By Idowu Bankole
A former Aviation minister and frontline Nigerian politician Chief Femi Fani-Kayode has strongly defended Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s leadership qualities, saying Kanu is prepared to lay down his life for the Biafra agitation to come true.
Fani-Kayode noted that Nnamdi Knau’s leadership qualities endeared him to his followers. A man offered the whole world to give up his struggle and refused deserved more commendation and not just being described in uncharitable terms.
Fani-Kayode was a reaction to a comment by a presenter in a recent interview who described Mazi Nnamdi Kanu as a despotic leader to allowing his followers to prostrate before him.
The presenter noted that such display is not a trait of democratic leaders but pointed out that he has no problem with Nnamdi Kanu if the people from the SouthEast choose him as their leader.
But in a swift reaction, Chief Fani-Kayode pointed out that character of somebody like Nnamdi Kanu issue you touched, let me tell you that it is for the people of the east/Biafra/S/East to determine who they want as their leader and if they want somebody that’s strong-willed like Nnamdi to be their leader, then it’s their choice but let me also tell you as you’ve described him in very uncharitable terms now, I know this man, I’ve met this man. I’ve spoken to him, we’ve disagreed and we’ve also agreed.
“ We are very close but let me tell you this man is somebody that loves his people with so much passion and has risked everything and has lost so much simply because he stood up for his people.” He said.
He said, “There are so many things you’ve touched on there. Let me just say this, on the issue of self-determination, aspirations and character of somebody like Nnamdi Kanu issue you touched, let me tell you that it is for the people of the east/Biafra/S/East to determine who they want as their leader and if they want somebody that’s strong-willed like Nnamdi to be their leader, then it’s their choice but let me also tell you as you’ve described him in very uncharitable terms now, I know this man, I’ve met this man. I’ve spoken to him, we’ve disagreed and we’ve also agreed.
“We are very close but let me tell you this man is somebody that loves his people with so much passion and has risked everything and has lost so much simply because he stood up for his people.” He said
“This is a man who was offered the world to give up the struggle, but refused, he is a man I have immense respect for.” He said
“He has immense courage and I commend him for that courage, such a man cannot be easily dismissed. If his people are doing the things you are saying it’s because they recognize something that you may not recognize.”
“I’ve seen it, that is leadership, that is the strength which they need because they have been subjugated and they’ve suffered probably more than any other people in this country and he’s giving them hope and something to live for which is why they literally worship him in so many ways and I can’t take that from them or blame them for that.”
Sunday Igboho similar trait’s to Nnamdi Kanu
Chief Fani-Kayode also praised the self-acclaimed Yoruba activist, Chief Sunday Adeyemo popularly known as Sunday Igboho as someone who is has been able to tap into the psyche of the Yoruba Nation.
Fani-Kayode said, “I see the same thing unfolding with somebody like Sunday Igboho in the S/West and I recognize from the start.”
“ This is somebody again that has managed to tap into the psyche of the Yoruba nation, and he’s a living manifestation in my view of Oduduwa Republic and Oduduwa himself. Courageous, strong, uncompromised and clear thinking. And prepared to give up everything, probably including his life for the struggle, these are very rare types of people.” He said
“Leaders in the office right now, let me assure you will probably play a very limited role, lets take the Oduduwa Republic, for example, if we have Oduduwa Republic tomorrow, I can assure you those who have resisted it, don’t want it, and fought against it or betrayed those who want it will probably have very limited roles.”
“I challenge you like we’ve been trying to do for many years, you go out into the field and try to vote this doctrine out, get this person out or even get me out. Get in there and try to do it and see what ends up happening.
On the breakup of Nigeria and Restructuring
Chief Fani-Kayode noted that nothing can be changed politically in the country except Nigerians head all the way.
He said, “See what we have here is a situation you literally can’t change the leadership because the two political parties remain basically one and the same. You have individuals that are very good like Seyi Makinde, which is enough but I’ve mentioned a few governors, Ayade is also good, Umahi, Kogi governor, there are some good ones but the truth of the matter is the reality is that you’re not gonna change anything in this country politically unless you go all the way and we’re heading for the rocks now cos the system has failed all of us, everybody is scared.”
Fani-Kayode said as Nigerians are worried about the insecurity situation in the country the leaders are equally worried and scared because it is clear the country is heading for the rocks.
“Even those at the pinnacle of power because they can see that we’re on a sea that has icebergs waiting to sink our boat and everybody is worried about how we are gonna get through this. Now I don’t know what’s gonna happen but I can tell you this, I go back to the call for separatism is in vogue now.” He noted.
“The call for an independent nation in the S/West, S/East and parts of S/South is what’s in vogue right now or call to break the country. It’s to try to make people understand we can still make Nigeria work if things are done right.” He said
Fani-Kayode noted that he would be the first to lead the referendum for a Yoruba nation but was quick to say that if there is no referendum he would gladly support the restructuring of the country.
“We can do that but let me tell you this, my people in the South West say they want to go, I’ll be the first to say, listen I’m totally in support of that and nobody can take that away from me or from them. But as long as we don’t have that referendum, we must join hands with people from other parts of the country to try to create a peaceful issue of a state where people are equal because it is not even the corruption that people are worried about as bad as it is, what people are worried about is subjugation.”
“Now you take a man’s land, home, take his wife, take away everything about him, his faith, you strip him bare, shame him publicly, turn him to nothing and you kill his people and you expect people to accept that.”
“That is a fundamental issue we’re facing right now in this country and it’s really happening. And that is what people are resisting, so nobody is talking about politics anymore, it’s about survival now, its the central threat that we’re facing and excuse me if I have said people by talking in these harsh terms but I’m fed up with political correctness and I believe many of us have been proved right that we’re on the wrong course and we need to work together to chart a better course so that we can have peace in our country. And that’s what we need to do.”
“Peace is a choice today, Peace, Peace first.”
Vanguard News Nigeria