igbos”, an article that contributed in no small ways to the branding of the party as “anti-Igbo”. Trust Femi, he will never apologise for an earlier lie to tell a new one. Trust our lovely-hearted Igbos, they forgive and forget easily. Some have gone to the extent of applauding him in his self-appointed job of spokesman for the “Biafran nation”. This man is really idle-doing anything-no matter how silly, will just do. Surprisingly, many pro-Jonathan’s Igbo writers who earlier criticised FFK, has his admirers know him by, and APC, saw wrong in his views anymore when he started “revealing APC secrets” later on. All was well to these ones as long as you supported Jonathan even if you had earlier insulted their mother. Like I said, FFK is not-too-smart smart a con man, whose dance of shame is enjoyed only by those who are entertained and does not want him healed of his terrible condition.
On his strange dream I earlier referred to, our brother told us that the APC will be fielding a “Muslim-Muslim” ticket for the 2015 presidential election. It is difficult to find out which position our brother occupied in the APC that gave him such “privileged information” to have gone to the press with such audacity. Need we remind our brother that not only did APC field a respected staunch Pentecostal Christian Pastor , Professor Yemi Osinbajo as its Vice Presidential candidate( as against FFK’s strange dreams), but also won the March 28 presidential election? Why then should we take our brother’s most recent false alarms seriously?
Our brother once told the world as at the time he re-joined (Did he really leave?) the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), that it was General Buhari (one of his several lies he told about the General) that is the prime sponsor of the dreaded group. He opined that the North was using it to frustrate the Jonathan administration when he wrongly said it was the General that said he would make Nigeria ungovernable for former President Jonathan. Facts do not matter to FFK, (just like it didn’t matter to his role model, Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s Minister for Propaganda) as long as the lie sounds good and big enough!
Let us bother ourselves to quote our brother’s letter on his boss’ inability to successfully fight insurgency: “Given the fact that the embargo was in place, one wonders how we were supposed to procure arms unless we did so with raw cash in the black market. The alternative was to buy none at all, to do nothing and to allow Boko Haram to take Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu and Lagos. Perhaps that is precisely what your Western friends and allies wanted but, thankfully, it never came to pass.”
It is understandable if a baby cries when beaten. The fact that our brother chose to engage in self-pity, while in the process making his boss look more clueless do not amaze rational minds. First, the international perception of Jonathan regime is everything but good. Only FFK can justify such pollicisation and poor handling of insurgency with the “embargo” he referred to. We must remind our brother that Mugabe’s Zimbabwe is on arms embargo from virtually all countries, yet China and Russia gladly sells to it. It takes only someone in our brother’s shoes to accept his jejune excuse!
We understand that our brother is low on cash since his cow is no longer milking. He needs a job even if it is to keep body and soul together. His natural way of seeking employment is to “continue attacking” the President and his administration. This was exactly the way he integrated himself into the former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration as an “attack dog” later as Minister for Aviation. He also employed same this tool to get former President Jonathan’s attention before he was appointed Presidential campaign spokesman for the failed 2015 election.
I boarded a public bus in Lagos and the bus conductor shouted at the top of his voice that he had no “change” after a middle aged woman told him she has a N500 note with her. This bus conductor told this woman not to “enter” his bus. The woman complied, but I asked her to enter the bus, since I could afford to pay her fair and because I was getting late for an appointment, hence need the bus to be filled in time. Not long after saying this and this woman thanked me that another man at the park ordered this woman to “get out of this bus”. I was about demanding to know what right has he to “order” a passage out of a public bus when the bus conductor signalled me not to reply him. This man, said in the terrifying hot sun, that he is a retired soldier in the Nigerian Army, even though he was not up to 40 years old. He also said he is a “university graduate” even though he never made any complete sentence in English. He continued his ranting on this woman for about 30 minutes the bus waited, with no one responding to him.
As the driver mounted his seat for us to proceed on our journey, we all joked about the drama that just ended before our journey. The driver told us why he signalled me earlier not to respond to him. He said: The young man came to the park some years ago looking tattered and hungry. He lost his job in the company he has worked for five years; his wife and children abandoned him after he could no longer pay his bills; he defaulted on paying his instalments after collecting a tricycle “KEKE NAPEP” on hire purchase leaving his creditors no other option than to confiscate his personal properties. Things got so bad for this man that he could hardly feed himself. As long as anyone could recall, he has not been normal ever since his creditors confiscated all his belongings. Once in a while he harasses passengers, but due to his mental state, the park management decided that as long as he displays his lunacy (by ranting), no one should bother responding to him.
In the case of our ever-ranting brother, FFK, like the man above, he can at best be ignored; those who have learnt to do so he largely left alone. An unsolicited advice to President Buhari is not to bother to dignifying our brother, who has gone mad again with the response he desperately craves!
Olalekan Waheed Adigun is a political risk analyst and an independent political strategist for wide range of individuals, organisations and campaigns. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. Follow me on twitter: @adgorwell +2348136502040, +2347081901080