Sunday, 1 February 2015

Article: Femi Fani-Kayode Tantrums And Blackmail Of INEC As A Distraction

Femi Fani-Kayode

By Nelson Ekujumi,

Ever since his appointment as the Director, Directorate of Media and Publicity of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Presidential Campaign Organization despite still answering corruption charges in court committed as then minister of aviation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mr. Femi Fani Kayode has not disappointed Nigerians and the rest of the world, who have become used to the vintage FFK as a person who has been described in all sorts of derogatory terms based on his antecedents, but the summary of which is that “Some mothers do have them”.

Like in his character, FFK was in his usual elements only recently when he addressed the media and ridiculously threatened, “….INEC, to address the issues surrounding the certificate of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress [APC] Muhammadu Buhari, or face a vote of no-confidence from the party”.

Ordinarily, one would have expected that as the elections approaches, Femi Fani Kayode would be busy reeling out facts and figures about the achievements of his party’s presidential candidate which makes him worthy of re-election by the Nigerian electorate, but in justification of the saying that, you don’t give what you don’t have, Femi has been very idle playing tantrums with the age, sex, health, marital status, height, educational qualification, etc of General Muhammadu Buhari to the amusement of all just to distract. We won’t be surprised if Femi Fani Kayode in the coming days ahead raise questions about the nationality of General Buhari, definitely, it will be in vintage FFK character.

For the education of our garrulous FFK, General Muhammadu Buhari in submitting his documents to INEC as constitutionally required deposed to a sworn affidavit that his certificates are with the secretary of the military board, having served the Nigerian army and state meritoriously for years. In case, vintage FFK does not know, an affidavit is a legally recognized instrument whose violation by any lie on oath is a criminal offence punishable by law and we only hope he would be serious for once to bring this alleged infringement of the law to the notice of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice who is a member of the Federal Executive Council for investigation and prosecution by the police.

Unfortunately, the role of the Nigerian military in this saga is despicable and dishonorable. The explanations provided by the military was less than tidy and it did incalculable damage to its image as an institution and symbol of unity of the Nigerian state by subjecting itself to politicization and ridicule just to satisfy other than national interest and image.

For the military to shamelessly come to public and assert that “Neither the Original Copy, Certified True Copy (CTC) nor Statement of result of Major General Muhammadu Buhari’s WASC result is in his personal file”, speaks volume of the integrity and character of our once revered national institution and what it has become. If the military does not have these documents in the personal file of an officer who was at one time the number one military officer and head of state of Nigeria, then we wonder whose file would not have been balkanized in the military archive? No wonder, General Buhari expressed surprise at this development just like millions of Nigerians who were equally shocked. Definitely, this are trying times for our military which has become a national embarrassment in dire need of surgical operation just like the Nigerian state.

Rather than playing tantrums on national media, which he could have spared an economically traumatized nation, Femi Fani Kayode should borrow a leaf about responsible, focused and civilized conduct from the Ekiti E-11 who went to court seeking the disqualification of Mr. Ayo Fayose from contesting the Ekiti gubernatorial elections in 2014 on the grounds that he was impeached from office as governor of Ekiti state in 2006 and so he was in violation of the constitution which stipulates 10 years ban from public office for an impeached person before he can contest any elective office again and of which the matter is still in court.

It is in this vein, that one must commend INEC for being responsive in coming out publicly to educate that it doesn’t have the powers to disqualify a validly nominated candidate of a political party. According to INEC chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, “Those asking the commission to disqualify Buhari were free to go to court.

He said the Electoral Law permitted that if any presidential candidate cited any documents that he could not produce, he could swear to an affidavit.

On the eligibility of Buhari and the calls for INEC to disqualify him, Jega said, “When a political party presents a candidate and he meets all the requirements of submission -deadline and the forms- INEC cannot reject such a candidate.

“There is a provision that the candidates should provide documentary evidence of whatever qualification they have cited, but the law also permits that if you cite documents and you don’t have photocopies, you can swear to an affidavit and in this case, INEC by the provision of the section 31 of the Electoral Act cannot disqualify an appropriately nominated candidate of any party. We can deregister a political party, but the law says we must accept any candidate; it is a matter for the court, they are free to go to the court.” Chikena!

Even after General Buhari publicly came out to address the needless distraction of the Nigerian people by presenting his certificate at a world press conference, which was also corroborated by his school principal , FFK and the PDP have turned deaf ears and eyes to logical reasoning by insisting that the certificate is a forged one knowing fully well that forgery is a criminal offence punishable by law.

By insisting that General Buhari’s certificate is a forged one, even after the General quoted his examination number and year, Femi Fani Kayode and the PDP are only exposing the ineptitude and incompetence of the Goodluck Jonathan administration in abdicating its constitutional responsibility of upholding the law by not directing the security agencies to investigate and prosecute this alleged infraction of the law.

Therefore, as Femi Fani Kayode continues in his tantrums of trivializing issues just to distract the Nigerian people from pressing societal, economic and political issues of general insecurity, missing school children, security men, air force fighter jets, commercial kidnappings, massive corruption at all levels of government, mass unemployment, lack of basic infrastructures, perennial public power failure, threats to democracy, national peace and security, etc, we are not amused but only looking at him as a clown who is insensitive not to realize that the music has stopped while he continues to embarrass himself and his party on the podium.

As he continues in this exercise in futility, one can only wish FFK, Goodluck while he amuses and ridicules himself, his candidate and party only.

(Ekujumi can be reached on: 07033853232)

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