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Fani Kayode: A consistent inconsistent politician

David Oluwafemi Adewunmi Fani-Kayode, controversial, maverick, and feather-weight politician, is known to be loud-mouthed and inconsistent. Even in his private or family life, Femi Fani-Kayode, or FFK, as he is popularly called, is also unstable.

With a privileged and distinguished parental background: his great-grand father, being one of the earliest Nigerians to be educated in England; his grand-father, a Cambridge law graduate; and his father, also a Cambridge law graduate, prominent politician and Deputy Premier of the defunct Western Region; Femi Fani-Kayode, no doubt, must have been brought up as a spoilt child.

As later to manifest itself both in his public and private life, Femi’s education voyage was floating, rather unstable. He first entered Brighton College, United Kingdom, at the age of eight years, after which he left and went to Holmewood House School in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, South-East England. Femi later left the school and went to Harrow School in Harrow on the Hill, United Kingdom. He then went to Kelly College in Tavistock, also in the United Kingdom, where he finally completed the rest of his public education.

Femi Fani-Kayode was at Cambridge University, where his grand-father, his father, and his elder brother, had previously read law, and from there, he went to the Nigerian Law School, and was called to the Nigerian bar in 1985.

Femi Fani-Kayode’s political life is chequered and unstable. He jumps from pillar to post, from one political party to the other. In 1989, he was a member of the Nigerian National Congress (NNC), and was elected its national youth leader.

Less than a year later, in 1990, he jumped ship and joined the National Republican Convention (NRC), where he was appointed Chief Press Secretary to Chief Tom Ikimi, the NRC National Chairman.

In 1991, Femi Fani-Kayode moved again, and was made Special Assistant to Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi, former head of the Nigerian Security Organisation (NSO).

During the Abacha’s military junta, Femi Fani-Kayode joined the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), but fled the country in 1996. He came back to Nigeria in 2001 and joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and was appointed member of Obassnjo’s Presidential Campaign Team for the 2003 presidential election.

After President Obasanjo won that election, Femi Fani-Kayode was rewarded with the appointment of Special Assistant on Public Affairs to the President. He used that position to lambast or attack all perceived opponents of the Obassnjo administration, including those who were opposed to the former President’s alleged Third Term bid.

In 2006, Femi Fani-Kayode was appointed Minister of Culture and Tourism, but was later redeployed to the Aviation Ministry, as Minister.

When Obassnjo left office in 2007, Femi Fani-Kayode began a weird dance. In November 2009, before Umaru Yar’Adua, Obasanjo’s successor, fell ill, FFK wrote a poem titled, “I Stand And I Fight”, in which he described Yar’Adua as “a sickly tyrant with an Amalikite Foundation”.

When Yar’Adua left Nigeria and flown to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment, Femi Fani-Kayode wrote a satire titled “Corpsology: Umaru’s Gift to the Modern World”, where he defined “Corpsology” as “the rulership of the living by the dead”.

When Yar’Adua finally died, Femi Fani-Kayode dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and joined the All Progressive Congress (APC). He remained with the APC until June 2014, when he again left the party and rejoined the PDP.

Now that Femi Fani-Kayode has started romancing with the APC, nobody should be surprised. It is true to type. He had visited the party’s interim National Chairman, Mai Mala Buni, and Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, who categorically stated that FFK had joined the ruling party.

Perhaps, Femi Fani-Kayode is bringing to bear his unstable married life into the world of politics. He has been married for four or five times, and got divorced on each occasion, thereby changing women like wrapper.

His first marriage was to Saratu “Baby” Atta, in 1987. In 1990, they divorced. In 1991, he married Yemisi Olasunbo Adeniji. In 1995, they divorced. Regina-Hanson Amonoo was his third wife. They were married in 1997. He equally divorced her and married Precious Chikwendu, a former beauty queen, in 2014. In 2020, he kicked out Precious Chikwendu, after accusing her of infidelity.

FFK is a quick-tempered politician. On August 25, 2020, while attending a press conference during his tour of Southern Nigeria, Femi Fani-kayode insulted and denigrated a journalist who asked him a simply question: “Who is bankrolling your tour?”

He burst out in anger and began to dress the poor journalist down. Media houses as well as Nigerians on Twitter and other social networks expressed great displeasure at his barrage of insults. He later publicly apologized to the journalist.

Femi Fani-Kayode has no political ideology. He has no permanent friend. He is a fairweather politician. He is an urban gorilla. He is a rolling stone that gathers no moss. Nobody can point at what Femi Fani-Kayode’s membership of the PDP was able to do for the party both during the 2015 and 2019 general elections in Osun State, where he comes from, and in Lagos State, where he lives.

If thus, Femi Fani-Kayode finally leaves the PDP and joins the APC, I doubt whether anybody in the PDP will miss his absence, nor even the APC, will see him as an asset.

Dr. Eze writes from Enugu

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