Femi Fani Kayode’s Gaffe And Bigotry On Lagos Deportations By Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu
Many Nigerians would qualify to be rebranded a different species of Homo sapiens totally separate from all other human species. The evidence of these unusual phenomena is obvious in the uncommon absurdities, the monumental injustice, the sheer wickedness, the groundswell of hate and the self destruction with which the nation is defined. Added to this is the total and abject failure of Nigeria in spite of Olympian endowments in human and material resources. There is no other nation on the face of the earth with Nigeria’s endowments that has failed as much as Nigeria neither is there any precedent in human history. Nigeria is thus a human and historical exception in failure.
But wait a minute; Nigeria is not inhabited by animals, Nigeria is inhabited by human beings and led by human beings many of whom unfortunately like the Femi Fani Kayode’s of this world might not even be human at all or even if they are human constitute a different species. It is such abnormal beings that have broken the world record of making a richly endowed nation the greatest experiment in failure ever known to man. And thus nothing works, even though we have everything that should make it work, and thus we are only capable of hate including self hate, which is why a councillor or local government chairman will steal and deprive the very community he or she comes from, the governor will steal and deprive the state he comes from, the president will steal and deprive the nation he comes from, and thus we engage in nothing other than self destruction as the world watches in amazement. It is not surprising that Nigeria has produced more sadists and more mass killers than Adolf Hitler.
Not even animals have ever been known to indulge in the level of self destruction and perfidy associated with Nigeria. Animals do take responsibility for their children/ siblings, they don’t kill their own kind and they have a social structure and community that is recognisable in the herds of a kind that often throng together. Nigeria has thus proven to be even more debased than animals have ever been capable off and the reason is clear; the quality of humanity of many Nigerians which has in turn influenced their character and the way they think. There have been suggestions in some quarters that many Nigerians are mentally disturbed and thus lunatics, but even mad persons do have basic common sense which is something that is totally absent in many of these characters that have vandalised the nation.
One of such characters is Femi Fani Kayode, a relevance seeking opportunist who is fond of jumping into every national issue and almost always injecting tribalism into simple issues of citizenship or social justice as his strategy of finding relevance. Being incapable of being objective or constructive, his articles/utterances are often full of contradictions and sometimes outright nonsense. He has nonetheless carved a niche for himself as a disrespectful talkative loudmouth and one of the rabidly bigoted/ignorant Nigerians who thrive in fanning the flames of the “tribalism industry.” The recklessness and illogicality’s he brings to bear on issues of national importance no doubt marks him out as one of those many Nigerians who should be rebranded a different species of humanity responsible for Nigeria’s damning predicament. Nowhere is this more demonstrated than his take in the constitutional issue of deportation of persons from Lagos, which he has characteristically and laughably chosen to make a tribal issue. A man of Fani Kayode’s education is ordinarily expected to be able to distinguish between emotional issues and constitutional issues, he is also expected to like a member of a jury be capable of good judgement on the side of justice devoid of sentiments for the simple reason that as the saying goes “injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere”. But Fani Kayode found it impossible to exercise good judgement, because he belongs to the group who thrive in the “tribalism industry” and in the suffering of Nigerians including his own people.
The illegality of the action of the Lagos state government in the deportation of person should be obvious even to the layman. Nigeria has a constitution which spells out very clearly the rights of every Nigerian to reside wherever they chose in any part of the nation without let or hindrance. In violation of this constitutional right Governor Fashola started a campaign of institutional kidnapping (arresting and holding persons against their will) and deportation of persons to several states within Nigeria. At the last count Fashola has deported people to several Northern states, to Oyo, Ogun states and recently to Onitsha where at the dead of night persons some of whom were from Edo state, Delta and Kogi states were dumped. Some of the deported persons were reportedly lunatics who could not communicate or express themselves and it is possible that some of them might even be from Lagos state or elsewhere.
The pretext is that the deported persons are homeless and destitute who were repatriated to reunite them with their family; but you don’t hold people against their will/constitutional rights and dump them at night along the road and claim to be reuniting them with their families. Government exists to provide for the most downtrodden and impoverished in society. It is the responsibility of government to invest in creating jobs, opportunities, and to rehabilitate the downtrodden including the disabled in their respective jurisdictions and not to deport them. In all normal and well governed societies, government has a massive budget of social welfare with which they provide for social housing, unemployment allowances for those who have no jobs, disability allowances, medical cards and other varieties of social aid.
There are thousands of technically destitute Nigerians residing in Britain, Ireland, France, Germany and elsewhere who have been housed by the government in council houses and who depend on their livelihood from social welfare payments and other benefits. The government of those countries have not deported Nigerians back to Nigeria because they are destitute and dependent on the government to survive in line with the logic of Lagos state government and their enablers like Fani Kayode. If Fashola was so interested in resolving the issue of destitution he could have shown an example by rehabilitating indigenes of his state, but it is not on record anywhere that Fashola has provided social housing, unemployment benefits, medical insurance and other social aid to poor indigenes of Lagos state. It is thus evident that what Fashola has manifested is the usual sadism and wickedness of Nigerian leaders and their disdain for the poor and downtrodden.
In light of the tragedy of the deportations, it is shameful but not surprising given his antecedents that Fani Kayode descended so low as to make it a tribal issue when he said amongst others that “ the Ibos where given back their properties when they returned to Lagos after the Nigeria-Biafra war, and that while Ibos have been free to invest in Lagos the East has not allowed the Yoruba’s to invest there”. This is the extent of ignorance, bigotry and deceit Fani Kayode brought to an issue that has to do with justice and constitutionality. In the first place it is preposterous for Fani Kayode to reduce the tragedy of the Biafran war to returned properties when it is obvious that the needless lives lost is more valuable than properties, it is also obvious that the Biafrans who were willing to fight and die in that conflict would have preferred to have Biafra and loose the so called properties rather than the situation in Nigeria today with all the injustice, oppression and bigotry people like him have sowed which is why after the millions of lives lost to keep the nation together there are still people like him insisting that it was right to deport Nigerians in their own country.
The injustice and genocide of Biafra is an open sore which should continue to haunt people like Fani Kayode because his kith and kin participated in the mass slaughter to usurp the inalienable rights of a people to self determination (he himself has severally advocated a sovereign national conference) recognised under international law in the United Nations charter which could have been determined through democratic means by holding a plebiscite or referendum. One wonders where Kayode finds the moral right to talk of the Biafran war when 43 years after the conflict people like him are supporting the deportation of Nigerians in their own supposed country? How does he find the moral right to talk of Biafra when his father who was the deputy premier to Ladoke Akintola was part of the group that fought/conspired against chief Obafemi Awolowo and pioneered election rigging in Nigeria through the massive rigging fiesta in the Western region in 1964 that unleashed the violence (wetie) that eventually led to the January 1966 coup and consequently the war? If not for corrupt acts of people like Fani Kayode’s father in rigging elections and orchestrating violence in the West, there would have been no coup and thus no war. It is easy for hypocrites like Kayode to conveniently bypass the facts when he talks of Biafra and the crisis that led to it but historical facts are on record and his father played some of the critical corrupt roles that truncated the nation’s democracy and led to the war.
Secondly, his premise that the Yoruba have not been allowed to invest in the East is the most laughable deceit of the century, because there is no law that forbids the Yoruba from investing in the East. Yoruba’s have not invested in the East because they choose not to. For someone like myself who grew up in what was then Midwest and later Bendel state, I don’t remember seeing any Yoruba person or Yoruba investment in the area. Maybe Fani Kayode will also claim that the people of the Midwest which incidentally used to be part of the Western region also prevented them from investing there. Truth is; Yoruba’s are generally not given to much migration and investment outside their region within Nigeria. You are more likely to see a Yoruba person in London than in Calabar and you are more likely to see Yoruba investments in properties and others in London than in Benin City. Even in Abuja which by virtue of being the federal capital attracts all Nigerians, you are more likely to see other Nigerians owning properties and investing than you would Yorubas, I am not aware of any law that stops Yorubas from investing in Abuja as much as other Nigerians. This tendency to shun investments outside the West for whatever reason is the real reason why there isn’t much Yoruba investment in the East and elsewhere and not the garbage peddled by the likes Kayode. He might himself be in a better position to tell us why his people are loath to investing outside their region.
Another factor, Fani Kayode conveniently ignored is how the federal government policy has affected migration and investment in Nigeria. Nigerian migration and investment is driven mainly by federal presence and investments in infrastructure. This is why Nigeria with a population in excess of 150 million people only has only two major cities of note; namely Lagos and Abuja. After the war with the consolidation of the unitary system, much development was driven only by the federal government. Lagos being the then federal capital benefitted from a massive investment in infrastructure and federal presence, it is estimated that 90% of the infrastructure in Lagos state was built by the federal government. Murtala Muhammed international airport, Tin Can Port, Federal palace hotel, Ikoyi Hotel, 1004 towers, national secretariat towers, national stadium, national arts theatre, Nitel building (the tallest in Nigeria) Eko bridge, third mainland bridge, carter bridge and all the flyovers in Lagos amongst so many other infrastructure were built by the federal government. There is more federal presence and more flyovers built by the federal government in Lagos alone than the whole of the Southeast, South-south and North Central. If as bigots like Fani Kayode deceitfully claim, Lagos was developed by the West then we should have seen much of that development in Ibadan which was after all the capital of the Western region.
No city in Nigeria has benefitted as much in federal investments and presence like Lagos with the only exception being Abuja which is the current federal capital. Without this massive federal investments Lagos would predictably have been like so many other small desolate coastal towns across Nigeria. This massive government presence and infrastructure naturally pushed migration of jobseekers, private investors and others towards Lagos, (this same phenomenon is being presently replicated in Abuja) and naturally created the cosmopolitan city Lagos became. Notably, at the same time that Lagos was benefitting from massive federal investments, other parts of Nigeria particularly the East was ignored and even marginalised. Since capital and people mostly go where there is infrastructure and federal presence which is evident across the world in London, Paris, Dublin, Amsterdam, Belgium, Acrra, Nairobi amongst others being the most cosmopolitan cities in their countries the influx was routed to Lagos. Abuja, until recently an empty forest has been transformed through massive federal investments. It is very likely that Fani Kayode being one of the “federal looters” with ill gotten wealth has a home or office in Abuja because of its status as the federal capital, how would Kayode feel if Northerners some years later start insulting residents of Abuja and claiming the North developed Abuja?
All factors considered, Fani Kayode can thus not have expected the Yoruba’s to invest in the East even if they wanted to when the federal government made sure as a state policy after the civil war to lock the East out of all federal presence and infrastructure, which happens to be the factors that drives migration and investments. If for example Enugu or Sapele happened to be Nigeria’s capital with all the federal presence an infrastructure that goes with it, the same corresponding migration and investments from all sections of Nigeria would take place there the same way it happened in Lagos and now happening in Abuja. The undisputable fact is that federal presence and infrastructure is the chief driver of migration and investments in Nigeria. For this same reason and factors, it is very rare to see non natives settled elsewhere in the West outside Lagos, and even Yoruba’s themselves from all the other states invest and settle more in Lagos than elsewhere in the West. The factors that made Lagos an area of influx and that inhibited migration and investments in other parts of Nigeria is an issue that someone like Fani Kayode is expected to understand
The question of who owns Lagos should never arise except in the heads of the ignoramus who thrive in the “tribalism industry” like Fani Kayode, for the simple reason that Lagos like all Nigerian cities, towns, villages and even natural resources under her soil is owned by all Nigerians. This is after all why crude oil resources that is obtained mainly from the Niger-Delta is allocated to all states and local governments across Nigeria, an allocation that exclusively sustains most of the states in Fani Kayode’s region. Kayode used to live in Acrra which happens to be the largest city in Ghana settled by people from all parts of the country, I am not sure he ever witnessed a situation where the Acrra authorities were deporting people to other parts of Ghana? And since he is the only one in his family who lives in Nigeria according to his own admission, how would he feel if all his relations abroad are deported back to Nigeria because they assessed social welfare or any social aid from the state? Does his relations’ residing abroad have anymore entitlements and rights of residence in the foreign countries where they reside than Nigerians in their own country? Instead of always pandering to ignorance/bigotry and insulting residents of Lagos as the likes of Fani Kayode and his co travellers have become notorious for, he should be grateful to all Nigerians that the federal government located much federal investments in his region at the expense of other regions which created the cosmopolitan city that Lagos is.
Corruption and tribalism are Nigeria’s two biggest industries; not surprisingly Fani Kayode is heavily invested in both, but It is important to remind people like him who have infamously tried to reduce a constitutional and moral issue to a tribal issue, that Fashola has also deported persons to Oyo and Ogun states who happen to be from the same region, it is also possible that some of the lunatics dumped in Onitsha who could not identify themselves are indigenes of Lagos state. Injustice has no boundaries and Fashola’s action if unchecked means that even Fani Kayode who is not himself from Lagos state could be deported someday. Knowing the history of Africa with ethnically and religiously homogenous countries like Somalia and Rwanda torn by strife and conflicts, Fani Kayode should realise that injustice can tear apart even members of the same immediate family. Nigeria has failed because of the penchant to perpetrate, justify injustice and fan the flames of tribalism. Nothing destroys a people or nation like injustice and people like Fani Kayode should realise that injustice has no boundaries.
While he conveniently wears the tribal coat as a relevance seeking gambit, It is not a secret that the likes of Fani Kayode loves no one but himself, neither does he speak for the Yoruba; an urbane and sophisticated people who must find him an embarrassment. He simply belongs to the sadistic, unconscionable, bigoted and wicked political class that have destroyed the nation. The fact that he is currently facing trial for looted funds while a minister of aviation lends credence to the fact that he is just another vulture waiting to devour the carcass of the suffering Nigerian. While a minister of aviation he had no achievement beyond looting the coffers and planes were crashing from the sky like rain drops. There are suggestions that he is a disturbed person, some suggest he is high on drugs, while all that may be true, I believe his real problem is belonging to the different species of Homo sapiens that have made Nigeria a laughing stock in the world and vindicated the racists who claim the black race is inferior. My parting advice to him is to repent, seek to retrieve his humanity, seek treatment and learn to be on the side of justice if he hopes that his children, siblings and future generations can have a normal nation and society to live in where they will be free from all types of bigotry, oppression and inhumanity.
Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu
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