The Merchant of the 30 Pieces of Silver: An Open Letter to Chief Femi Fani-Kayode(FFK)

Akintayo Balogun, Esq

Dear Sir,

The rumoured reports of your defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) came to a full-blown reality on Thursday 16th September 2021, when you were formally and publicly received into the party by President Buhari, in the company of the Governor Buni, the Caretaker Chairman of the APC. This finally makes us understand your recent and sudden romance with members of the APC whom you had vehemently disparaged in the past. The entire affiliation was to put your eventual defection in motion. Congratulations on the achievement of your well-played-out defection schedule. 

For several years now, especially from the era of former President Jonathan, I have followed you on social media, watched your videos, read your biography and family heritage, and listened closely to your commentaries, interactions, interventions, and interviews on national and international issues. I have watched your massive criticisms and debasements of the actions of the sitting government. I had respect for your stance and your courage to keep fighting even when it looked as if you are kicking against the goads. At some point, while several other opposition members seemed to have been successfully gagged by the forces of government, you were of one the very few vocal opposition voices that kept challenging the actions of the government that were inimical to Nigeria as a whole. Time and space will fail me to recount your numerous vocal outings against the government and even several State governments as well. Just a few months ago, you were on a tour of PDP-controlled States in the South-South to inspect ongoing projects, where a journalist asked you a question that irked you. These and many more were your activities in the immediate history. 

However, in recent times, everything you stood for and believed in came to a standstill. Suddenly you stopped criticizing the government and its functionaries. All the persons you once catcalled and taunted, suddenly became friends and brothers. All this sudden amorousness, finally culminated in your defection to the party you once referred to as a “rat-infested sinking ship”. In your words on Twitter, specifically on 15th December 2019, just 21 months ago, you stated thus:

“The suggestion that I joined the APC is false and insulting. Those that are peddling this fake news should bury their heads in shame. With what we have witnessed, I would rather die than join a filthy, rat-infested sinking ship like the Almajiri Peoples Congress (APC)…(1/5)”   

Having made such a strong statement, you still found solace in the said “rat-infested sinking ship”, whose content and composition has not changed from what it was 21 months ago when you made the above statement. To say your rumoured and eventual defection did not shock me is an exaggeration of an understatement. I am shocked, disappointed, embarrassed, and livid beyond a reasonable doubt. The shocker I got from your action is weightier than the shocker I got from the effect of a combination of the defection of Governors Umahi, Mattawalle, Ayade, and former Governor Akpabio. I am even more disappointed in your defection than in the rumoured defection of President Goodluck Jonathan because he has never been as vocal as you are in the Nigerian political space. I could feel the resentment of Seun Okinbaloye of Channels TV, as he interviewed you on 16th September 2021, because he had earlier interviewed you on this same issue and all you said on 16th September, is the direct opposite of all you once stood for. In your criticisms of government policies and functionaries, you went way below the belt in using unprintable and vulgar lines to smear everyone in power, including your kinsman, the Vice President of Nigeria. I am even now more convinced to reasonably believe that you are one of the reasons the Federal Government was forced to shut down Twitter in Nigeria due to your debased choice of words in your criticism of government policies and the loud silence of Twitter in curbing the choice of language on its platform. Today, you sit to wine and dine with the same people. If God were man and had taken you by the tweet you made 21 months ago, you wouldn’t have lived to see your defection. Thanks be to God for his mercies and continuous overlook of our ignoble transgressions. 

I had thought that some defections were impossible, unbelievable, unrealistic, and unimaginable, but I have come to realize that things that seem impossible, are possible in the Nigerian political space. The excuse that your reason for defecting is because there is a change in the leadership of the party is the lamest excuse I have heard of any politician. Sir, in case you are not aware, by law, you have based your defection on a system governed by a faulty leadership structure. You should be aware that a sitting governor cannot be leading a political party in any capacity. It is unconstitutional and as such a nullity. Hopefully, the court will soon decide this to your dismay. Is it this temporal contraption that made you change your allegiance? What a shame it will be when the said temporal leadership ceases to exist. 

Sir, one of the unfortunate things you have succeeded in doing by this defection is to confirm the notion that we have about most Nigerian politicians. That is, “Never take a Nigerian politician by his/her words because they don’t believe in what they are saying. They only open their mouths and allow anything to fall out of them. Anything, that is, whatever appeases the prevalent polity”. 

In your interview with pressmen immediately you stepped out of the President’s Chambers, you said you should not be held by what you have said in the past about APC and President Buhari’s led administration. Sir, what this means, in essence, is that you should NEVER be held or believed for anything you have ever said in the past, or you are saying in the present or you will ever say in the future, whether about APC, PDP, or anything that may fall from your mouth. We should never believe anything that comes from you because they are sure packed with insincerity, dishonesty disloyalty, and enormous betrayal. 

Sir, there is no other way to describe your action other than a betrayal of trust, a betrayal of goodwill, a betrayal of honour, a betrayal to all persons that have ever heard and or believed in you and held you in high esteem.  To say the least, Judas Iscariot is a learner where you are, he needs to come and take classes. You are the giver and receiver of the 30 pieces of silver. You are the betrayer that returned the 30 pieces of silver, pretended to have committed suicide, and still came back to pick the 30 pieces of silver from the floor of the temple and used same to buy “the potter’s field, to bury strangers”. You are the merchant, the architect, the prosecutor, and executor of your own coup d’état. You are not merely a betrayal to your party, you are a betrayal to yourself, to your name, to your honour, to your extended family, to your friends, to your followers, and to everyone that ever believed you had something to offer. When the deputy governor of Zamfara State refused to decamp alongside his principal to the APC, you came hard against him, accusing him of betrayal and disloyalty to his boss. If I may ask you sir, who now is the greater traitor? Is it a person that stays loyal to a party that gave him power or a person that backstabs everyone and everything he has stood for in the last 6 years? Sir, your level of betrayal and treachery should have a place in Nigeria’s Guinness book of record and same should be inducted into the hall of the most infamous Nigerians.

In your first interview on Channels TV as an APC member, you attributed your actions in the past to the fact that you did not know the President so well at the time. This boils down to the fact that a politician like you should never be trusted. It’s either you are now being untruthful or you have spent the past 6 years peddling falsehood about someone you know nothing about. It means you never did a thorough inquest of the person you spent the past 6 years criticizing and dragging in the mud. What a shabby person you are. The President Buhari you now praised is the same person you nearly crucified in the months preceding the 2015 general elections while vigorously campaigning for former President Goodluck Jonathan. This is the same President Buhari you said was responsible for the genocide during the Nigerian Civil War. Recently, I watched a clip where you had a chat with Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and you narrated your private discussions with the President to him. You alleged that this private discussion led to your decision to quit APC in the first place. You further stated emphatically that you no longer believe in the unity or oneness of the entity called Nigeria. Today, you have swallowed it all. You have suddenly joined APC to unite the same Nigeria you don’t believe in any longer. How preposterous and disheartening could this be? You have proved that you are not a man of your words. You are a man that faces the direction “wey belle face”. You have fully confirmed the statement of former President Obasanjo when he was quoted to have said “Fani Kayode is my boy, give him food, he will praise and sing for you”. Are we right to say that as the PDP could not feed you anymore, you move to another party where you would be fed? 

Sir, you have further given room to everyone to call you names. Just to mention a few, Sheik Gumi referred to you as the “Judas of Oduduwa”. What an appellation. In the words of Reno Omokiri in parts, he said “Politics without shame is the bane of Nigeria. This is why I urge those who love Nigeria to also love business. When you have independent sources of money, you will never call a cow your brother because you want to eat meat….” 

Today, you stand against every minutest thing you have spent the last 6 years of your life fighting for. Do we call them the wasted years of your life?

By the way, what is it about the political party and the political space that has changed so much to deserve your defection? What has changed? What is different? Has the naira become better? Have the rats you mentioned left the ship? Is the ship now afloat? Is Nigeria now a safer place to stay than it was 4 years ago? Has Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho, your alleged “friends and brothers” been released from custody? What has changed? Has the President changed? Has his cabinet changed? Has the ship stopped sinking or are you ready to sink with the ship? Or could it be that you were embittered in your former party and decided to punish them by doing all things within your power to subdue and frustrate them? These questions and many more plagued my mind as I watched and read your speech in justifying your defection to the APC. 

Since the inception of APC as a party, the party has always been known to accept every Tom, Dick, and Harry into its fold. As a matter of fact, since the commencement of the current APC-led administration, 90% of officeholders or big political figures that defected to the APC, are undergoing investigation by the EFCC. It has been the norm that investigations and prosecution of such defectors become docile if not closed once an accused person/suspect defects to the APC. You have joined the group that enjoys the acronym, “Pick the broom and become a saint”, yes you have. It is on record that in 2016, you were arraigned alongside a former Minister of finance Nenadi Usman, Danjuma Yusuf, and a firm, Joint Trust Dimension over the allegation of fraud to the tune of N4.9 Billion. We will see what will happen to this charge as the months go by. And to the ruling party that had once vowed never to accept you. Suddenly, you become the saint accepted into the fold by the President himself. 99.99% of founding and subsisting members of the APC have been faithful to the party from when it was APP to ANPP to ACN and to the combo that produced APC, yet they have never had the privilege of seeing the President, but on Thursday, 16th September 2021, a prodigal son that has reduced the party to a nonentity (rat-infested party), was honored and welcomed into the party by the President himself. This buttresses the fact that our political parties have no ideology, no concept, no criteria, no focus, no way of life, no order, no pattern, no standard, no route, no rules of engagement, no policy drive, no restriction, and no agenda. The parties believe in quantity and not in quality. 

Taking a deeper look into the Nigerian political space, I realized nothing has changed, you are just the regular and typical Nigerian politician, o yes you are. The majority of Nigerian politicians are disciples of the winds. They go in whatever direction the wind blows them. This is obviously the direction the wind is blowing you at this juncture of your political career. Save us the claims that you were moved by the Holy Spirit to decamp from the PDP. Leave out the Holy Spirit and God from your style of politicking. You had earlier talked about the same God while you were in the PDP. The Holy Spirit is not the author of confusion. He does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His words do not fall to the ground. All your own words have fallen to the ground ‘yakata’ and have left us in a state of confusion about who you are and what you have ever stood for. Proverbs 12:19b says, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.

Interestingly, you have even commenced your political career in APC on a wrong and false filled footing by making claims that you were responsible for the defection of 3 Governors to APC. Governor Umahi in a quick reaction to your allegation has denied your involvement in his porting to the APC. Is this the new controversial energy you are bringing into APC? Is this the brand of misguided statements you are bringing into the party? Welcome o!  

Lessons to learn

  1. Dearly beloved Nigerians, and especially the Nigerian youths, never take a Nigerian politician by his/her words because they don’t believe in what they are saying. They only open their mouths and allow anything to fall out of them. Anything, that is, whatever appeases the prevalent polity. Their words can never be respected because they will always turn their backs on everything they have ever said once the opportunity beckons on them. The political enemies you see that fight in the daytime, dine together at night, and remain bosom friends, while their followers are taking sides and spilling blood. While reacting to the backlash that greeted the presence of FFK at the wedding of President Buhari’s son, FFK argued that there is no permanent enemy in politics. Wow… Therefore, don’t kill yourself for them. The defectors never defected in our interest, they either defected to save their heads from prosecution or in the hope to secure another term in office.
  1. Dearly beloved Nigerians, hustle o, and become a person of worth and means, devoid of political influence. Leave the politicians alone, there is no future with them. Soon they will fade away and be remembered for the evil they have done. Build your life along the part of integrity and honor. Let us disappoint these politicians and make them irrelevant in our lives. He that has an ear, let him hear.
  1. Be careful what you say or do today. The internet and the newspapers never forget. Your careless outings or words of today will hunt you tomorrow. Time and space will not allow me to quote politicians that nearly swore on their lives that they will never join or return to a party, but today they are part and parcel of that political party. Sometimes, silence is golden.       

I will conclude this letter with Reno Omokiri’s prayers. He prayed thus:

“May I never be in a situation where I will have to return to my vomit because my stomach is empty. God, I beg you. I beg you. In Christ’s name! 

Sir, using your own words, let me welcome you into the Almajiri Peoples Congress (APC). I will watch as you begin to justify every single thing you have spent the last 6 years working against. My little piece of advice to you, use the 30 pieces of silver well because it would soon finish and you will soon be out fishing for new guts. 

O di gba o…

Yours faithfully, 

Signed

Akintayo Balogun, Esq

akinson6@gmail.com


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