Femi Fani-Kayode And The “Igi-Woroko” Metaphor By Tomiwa Ilori
There have been agitations over the forth-coming elections in Nigeria. Less than a year away, the polity is heated up in debates of the choice of rulers to be presented to vie for various offices in the country. One of the most important of the elections is the Presidential elections. Several opinions have however continued to greet the possible choices of leaders to be presented on different platforms.
One of such opinions is that raised by Femi Fani-Kayode, a former Minister of Aviation during the Obasanjo tenure. His opinion was that the main opposition in the country, All Progressives Congress (APC) are brewing actions to field a Muslim/Muslim ticket for the upcoming Presidential elections and this, according to him is capable of breaking the fragile co-existence of the Nigerian entity.
It is no gain saying that the political weight of Femi Fani-Kayode is lightweight, he undoubtedly has the ears of the media so that whatever he says catches the frenzy of the moment even though it gets fizzled out on testing it with reason. While not ignoring the practicability of winning elections in a country like Nigeria where it is necessary to factorize issues of ethnic representation and sectional differences, the issue of religion in Nigerian politics is that which involves the utmost use of wisdom and tact. For men like Fani-Kayode who like to stay relevant by fanning the embers of nothingness, it is too detailed a thought process to consider that to actually move Nigeria forward in real terms of changing the status quo, religion should not be made the subject of discussion where mettle, capacity and performance are necessary.
While it is unnecessary to engage the “co-incidental” article on his Muslim/Muslim ticket with his visit to the state house in Abuja, there is a way personality is traced to integrity and integrity to politics, none of these three can be ascribed to Femi Fani-Kayode.
Also using the June 12, 1993 elections as an example, the Presidential ticket that won that election was a Muslim/Muslim ticket and the only thing that threatened the peace of the country was the annulment of that election and not the fielding of a Muslim/Muslim combination. That election was adjudged by the entire world as the best election to have ever been conducted in Nigeria. Using religion as the yardstick of election of candidates into offices already supposes that even where functionality and capabilities are available, religion ranks above them. This is happening in a country where the likes of Femi Fani-Kayode pride themselves as progressives and agents of change for her. Even if morals has continued to be a subjective discourse in relation to politics, it is worrying to have men with questionable history in fidelity and loyalty occupy the office of speaking in courts of public opinions. What Femi Fani-Kayode has done again, as characteristic of his person is to shoot arrows of disarray into the sky and decide to hide under a mortar. He was at the front line of derisive talks against the Igbos some months ago, that and this is not a quality of a good leader who wishes for a thing to progress. What Fani-Kayode speaks is not the truth, they are interests masquerading as principles. While at it, what actually gives him the conclusive impression that APC is fielding a Muslim/Muslim ticket? It is still raining, how do you know it will not be up to yesterday’s?
In Yorubaland, it is common practice to cook with tripod supports. This will enable sticks to be placed in each three spaces created by the tripod and whatever is placed on the tripod cooks faster by so doing. Sometimes, some of these sticks wreak havoc other than burn to cook the meal, they not only stop other sticks from burning, they ensure the meal never gets done. These kind of sticks are referred to as “Igi-Woroko.” The Nigerian situation can be likened to these tripods and several elements are allowed to serve as sticks to cook the country to taste in terms of internal and external sustenance and development. While people with genuine interests are thinking about how to foster and further the cause of a one Nigeria, the likes of Fani-Kayode as a crooked stick has continued to disrupt such goals and targets. This is evident from his crusade of division veiled in personal interests and the growing urge to be relevant.
For the purposes of growth and development, it is important to treat the likes of Fani-Kayode as petty and as having no positive worth to the country at large; his is the case of the crooked stick in the tripod that will not cook the meal and also ensure that other sticks don’t too. Leaders do not speak to scatter, they speak to gather.
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