THESE are the best of times. These are the worst of times! Pardon me, good old, Charles Dickens. When crisis engulfs a nation it sometimes manifests in various forms of malady; amnesia is one; and then the absurdity of attempting to write one’s self back into social relevance, any which way!
Nigeria suffers the notorious affliction of forgetfulness; as if a collective act of lobotomy was carried out, almost as village barbers used to harvest the organs of young girls, in the old practice of ritual circumcision; condemned more elegantly today, as FGM, female genital mutilation. But we permit that collective social lobotomy.
We therefore allow ourselves to be inflicted with all kinds of insults. People who ordinarily should not appear in respectable society, then strut the stage of social existence.
Take Femi Fani-Kayode for example. This character lived on the margins of society, making of himself a nuisance and authoring doggerels, in the wake of the annulment of the June12, 1993 elections. The central theme of his writings was that Northern Nigeria was responsible for, and the source of, every problem which dogged Nigeria.
No opprobrium was insignificant for him to hurl at Northern ‘straw-men’, with a missionary zeal (he even describes himself a Deacon). The minders of the rottweiler were satisfied, for as long as he snarls at the Northern enemy, at the receiving end of the Quixotic tilting of NADECO or OPC and other ‘fighters’ against “Northern hegemony”. But in truth, the clown was hungry! It took the old despot, Olusegun Obasanjo to deconstruct the malaise.
Obasanjo took the chap from the streets into Aso Villa, with a basic instruction: “You’re hereby anointed to abuse all my enemies”; or words to that effect. And with gusto and a handsome perk to boot, as a Special Assistant, Femi Fani-Kayode went to town. No ‘enemy’ of the old despot, escaped his sharp tongue.
So effective was Femi, that Obasanjo promoted him a Minister! The last has not been heard of the financial controversies of his tenure. Somersaults are a veritable item of the kit of survival. Deluded he was going to play a role in Yar’Adua’s regime, Femi got nothing.
In recent weeks, obviously unhappy at being passed over in appointments, he even joined the nationwide protests against subsidy removal. But who can stop a stray dog from lapping up fecal matter? The dominant mood in certain circles in the country, presently, is to accuse Northern Nigeria of every crime under the sun again; what with Boko Haram, and anger at Jonathan’s subversion of the PDP, to become its candidate in 2011?
Trust me, there is something rotten in the state of Denmark, as Shakespeare said. Femi Fani-Kayode is back to his ‘best’, snarling at Northern Nigeria: “The Lugardian ‘poor husband of the north’ cannot force the ‘rich wife of the south’ to remain in this unholy and iniquitous union for much longer unless the terms are right and unless there is equity and justice for all. The mistake we made in 1967 by not standing on Aburi will not be repeated. The days of the master/servant relationship that we have witnessed between the north and the south for 51years of our national existence are long over and they shall never return again. This country is moving forward and she is not going back and if President Goodluck Jonathan can just get his act together and vigorously resist the hegemonist giants in the land he would have my full support…”
As if Obasanjo wasn’t in power for eight years and the clown was not even a minister in that disastrous and criminal regime! Or maybe Jonathan is also ‘Northern’! I think Femi Fani-Kayode desperately needs a job. The voice from the fringe of society is in desperate need of a new master. Is there a taker? Is anyone listening at the Aso Villa?