Femi Fani- Kayode comes as a relevance seeking opportunist who is fond of jumping into every national issue and almost always injecting tribalism into simple issues of citizenship or social justice as a strategy. Being incapable of being objective or constructive, his articles/utterances are often full of contradictions and sometimes outright nonsense.
He has nonetheless carved a niche for himself as a disrespectful, talkative loudmouth and one of the rabidly bigoted/ignorant Nigerians who thrive in fanning the flames of the “tribalism industry.”
The recklessness and illogicality he brings to bear on issues of national importance, no doubt, marks him out as one of those many Nigerians who should be rebranded a different species of humanity responsible for Nigeria’s damning predicament. Nowhere is this more demonstrated than his take on the constitutional issue of deportation of persons from Lagos, which he has characteristically and laughably chosen to make a tribal issue.
A man of Fani- Kayode’s education is ordinarily expected to be able to distinguish between emotional and constitutional issues, he is also expected to, like a lawyer, be capable of good judgement on the side of justice devoid of sentiments for the simple reason that, as the saying goes, “injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere”.
But Fani- Kayode found it impossible to exercise good judgement, because he belongs to the group who thrive in the “tribalism industry” and on the suffering of Nigerians including his own people.
The illegality of the action of the Lagos State government in the deportation of persons should be obvious even to the layman. Nigeria has a Constitution which spells out very clearly the rights of every Nigerian to reside wherever he chooses in any part of the nation without let or hindrance. In violation of this constitutional right, Governor Fashola started a campaign of institutional kidnapping (arresting and holding persons against their will) and deportation of persons to several states within Nigeria.
At the last count, Fashola has deported people to several northern states, Oyo, Ogun and, recently, Onitsha where, in the dead of the night, persons, some of whom were from Edo, Delta and Kogi states, were dumped. Some of the deported persons were reportedly lunatics who could not communicate or express themselves and it is possible that some of them might even be from Lagos.
The pretext is that the deported persons are homeless and destitute, and repatriated to reunite them with their families, but you don’t hold people against their will/constitutional rights and dump them at night along the road and claim to be reuniting them with their families.
Government exists to provide for the most downtrodden and impoverished in society. It is the responsibility of government to invest in creating jobs, opportunities, and to rehabilitate the downtrodden including the disabled in their respective jurisdictions and not to deport them. In all normal societies, government has a massive budget of social welfare with which they provide for social housing, unemployment allowances for those who have no jobs, disability allowances, medical cards and other varieties of social aid.
There are thousands of technically destitute Nigerians residing in Britain, Ireland, France, Germany and elsewhere who have been housed by the government in council houses and who depend on their livelihood from social welfare payments and other benefits.
Those countries have not deported Nigerians because they are destitute and dependent on government to survive in line with the logic of Lagos State government and its sympathisers like Fani- Kayode.
If Fashola was so interested in resolving the issue of destitution, he could have shown an example by rehabilitating indigenes of his state, but it is not on record that Fashola has provided social housing, unemployment benefits, medical insurance and other social aid to poor indigenes of Lagos State. It is thus evident that what Fashola has manifested is the usual sadism and wickedness of Nigerian leaders and their disdain for the poor and downtrodden.
Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org