…Fani-Kayode’s outbursts betrays his vanity and hypocrisy
Nigerians have continued to react to the arrogant outburst of the former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode against a journalist who asked him a question of who was financing the tours he has embarked on within the southern part of the country when he hosted newsmen for press briefing at Calabar, Cross River State.
A clearly harmless question by the journalist seemed to have offended the sensitibilties of the former presidential assistant, who then unleashed his acidic tongue on the journalist from Daily Trust, calling him ‘stupid.’
Like many Nigerians, I was not surprised by the arrogance of the outspoken People’s Democratic Party chieftain because such haughty demonstrations mostly reside with men of affluence and influence, but what should be deeply examined and underlined in all the fouled remarks was the source of his rage. And this is a lesson for all and sundry.
It has always been asserted that there are reasons behind our actions, whether it is consciously or unconsciously regarded. This was obvious in the drama that played out between the host, Fani-Kayode and the learned and courteous, Eyo Charles of the Daily Trust.
The question was asked to reveal if there was anybody, be it politician or businessman, that was bankrolling his tour of the South. This question was not out of place. First, Fani Kayode is no longer a public officer. So, it was appropriate to determine if he was expeding his personal resources touring the South on inspection of public projects.
But instead of giving a simple answer, the former minister went on a tirade. Perhaps, he was more frustrated by the current state of affairs than he cared to admit as he outrageously yelled: “I have been in politics since 1990. I am not one of those politicians that you think will just come… I was taken, I have been locked up how many times by this government. I have been prosecuted, unlike most of these politicians you follow for brown envelopes!”
Without mincing words, Femi Fani-Kayode was frustrated. He uttered that he had been locked up by the present administration! Definitely, he had been battered, both physically, psychologically and probably financially, considering the fact that he would pay his lawyers who had represented him in his trials against the government.
And, honestly the fact is that Nigerians are frustrated in one way or the other in the hands of this government. Maybe only a few are excluded from the present frustration.
Now, in my view, Fani-Kayode was not as guilty in the error of insulting Charles, as he is of his derisive apology. It was absolutely demeaning of his personality. That was where he showed his character-flaws.
In his pompous apology, he said: “I hereby withdraw the word ‘stupid.’” He went further to say that, “I have many friends in the media who I offended by losing my cool and using such words.” Obviously, his apology was not to the journalist verbally assaulted or the Daily Trust Media Ltd, but to his friends.
It is unfortunate that Fani-Kayode, a seasoned writer, respected lawyer, astute publicist who should be gentlemanly in his approach with the fourth estate, has exhibited otherwise by being perpetually adamant and arrogant. He was not remorseful and I can utterly profess that Nigerian youths and citizens at large, should learn from this. The politician has just lost his respect due to this egotistical attitude.
Let me assert here again for the sake of emphasis that it is human to make mistakes, it is angelic to admit mistakes, but it is godly to correct mistakes. Now, if you defend your mistakes without being humble to embrace remorse, that is satanic.
Nigerian political and economic leaders should continually be aware of the legacy they are bequeathing to the coming generations. Our political leaders should begin to sit and have a rethink on what they display in character, attitude and behaviour.
Of course, we all know that character supersedes personality. I think we have exalted personality more than character in this generation, and this adversely affects us as a nation – a deficiency we should all correct.
Finally, the other edge of my sword faces all of us with our social media platforms. I’ve had cases of people calling their friends names for posting what is contrary to their opinions on their Facebook or Twitter page. They brag with, “it is my page,” “You dare not post this on my page,” “how dare you insult me on my page?” and many more pompous remarks.
If you know there are some people you can’t regard their views on social media, you shouldn’t have made it public, or better still don’t add them as friends. This is where it all begins. Just as the case with Fani-Kayode should not have granted the journalists opportunity in the first place if he knew he couldn’t entertain some questions.
Nigeria is unarguably inundated with attitudinal depravities. It is natural that man’s influence and affluence inflate his ego. However, man is still naturally endowed with sobriety to correct his anomalies and adjust his pride.
The question is if he is willing to conform to the norms and values of the society, and not by his standards as Fani-Kayode claimed in the subject being discussed. As my outcry has always been, we can be better than this as a nation. I believe all our national woes and institutional calamities can be amended if our moral and attitudinal paucity is constantly checked and evaluated.