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Fani-Kayode’s defection: The line between blasphemy and dissent

By Akintunde Akerele

The purported defection of the former Aviation Minister Chief Femi Fani-Kayode back to the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) has generated mixed feelings. And rightfully so, this has led to a large segment of the party grumbling on the merit of it.

Like some will argue that party dichotomy in Nigeria are not structured along ideological boundaries but interest. And that it will be fair to let him the benefit to return. Unfortunately, the odds of his return are greatly stacked against the party because it will generate friction that will disorganize a party already in a leadership crisis.

Between blasphemy and dissent is a thin line; and Fani-Kayode has been nothing but the former considering his history of the campaign to attack and smear the ruling party. You do not throw a stone if you live in a glass house because you are afraid it might be thrown back at you. Opposition political parties should offer alternative cum complementary robust ideas that are constructive. And if you have to dissent as opposition do it with civility that is not hateful and violent stricken. Be on the issues, has Fani-Kayode being that opposition person? No.

For me, Fani-Kayode is politically inconsequential and irrelevant other than the fact that he has a mouthpiece with which he spews resentful rhetorics that enshrines discord. Words are like eggs ones they are broken they cannot be pieced together again. I am sure that there are many more significant opposition politicians that their cross-carpet would not generate controversy because they are decent not that they have not been critics but have done it with civility.

If interest is the only permanent political component, APC should not make it cheap to the likes of Fani-Kayode to abuse. It will make a mess of the party and the people.

Liberal and conservative ideas are not built to be desecrated by individual because it is bigger than them. So let the progressive ideas of APC mature through a seamless process of attracting only like minds of progressive ethos and not seasonally recycling self-seeking opportunists of low esteem. APC is not opposed to dissent but it has to be on the issue and for the betterment of our people.

Fani-Kayode had rebuffed the rumors that he had joined the party on Twitter but days before that day he was drawing a parallel of supposed Islamic Cleric’s meeting with Fulani bandit and that of the Christian cleric’s meeting with Atiku in 2019.

It is a welcome development that he confirmed he is still in his party; for whatever reason that he met with Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, let’s give him the benefit of doubt that it was a discussion across party lines. Time will tell what delicacy they are preparing that makes the house get burnt, but in fairness, he is another good riddance that should not be allowed in the fold.

Akintunde Hareef Akerele is the Publicity Secretary of APC Germany Chapter and writes from Toronto, Canada.

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