Former Minister of Aviation Chief Femi Fani-Kayode said yesterday that he opposed President Muhammadu Buhari’s style based on principle and conviction.
He said that he could not keep mute in the face of the “dark and sinister forces” represented by the administration.
Fani-Kayode, a defector from the All Progressives Congress (APC), said his constant criticisms of the President in the last five years were driven by “the atrocities of herdsmen and Boko Haram, and the tyranny, wickedness, evil, corruption and incompetence of the regime.”
He noted that he had been “humiliated, persecuted, incarcerated and insulted” than most people in the country due to his unrelenting opposition to the Federal Government.
The former minister, who is undergoing trial for alleged corruption, lamented that Nigerians ignored his advice to reject President Buhari at the polls in 2015, saying that they repeated the same mistake by re-electing him in 2019.
Fani-Kayode, son of the controversial former Nigeria National Democratic Party (NNDP) stalwart and Deputy Premier of defunct Western Region, the late Chief Remi Fani-Kayode, said in a statement in Lagos that he chose to speak for the oppressed members of the society.
Noting that his principled position is risky, he said he took pride in exposing and doing damage to the evil forces more than any citizen.
Fani-Kayode said: “I have also spoken up for the weak, the poor, the oppressed, the deprived, the voiceless and the persecuted across ethnic, religious and party lines.
“And I have done all this right under the noses of those in power and not from distant shores or foreign land. That does not, however, mean that I have lost my humanity. That does not mean that I will relish in anyone’s death.
“That does not mean that I will dance on the grave of others because death comes to us all and doing so diminishes us as human beings and makes us little better than beasts.
He added: “For the last 30 years I have written and spoken out against the atrocities and the hegemony that the people of the South and the Middle Belt and the Christian community have suffered in the hands of our collective oppressors since 1914 and over the last 106 years.”
The former minister spoke on past injustices that have not been redressed, stressing that Southeast continued to count the cost of the 30-month old civil war.
He said: “I have also consistently argued that the people of the Southeast were subjected to nothing less than genocide during the civil war and that if we really want peace, we must make the necessary amends and atonement for this and they must be treated in an accommodating, reasonable and compassionate way and with far more decency and sensitivity.”
Fani-Kayode said the Christian minorities in the North, who have been victims of ”ethnic cleansing, mass murder, crimes against humanity and genocide” in the last 60 years should be treated with respect and dignity.
Peeping into the future, he said: “What lies ahead for our country is frightful and chilling because the extremists and hardliners in the Federal Government are now in full control with no one to moderate, restrain or put them in check.”
He added: “What makes it worse is that the President has hidden himself in the Aso Rock bunker and has refused to step out and offer direction or provide strong and purposeful leadership.”
Fani-Kayode alluded to what he described as “a dangerous power vacuum,” stressing that “unless the President has the presence of mind to resign or to step up to the plate, rid us of the nepotism and the ethnic and religious divisions that plague the land, heal our wounds, change his ways and lead us fairly and boldly, it will not end any time soon.”
Fani-Kayode predicted that “the next few months and years will be difficult, harsh, unpredictable, unstable, bloody, vicious, brutish, hard, retrogressive, divisive, nasty, horrendous and nightmarish for our dear country.”
He also said “there will be little respite for anyone because that is all our government has to offer.”
Fani-Kayode warned that “what is likely to happen in Nigeria will make the ugly events that unfolded in Zaire and the Congo DRC over the last few decades and the horrendous events that occurred in Rwanda in the early 90’s look like a child’s play.”
However, he said although his predictions will come to reality, “the only saving grace is that God, and not any man, shall eventually deliver us.”
Fani-Kayode defended his tribute to the deceased Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, saying it does not translate into the abdication of the struggle.
He said those who were against his position on Kyari “are entitled to their opinion and are free to stop reading my contributions and commentaries.”
He said: “Regardless of their disposition towards me, I will continue to hold on to my views and express them. I owe myself, my God and my nation that much if nothing else.”
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