READERS, I mean very regular regulars of this column who have an ardent longing for it, would not hesitate, if pertinently questioned, to answer that I have a burning love for newspapers. In fact, as I love newspapers ardently, so also do they burn with an ardent fever of neglect if per chance I fail or omit to deliver them, even for a day, to my voraciously huge appetite that has countless reservoirs in my brain, and being entire. My appetence for newspapers and theirs for me in return do not derive from my duty and diligence as a columnist. Let us just say that whatever arguments that we may canvas for this subject of love between me and newspapers boil down to my unequalled love for printed matter. (Once-upon-a-time I used to holler that no member of my generation grabbed and read with ardour any printed matter more than my good self. Oh! Hubris of youth!).
The weekend, that is, Saturday, 30 July to Sunday, 31 July 2016 was particularly a glowing one for me with respect to my consumption of nearly all the weekend papers that were then in consummate competition for my attention. Oh! How I devoured them as a consummate devourer fulfillingly devours a lover he espouses.
More than several items truly and interestingly caught my attention. They covered the arts, literature, politics, religion, medicine, sports, and other stories and subjects that were stories and subjects that excited a great desire in me regarding assortment of emotions they conjured up in me.
In today’s column I am settling for two pieces in Sunday Tribune and Sunday Vanguard both of 31 July, 2016. The two pieces that were respectively in the named newspapers centred on two high profile Nigerians of distinguished airs. The Sunday Vanguard piece was an interview our Senate Majority Leader, Mr. Muhammed Ndume granted Olalekan Bilesanruyi on pages 37 and 38 of the paper. The Sunday Tribune one, what appeared to me to be the paper’s 31 July piece de resistance, was Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode’s opinion article on page 33. By the way, to those whose memories are already playing the tragic joke of damnable forgetfulness with them, Mr. Fani-Kayode is a past Aviation Minister of Nigeria and ex-President Jonathan’s campaigner-in-chief in the 2015 presidential election. Until recently, he was an unwilling tenant in what he has called “President Muhammadu Buhari’s gulag.” Clearly, Ndume and Fani-Kayode are two young men, two youthful youths of politics, Nigerian style, who have been blessed immensely by the Lord of Bountiful Opportunity and of Luckful luck. One is a North East stock Northerner and an enthusiastically enthusiastic supporter of President Buhari whom he wishes us to accept as his mentor-in-chief in his scale of three mentors: President Buhari, Ashiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu (APC’s national leader), and Oba of Lagos. The other is a staunch Yoruba of Ife stock of Western Nigeria, and a severe and fierce critic of President Buhari. I took more than a pleasure in beholding their views on President Muhammadu Buhari.
Ndume, among other things, defended Buhari’s federal appointments so far, appointments that have heavily favoured Ndume’s and Buhari’s Northern Nigeria. As the senator argued over a serious matter he tried to argufy, every appointment of the president is a “privilege,” for the president “has the discretion as to who he wants and when he wants it, bearing in mind the principle of Federal Character.” Phew!
The senator went further: “When former President Goodluck Jonathan was making appointments then, northerners were marginalised. And the heavens didn’t fall.” By Jove! If Dr. Jonathan was wrong, as surely he was, must Alhaji Buhari be wrong as well and continue doing wrong bearing in mind his questionable discretion and principle of federal character, according to the gospel of Ndume, Buhari and their fellow Northern brethren of like minds? Has Ndume heard the well known universal saying that “Two wrongs don’t make a right and never will”? We voted for Buhari because we wanted real change that is real change. Ndume must note this significantly: Unless Buhari mends his ways and style urgently the heavens will fall and fall and fall soonest.
I have no doubt in my mind that after reading Ndume’s that Fani-Kayode will defend and defend to high heaven his views on Buhari and hegemonic Northern Nigeria in full control and command of the magnetic Sokoto Caliphate that magnets and swallows every advantage belonging to Nigeria. Of course, Fani-Kayode’s scathing attack is not really new. But his 31 July “Nigeria’s third Mahdi and the last of the Amalekite kings” espoused the kind of scepticism that will never fly Nigeria to the seventh heaven which we envisage as true and sincere patriots of our country. Every Northerner is not as bad as Fanii-Kayode wants us to believe.
And did Jonathan, Fani-Kayode’s immediate past principal, not exhibit nauseating hegemonic tendencies and characteristics when the triumphant Force Triumphant presently surrounding Buhari once upon-a- time surrounded him? Perhaps Jonathan was an Amalekite king from the North ferried to Ijaw land via a flying carpet magically manufactured in Futah Jallon. Our dear Fani-Kayode should think and think again.
He, like Ndume, is too near the canvas to know that soon shall come the time when the right leader will move heaven and earth to take us to the seventh heaven. Fani-Kayode should quit his canvas of pain and bitterness in the same way that Ndume should urgently get out of his canvas of temporary joy of hegemonic victory. Everything passes.
Meanwhile, Mr. Fani-Kayode should get a swordsman that is a swordsman to halt for good the Sword of Damocles dangling, some say legitimately, round him. Everything passes. Thanks, Sunday Tribune thanks Sunday Vanguard for airing the two youthful leaders shaping Nigeria as we don’t desire them to shape our country. Everything passes. And one swallow does not make a summer.