It is no more in doubt that President Jonathan is a very cynical leader. And with the on-going PDP’s game of deceit, appeal to religion and ethnic sentiments after 16 years of uninspiring leadership, Nigerians must have come to the sad conclusion that PDP is contemptuous of Nigerians. And if Nigerians needed any further proof, the appointment of Femi Fani-Kayode as Director General of PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, (PDPPCO) and his on-going war against the person of General Muhammadu Buhari is all that is needed. Add this to the President’s admission during his chat with Tell editors shortly after his inauguration back in 2011 that he is ‘never moved to action by public opinion’, the picture one gets is that of a President who does not give a damn about how we feel as Nigerians.
For a man who few months back wrote the President off as “a wicked and insensitive leader”, whose “chapter has been finally closed by OBJ with his letter”; who predicted that “All Progressives Congress, APC, would form the next government at the centre” and wrote off PDP by saying “PDP as we once knew her has gone forever; the ship has hit the rocks and she has sunk to the bottom of the sea; she is dead and buried” to have emerged as the best the President and PDP can find to launder their image is a measure of the value they place on credibility. And finally that a man standing trial before a High Court in Lagos for alleged money laundering was appointed by the President and his party as chief image maker, is not only scandalous, it is an assault on our collective sensibilities. It speaks volumes about “the President Jonathan we don’t know”. (apology to Reuben Abati)
The ignoble role his father played in the destruction of Yoruba land is well documented. Chief S B Falegan, a former Managing Director of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) in his new book My Yester-Yearsdescribes Chief Remi Fani-Kayode as “belonging to a group of political rascals who engaged in the selfish pursuit of greed, and personal enrichment at the expense of the country.” And reviewing for Nigerians, Chief Remi Fani-Kayode’s rascal antecedents in the Nigeria’s politics during the NPN, he says, Femi Fani-Kayode, ‘who could say President Jonathan government is a bad omen to the country and thereafter decamp to the PDP to engage in a re-twisted propaganda, has only taken after his father’s styles”. And in fighting Jonathan’s war, Femi like the chip of the old block, has been trying to outdo his father who literarily aided the NPC ruling party to dig its own grave.
First, it was about Buhari’s West African School Certificate. Sponsored government paid agents laid siege on television houses especially the respected Channels TV tasking our patience by insisting that Buhari, a retired four star General of the Nigerian Army, who attended the best military schools in the world, a former military Head of State ‘has no papers’, and therefore not qualified to contest for a position he had vied for thrice between 2003 and 2011. And when finally the authorities of Buhari’s old school presented his WAEC results, Fani-Kayode accused Buhari of perjury.
Thereafter, Fani-Kayode’s heartache became Buhari’s age despite evidence of serving heads of states around the world that are of Buhari’s age. Fani-Kayode moved on to accuse Buhari of toppling Shagari’s government. It turned out Shagari was in fact removed by Babangida, Gusau and Abacha who merely used Buhari to buy credibility and legitimacy because of his personal integrity. Twenty months later, they deposed him and unfolded their own agenda which included ‘a transition without end’, acceptance of IMF loan and liberalization of our economy which started the era of sharing of our national patrimony among privileged members of the military and their political and socio economic counterparts.
Then last week on the eve of presidential election that would have held two weeks back but for the mischief of panic stricken PDP, Fani-Kayode addressed journalists in Abuja to announce that “the Federal Government has concluded arrangements and may soon drag General Buhari before the International Criminal Court” for the mindless killings that followed Jonathan’s victory in 2011. But they would wait until after the election Fani-Kayode swore would be won by PDP.
But for now, following Buhari’s successful outing in London to sell himself, his agenda and counter PDP’s propaganda that cast him as an irredeemable dictator, Fani-Kayode has opened another battle front. He swore “General Muhammadu Buhari last Thursday’s outing at the Chatham House in London was a monumental failure.” He also took on Chatham House, blaming it for offering “its prestigious platform to sell a bad product to the world”.
The question is why Fani-Kayode who in view of his new position is at liberty to change his earlier perception of Jonathan as “‘wicked and insensitive leader” is losing sleep over Buhari’s ‘failed’ visit that may not necessarily take anything away from the engrained image of his principal’s among the western nations as ‘a deeply corrupt government’ (Hilary Clinton,) ‘A failed Nigerian leader’; (Economist), ‘A failed president’ (Washington Post), and A lousy incumbent’ (New York Times).
Jonathan’s government, whose intelligence has failed it in locating the whereabouts of close to 300 secondary school girls abducted from their dormitories about 10 months back or finding out the identities of the criminals who engage in an orgy of killing of women and children in their sleep in the middle belt region of Nigeria, has suddenly rediscovered itself only two days after Buhari’s visit to Chatham House. Fani-Kayode listed “some interesting facts about Buhari’s Chatham House out”, gathered through intelligence: ‘The event was organised only two days before it took place and well after Buhari had arrived in London; ‘The questions that were asked were given to him two days before the event and the answers were prepared for him and given to him to rehearse’; and ‘The programme lasted for only 55 minutes and only five questions, which were all planted, were asked’.
Lest we forget, government intelligence according to Fani-Kayode also indicated that Buhari who depends on donations of as low as N100 from the masses of Nigeria who have faith in his ability to fix Nigeria, budgeted N5 billion for what was termed “the Buhari’s London jamboree”.
Government intelligence however missed out Buhari’s plan to turn all the aircrafts in the presidential fleet to form the nucleus of a new Nigeria Airways because he considered it wasteful for President Jonathan to keep a fleet of over six aircraft when the Prime Minister of Britain like many of his western counterparts fly public airlines.
But I think what should worry Nigerians is Fani-Kayode’s foreboding boast that “the government would first demystify Buhari by defeating him at the polls”, and that the PDP “would win the Presidential and general elections slated for March 28 and April 11 respectively” while vowing that “the APC will never smell power”.
But looking at the past and critically assessing PDP that often scores landslide victories in opposition strongholds as it recently did in Ekiti state, I think there is the need for eternal vigilance by the opposition as well as all Nigerians that still have faith in our nation. Chief Remi Fani-Kayode, after defecting to the opposition NCNC in the First Republic first called on the federal government to declare state of emergency in the West and later told the Yoruba that whether they voted for his new party or not, NNDP would win the election. It is part of our history that the Balewa government illegally declared state of emergency and went ahead to supervise the rigging of the 1965 Western Region election.
President Jonathan and PDP have always found a way to undermine the constitution to achieve their set goals. The cases of the illegal removal of Justice Ayo Salami, the illegal suspension of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as CBN governor and to some extent the President’s open support of losers of Nigerian Governors Forum election are clear indications that President Jonathan and PDP can swing any surprise.
They just don’t give a damn.