A recent essay that appeared in some online news media titled “Femi Fani-Kayode and the Laughter of Biafra” purportedly written by one Emmanuel Uchenna Ugwu, was obviously written before the brain was engaged as it generously manifested the uncontrolled masturbatory ejaculation of a writer who gave himself away as one of the famed dogs and baboons of Buhari and Tinubu.
The writer made a greatly laborious but unsuccessful attempt at denigrating Chief Femi Fani-Kayode’s call for the rights of those who are peacefully seeking self-determination from Nigeria to be respected and upheld. He joined other leaders and civil societies from all over the world to call for the immediate release of Mr Nnamdi Kanu, Director of Radio Biafra and Leader of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB), and respect his rights.
In an attempt to justify his pay cheque, Ugwu tried to remind his readers of what FFK as he is popularly known had said and had not said about the Igbo in the past in order to make him look like an enemy rather than a friend despite his continued support not only for the Igbo but also for all the oppressed and downtrodden everywhere. Hear him: “If you didn’t know that Femi Fani-Kayode was a Nigeria-Biafra civil war revisionist and a militant Igbophobia crusader…”
What Ugwu forgot to tell his readers is that Fani-Kayode has been a friend of the Igbo even more than some acclaimed Igbo leaders who lack the courage to stand by their own in trying times. While some Igbo leaders have sat on the fence on the misfortune that have been visited upon the Igbo race in Nigeria, Fani-Kayode has stood by the Igbo over time as much as he has stood with other oppressed people. He is the perfect example of what the Bible describes in the Book of Proverbs 18:24 – “…there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother”.
Let it be known to all that whatever Fani-Kayode has said in the past about the Igbo was in the course of an intellectual debate between him and his Igbo counterparts. In the process, a lot of historical facts were thrown up from both sides to either support and strengthen their respective positions or oppose and weaken the argument of the other side. And as an intellectual debate that stripped history bare, some historical events did not favour the Igbo just as some did not favour the Yoruba. One must however admit that both sides had hot exchanges about the other which many mischievous observers have misconstrued as hatred for whichever tribe one represents. The good thing is that, like in any respectable debate, the rivalry stops there and life continues beyond that without bitterness.
It is in light of this that Fani-Kayode has not only been eulogising the Igbo and what they represent but also stoutly defended the race most often even against his own kinsmen as long as it serves the cause of justice and equity. For example, in the run up to the gubernatorial election in April 2015, Fani-Kayode had described the unfortunate threat of the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwanu Akiolu, against the Igbo when he declared that the Igbos in Lagos would perish in the lagoon if they did not vote for the Oba’s choice for Lagos State governor, it was Fani-Kayode who among few others stood for the Igbo and described the Oba’s threat as “ominous” and “unacceptable”. The question we need to ask is, where were people like Emmanuel Uchenna Ugwu and his village champions then?
Furthermore, it is on record that the former Minister of Aviation employed far more Igbo people than even the Yoruba, his own tribe of origin while he was Minister of the Federal Republic. In 2012, he had written glowingly about Chief Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu the late renowned and undisputable Igbo leader thus: “This is the effect that Ojukwu had on me…He was a great and proud warrior; a true son of Africa, the strength and pride of the Igbo race”.
Also, in 2011, eulogising the sterling virtues of Igbo women, Fani-Kayode wrote; “…the Igbos seem to have taken over in this respect and are now well-ahead of the rest of Nigeria. Just a few years and look at what they have achieved. It really is quite remarkable. Can anyone tell me their secret or why this is so? What could be responsible for their doggedness, their natural drive, their tremendous energy and their great strength of character? What is it about these strong-willed eastern women of Bantu and Igbo extraction that now and all of a sudden sets them so far apart?”
Can such flowery words as far back as 2011/12 come from a heart of hate? Certainly not!
So, those who wish to pit Fani-Kayode against the Igbo race have failed abysmally. We perceive that this is a deliberate plan by the dogs and baboons possibly hired by Buhari and Tinubu to get back at Fani-Kayode for the way and manner he challenges them on germane national matters. Their messenger, Ugwu, is nothing but a cheap slanderer, a liar, and a dog whose mission is to try to destroy the messenger rather than deal with the message.
What he and those that commissioned him to do that hatchet job fail to appreciate is that this whole struggle is not about FFK or what anyone thinks of him, it is about Biafra, about the Igbo. It is not about FFK but about the brutality and hegemonic ways of the Nigerian state, the Fulani oppressors and the Buhari government. Whether Ugwu likes it or not, FFK has emerged as one of the courageous voices and formidable heroes in the present struggle for equity and justice for the oppressed people of Nigeria. He has stood up to our collective tormentors and our slave masters from the north and that is all that counts.
- Follow Jude Ndukwe on Twitter @stjudendukwe