Modern Ghana, September 28, 2011
by Oyetope Olufunke-Felix
‘For those that may not know Daniel Wilson, is a fading musician who used to sing love songs back in the early ’90’s. Sadly today his sweet voice has gone, he is completely jobless and he is desperately trying to get the attention of the government. He is in every respect what is known in political circles as an ”eager prostitute”. He is a tragic figure, a parody of his old self and a fading star who is simply looking for public relevance and who is trying to curry favour with the authorities and the powers that be.
In order to achieve this end and, in my view, in a thoroughly shameless and outrageous manner he recently wrote an article titled ”Femi Fani-Kayode’s Zombies” in which he openly insulted Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, the former Minister of Aviation of Nigeria and his 26,000 facebook friends (5000 of whom are on his ”friends page” and 21,000 of whom are on his ”fan page”). In that article Wilson threw all caution and decency to the wind and expressed his displeasure in a what can only be described as a hysterical, bitter and venomous manner to Chief Fani-Kayode’s article (which was posted on his facebook page) and in which the former Aviation Minister had argued that President Goodluck Jonathan had made a ”spiritual and practical error” when he told the world that he was not ”a David, a lion or a general”. Chief Fani-Kayode had made this assertion in an article titled ”Goodluck Jonathan, David and Goliath” which was widely published on the internet. In his write-up Fani-Kayode had argued that this was not the best approach to take for a President who was already perceived by the majority of his people as being ”weak” and for a President who, in the very same speech, said that he would destroy the ”Goliath’s in the land”. Fani-Kayode concluded his write-up by asking Mr. President, in a very logical and succinct manner, the following questions.
He asked, ”if you are not a David how can you kill Goliath, if you are not a general how can you be a Commander-in Chief and if you are not a lion how can you defeat and destroy the savage animals that have taken over the land?” This was a profound and insightful observation and it certainly reflected the thinking of most right-thinking Nigerians who are not satisfied with the way in which the Boko Haram scourge has been handled by this government and who feel that President Jonathan’s comments on that occasion were inappropriate, uninspiring and disappointing. Judging from the comments on the various threads many of Fani-Kayode’s teeming admirers and friends on facebook also agreed with him and this seems to have upset Daniel Wilson to no end. Such was the level of his angst that he lost control of himself and went into what can only be described as a rabid, irrational, illogical, hate-filled frenzy and on a spree of vitriol. He accused Fani-Kayode’s supporters and facebook friends of being ”zombies” and he accused Fani-Kayode himself of committing ”treason” and ”insulting the President” simply because the former Minister had expressed his opinion on Mr. President’s speech. One wonders if it was the same article that everyone else read that Wilson read too. It is quite possible that it may be another one entirely that only Wilson himself saw because the article that Fani-Kayode wrote on this issue is on the internet for all to see and there was not one insult, let alone treasonable assertion, that he made there. As a matter of fact by Fani-Kayode’s customary no nonsense and hard-hitting standards and style this essay was very restrained, polite and mild and was more like an admonition than a criticism. He seemed more concerned for the President than angry with him. Yet the Daniel Wilson’s of this world accused him of ”treason”, which is a crime punishable by death, simply for expressing his opinion.
He also alleged that Fani-Kayode had been ”sacked from his job as a Minister” during the Obasanjo administration which of course is simply not true. I happen to be one of those that has been called a ”zombie” by Daniel Wilson and that has had all manner of invectives poured on my head because I am one of ”those friends” of Fani-Kayode on facebook and I am also one of those that has tremendous respect and admiration for him. I make no apology for that and I think that it is utterly shameful that this down and out crooner called Wilson has the sheer effontry and nerve to insult and pour scorn on one of the most brilliant, dynamic and educated minds that we have in this country. Chief Fani-Kayode is a first class public servant who has been in politics for 21 years and simply because Wilson disagrees with him on this matter and because he is looking for a few crumbs from President Jonathan’s table he has insulted, misrepresented and sought to malign this great man. I think that this is reprehensible behaviour and that is why I have decided to respond to him by writing this rejoinder.
The truth is that Daniel Wilson is nothing but a malicious, pernicious and self-seeking liar. He is what the bible describes as an ”accuser of the brethren” and he is a cold-blooded murderer. He ”murders” by attempting to ”kill” the reputation of others and worst still he does it for a fee. He is a man who indulges in character assassination and the peddling of falsehood and disinformation of the worse kind. He is also a dangerous man that does not serve the interest of President Goodluck Jonathan very well because he is making more enemies for him than he already has. Permit me to respond to the key points that he made one after the other and to at least attempt to set the record straight.
1. Chief Femi Fani-Kayode did not insult President Goodluck Jonathan in that write-up. I read it over and over again and there was not one insult there.
2. Even if he had insulted or been hard on the President he has every right so to do because we are not in a military era anymore and every Nigerian has the right to freely exercise his or her constitutional and inalienable right of freedom of expression at any time or place that he or she chooses to do so.
3. Chief Fani-Kayode, in my opinion, was right in his assessment and criticism of President Jonathan’s unnecessary and unbelievable display of weakness when he made that controversial speech.
4. Chief Fani-Kayode most certainly did not commit ”treason” by criticising the President and if Wilson thinks that he did so he clearly needs to go back to school and learn the meaning and gravity that is attached to the word ”treason” or ”treasonable felony”.
5. Chief Fani-Kayode was not ”sacked” from the Obasanjo government. He was appointed as Special Assistant on Public Affairs to the President in 2003 and he remained in that position until 2006 when he was appointed as Minister of Culture and Tourism. A few months later he was redeployed to the aviation sector and was appointed as Minister of Aviation. He served his country meritoriously and with distinction when he was in government and he saved many lives when he was Minister of Aviation by putting a stop to the numerous plane crashes that kept taking place before he got there. If you remember there had been no less than five fatal plane crashes in the period of one year and over 400 people had been killed. Curiously every single one of those crashes took place on a weekend which led to all manner of conspiracy theories but when Fani-Kayode got there he put a stop to the whole thing. He also introduced some very effective and far-reaching reforms at the Ministry of Aviation and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism which improved both sectors enormously and which have stood the test of time. The records show that he left government as Minister of Aviation on May 29th 2007 when President Olusegun Obasanjo’s mandate came to an end, when the cabinet was dissolved and when President Umaru Yar’adua was sworn in as President. Where Wilson got the idea that Chief Fani-Kayode was ”sacked” from office I really don’t know.
6. Wilson had the guts to insult those of us that are Fani-Kayode’s facebook friends and supporters and he did so out of nothing but jealousy, ignorance, frustration and bitterness. Most people that comment on Fani-Kayode’s facebook pages are far better informed, better educated, more exposed, more enlightened and far more advanced than Wilson could ever be. His insults and denigration of these decent and distinguished people is only a reflection of the fact that he comes from the gutter and that he knows no better.
7. If Wilson wants favour with President Jonathan this is surely not the best way to do it. And he should stop making even more powerful enemies for the President than the man already has. Chief Fani-Kayode not only campaigned for Mr. President during the elections and openly opposed General Buhari’s candidacy but he is also a leading member of the ruling PDP which is more than I can say for Wilson. He is also one of the famous ”OBJ boys” and one of the favoured sons of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the man that put President Jonathan in power, even though he is one of those that is courageous enough to openly disagree with Obasanjo from time to time. His criticisms of President Jonathan have been very mild and muted when compared to the attacks that he made against the late President Umaru Yar’adua when he was still alive and General Muhammadu Buhari during the Presidential campaign. As a matter of fact when the fight over who would succeed Yar’adua started and the northern cabal and former Governor James Ibori wanted to stop Jonathan from taking over power after the former President died it was people like Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Mallam Uba Sani and many of Obasanjo’s other footsoldiers that jumped into the boxing ring in the political arena, in the public space and even on the internet and on facebook and swung their strong support behind Goodluck Jonathan at the time. They took on Yar’adua’s boys and the Turai cabal head-on and it really was a sight to behold. Yet now empty-headed attention-seekers like Daniel Wilson who know nothing about politics and who are new to the fray of public discourse and commentary are abusing some of them. One really does wonder whether he is drunk or on drugs.
Finally let me end by assuring Wilson that the only people that are still impressed with President Jonathan today are mostly those from his own Ijaw ethnic group. Virtually every other Nigerian from every other geo-political zone in both the north and the south simply despise his weakness and incompetence. He has squandered virtually all the goodwill that he had in the last one year and he is generally regarded by most people as being ”clueless”. If he goes on this way, assuming he even lasts in office till 2015, he will end up being the most despised and hated President that Nigeria has ever had because as a country we are now so badly divided. And when that happens I will not blame Jonathan and his team of advisors alone but I will also blame hungry and down and out praise-singers and cheerleaders like Daniel Wilson who won even more enemies for him than he already had.