On May 29, 2022, former aviation minister, Chief Femi Fani Kayode congratulated former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on his victory at the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential primaries, which held on May 28, 2022.
The congratulations was so effusive. Chief Fani Kayode described the Waziri Adamawa as a “formidable candidate”, and called his emergence an act of “justice”.
So, I was rather surprised that the same Femi, in a troubling 180 degree about turn in less than 24 hours, wrote a scathing piece attacking the emergence of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in his piece ‘PDP’s Great Betrayal And The Choice Before The APC.’
In that piece, Mr. Fani-Kayode described the PDP Presidential primaries as a “show of shame”. How could a process that he called ‘just’ only 24 hours before now suddenly become shameful. Is justice shameful? Methinks not!
Then, again, he says “This was not an election but a shameless gathering of corrupt souls.” Really? Where is the evidence for this beyond beer parlour gossip?
And then he amazingly called on INEC to annul a convention and its winner that he had just praised profoundly? Are we dealing with another strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?
Even more bizarrely, Chief Fani-Kayode goes on to harangue the Peoples Democratic Party for giving its ticket to a Northerner, which in itself is a strange criticism, given the fact that for the last twelve months, Femi Fani-Kayode has been traversing Nigeria, telling whoever cares to listen that his preferred candidate for the office of the President of Nigeria come 2023 is Yahaya Bello, the incumbent Governor of Kogi state, who is, wait for it, a Northerner!
So, how do you even begin to situate these multiple contradictions coming from only one man? It reminds me of the response Christ got when he asked the demoniac from the Gerasenes what his name was. The man responded “my name is Legion, for we are many”-Mark 5:9.
It is hard to take the criticism of a man serious when you do not know which personality within him you would be dealing with on any given day.
And here he is accusing Atiku Abubakar and some phantom Northerners of having a hidden agenda of cheating the Rivers state Governor, Barrister Nyesom Wike.
But how can that be when Wike got much of his 237 votes from Northern delegates? Even more telling is the fact that Governor Wike himself blamed Southerners for his inability to emerge victorious.
Can Femi Fani-Kayode know where the shoe pinches on the legs of Governor Wike more than Governor Wike himself?
And why did he write that the South is wrong to perceive Muhammadu Buhari as an ethnic bigot? Really? Is this the same Femi? Any way, when ‘there are many of us’ you never can tell which personality you will be dealing with.
Because how can you eulogise a Buhari who on July 25, 2015 said “constituents, for example, gave me 97% cannot in all honesty be treated on some issues with constituencies that gave me 5%’?
And Buhari meant it. Look at how he has conducted his government in the last seven years?
And what did the Femi, who is now attacking Alhaji Atiku Abubakar over his Northernness (as if Waziri Atiku made himself a Northerner) say when a pregnant Northern woman named Harira, was killed with her four children in the South, just because she was identified as a Northerner?
He Kept quiet. Not a single word. Why? Yet he had plenty of sympathies for the shooting incidence in Texas.That is not the Femi we know, even taking into account the multiple personalities.
The 2023 elections should be about issues, not sentiments. And the main issue is that we need a man who has demonstrated in his own personal life that he can bring about prosperity for himself and others.
Why do I support Atiku Abubakar for President? Not because he is a Northerner. I support him for the following reasons:
He led the Economic Management Team that paid off Nigeria’s debt.
He privatised the telecom and cement industries, that exploded our GDP and created jobs.
He brought in technocrats into government.
He chaired the National Economic Council that brought GSM into Nigeria and which stabilised the Naira.
He pushed for the creation of the EFCC, and gave that corruption fighting body their first grant, from his budget, because they were created in between budgets.
He led the Obasanjo administration’s efforts to restore peace, law and order during the Sharia crisis of 2000.
In his private life, Atiku co-founded one of the largest oil and gas, and ports services firms in Africa in the 80s.
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, through that company, and other companies in his Priam group of companies, personally employs more people than many state governments.
He is also the proprietor of the American University of Nigeria, Yola, which is one of the best private universities in Africa, as well as the first American-style university in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Through that institution, he has given full scholarship to over a hundred students, including some of the #ChibokGirls.
The conclusion of the matter is that Nigeria is too unstable to be further destabilised by unstable persons.
I understand that Femi has a pending court case for fraud. As a result, it is easy for the government, through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to yank his chains and get him to say one thing today and the opposite tomorrow.
I sympathise with him, and I urge the public to also be compassionate with him, considering his ordeal. It cannot be easy being Yahaya Bello’s lackey, especially as Governor Bello is not known to be a lenient task master.
Reno Omokri is a Number One bestselling author, and the recipient of the Business Influencer of the Year 2022 award from Business Insider Magazine.