Babatunde Fashola and His “Apology” – by Femi Fani Kayode

The deportation of Igbos to Anambra state by the Lagos State Government a few months back was what sparked off all the Igbo/Yoruba bashing that happened online recently.

Governor Fashola apologized to the Igbos for the incident on September 26, 2013. However, Femi Fani Kayode doesn’t think he should have apologized.

Read the full message of FFK below…

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There can be little doubt that the relocation of the 19 Igbo destitute from Lagos state a few months ago was a lawful exercise and that it was done in the interest of Lagos state. Consequently I do not believe that Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola ought to have tendered any form of apology whatsoever to the Igbo for what he did. The only redeeming factor is the fact that the apology was obviously designed simply to calm frayed nerves and I commend Fashola for that gesture if nothing else. I say this because my understanding is that he apologised NOT for the deportation itself but for ”the misunderstanding that arose from it”. There is a world of difference between the two. I also commend him for admonishing the Igbo to develop their own region and to decide whether they are ”Igbo before they are Nigerians or Nigerians before they are Igbo”.

This is a fundamental question that I believe that we must all determine in our hearts and minds whether we are of Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa/Fulani or Ijaw stock or anything else. For the purposes of clarification the debate that has been raging in the land for the last two months, though sparked off by Fashola’s relocations, was more about the curious claim that Lagos state was ”no man’s land” which the Igbo jointly own with the Yoruba and which they had developed, and are indeed still developing, with their money and nothing else. It was that assertion, and not the plight of a handful of Igbo destitues, that many of us from west of the River Niger took issue with. Fashola and others have said publicly that it is ”absurd” and ”insulting” for anyone to call Lagos state ”no-man’s land” and that is good enough for me. As long as he did not apologise for saying that I have no problem with whatever he may or may not have said about the deportations even though, had I been governor, I would have handled it differently. The truth is that the Yoruba way is to apologize not only when you are wrong but also when you are right if you believe that the other party has been badly hurt by your actions. It is a generous and kind disposition which is borne out of the Yoruba concept of the ”omoluwabi spirit”- a good heart and a clean spirit that desires, above all else, peace, joy and harmony. Yet to those from outside Yorubaland that do not share that disposition, that do not understand that spirit and that cannot even begin to comprehend it, an apology is nothing less than an admission of guilt and wrong- doing and a trophy of triumph to those whom it is offered. It is for this reason that I believe that it was wrong for Fashola to apologise and that it is important for us to consider the long term implications of what he has done. The truth is that in life perception counts for everything. And rightly or wrongly the perception that most people have, particularly amongst the Igbo, is that Fashola has indeed apologised for the deportations. This perception is supported by misleading newspaper headlines which were drafted and written by journalists who did not bother to read the text or properly decipher the statement. Whether anyone likes it or not this latest development is viewed as a great triumph for the hardline Igbo nationalists and the Governor Peter Obi’s of this world who honestly believe that the igbo have some kind of special rights or special status in Lagos and indeed in Yorubaland. They say and do things in Lagos and other parts of the west that they dare not do in the north and that they will never allow our people to do in the east. This is because they fear the northerners who have often put them in their place when they cross the line but they have nothing but contempt for us. Fashola has now given those within the Igbo community that have this mindset far more legitimacy, strength and confidence. In any case now that dishing out apologies is the order of the day and he has set the precedent, the question has to be asked- will Peter Obi take a cue from that, be a gentleman and apologise for deporting the people of Akwa Ibom from his Anambra state as well? Is Obi that reasonable or charitable? Do those that think like him believe that what is good for the goose is good for the gander? I doubt it very much. Again will Fashola apologise to the numerous northerners that he deported from Lagos as well and will he apologise to his Yoruba kith and kin from Oyo and Osun for deporting them too? I really do wonder how far this new-found large-heartedness and seasonal expression of regrets will go? Will it be spread everywhere or is it exclusively reserved for the Igbo? More importantly, in the spirit of this new rapprochement, will Fashola secretly concede portions of Lagos state and Yorubaland to them as well? Will he take my dear egbon and former cabinet colleague, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe’s counsel, and wholeheartedly accept the interesting notion that the Igbo have ”married all our daughters” in idungaran and isale-eko and that we should therefore give all our land and territory to them? Will he give up the patrimony of his people all in the name of trying to appease the Igbo and get their votes for the APC in the upcoming governorship election in Anambra state? If that is the plan I doubt that it will work because they are a pretty unforgiving lot. The more you give the more they will ask for and at the end of the day you will end up losing far more than you gain. Governor Chris Ngige, who is an amiable gentleman and one of the most decent, accommodating, liberal, detribalised and civilised people that I know from the east, will gain nothing from this and sadly the person that will gain from it will be the hardline, igbocentric Peter Obi and his APGA candidate in November’s gubernatorial election in Anambra state. People like Fashola need to understand that sometimes in trying to play the generous statesman and the kind-hearted omoluwabi we end up being taken for granted and making fools of ourselves. You only apologise to those who will appreciate it, who do not necessarily see it as an admission of guilt and who will not misconstrue it as weakness. This is because the display of weakness by any leader, no matter how well-liked, only attracts impudence and aggression from those who have a hidden agenda. A word is enough for the wise.

17 Comments

      • FANNYKAYODE JUST WANT TO USE HATRED OF IGBO TO RUN FOR GOVNOR BUT HE IS OKRO MOUTH DROOLING SALIVA OF INDAN HEMP AND YORUBA MUST BE WISE AND RECOGNISE HIS TACTIC. EFCC WILL JAIL HIM.

    • Whoever identifies with FFK’s usual idiotic verbosity is a better idiot. When will this stooge ever learn to stop mentioning people’s name negativily in public issues. What has Baba Ogunlewe done wrong here? Now why are you cajoling Gov peter Obi?
      Why not always say your opinion without commiting more offence than you are trying to adress. Yet some myopic idiots who don’t even know their left from their rights are commending him. Pity!
      Fashola is a head of government not Oba of Lagos so he acted appropriately. I keep saying it: you never can speak for us FFK. I know you are desperately looking for recognition and political opportunity to steal public funds again since you have been relegated by everybody and hunger has ensued gradually which has led to your fluctuating psycholigical insanity!
      My advise is for you to stay away from public eyes until solution to your problems arrive if there will ever be any remedy!

  • I keep musing why our so-called leaders have to keep politicizing all things? Can’t they for a season act selflessly? Sincerely, there actions and disposition to the Nigerian Dream of a Neo-Nigeria deepens the uncertainty of the reality of hope of our dreams coming true. I wonder why Governor BRF will have to wait till few days ago to apologise if his apology isn’t connotative and indicative to the coming elections? Just as you rightly pointed out, could it be that he realised his deportation move was wrong or just trying to play on the psyche of Igbos to let go the misunderstanding?
    Only God can help Nigeria!

  • In my opinion what fashola did was right,two wrongs doesn’t make a right.It is a rare display of maturity from Fashola.What pained fani kayode was d fact dat PDP will no longer gained from d acrimony.APC will benefit from his apology.It doesn’t take anything away from his personality.It takes great mind to do such. Kudos Fashola.

  • Unfortunately, one cannot give what he does not have.
    Femi Fanni-Kayode cannot give a wise advice because he does not have Wisdom.
    It is just that most times one starts wondering what is happening in this Country. Why can’t we also import the norms of the Western world or the Americans. People like Femi Fanni-Kayode should have been in prison by now for embezzlement of public funds, instead of being out there thinking of political appointments with his ruined integrity.
    He is a bigger SLOT that should not meddle into the affairs of Lagos State. He has not even managed his family to think of the State of Excellence.
    People like Femi Fanni-Kayode can never be voted as the Governor of Lagos state. He should check records, Lagos State has always been blessed with good Governors, people of integrity.
    Even with all the EFCC issues, no Governor of Lagos State has successfully been aligned by the EFCC.
    Please someone should advice Femi Fanni-Kayode to first address his social life, his family issues, and his intimate or no intimate relationship with Miss Bianca Onoh or Mrs Bianca Ojukwu and other ladies before meddling into the affairs of the State of Excellence.
    The earlier he does these, the better.

  • So you are now the “wisest” man and spokesperson for the yoruba people. This guy FFK* happens to be in the middle of many controversiesin Nigeria today. It makes me wonder what his plans are and when he wil learn to behave as an adult and truely wise and mature person

  • What is he trying to do now, create confusion again? Fashola is a grown and more intelligent man, he is old enough to make his decisions. He apologized because he saw a need to do that and it isn’t Femi’s business. The deportation wasn’t the Yorubas deporting the igbos, but Lagos state. The Yorubas didn’t unanimously deport the igbos, so his apology isn’t a spite on the Yoruba race. iIt’s a state issue and the governor has the sole mandate to address the issues which ever way he wants.

  • What this man Fanikayode said and continue to say is total truth, but to talk true in this country is a problem. If yoruba people silent on any issue doesn’t mean they were foolish, but it pain me to know that nobody among yorubas say anything to support this man, am not a kid, no amount of any apology anybody can make, it will not change igbo people to vote for APC unless miracle happen. We people in southern nigeria should come together and be one so that we can speak with one voice in this nation. So that everything we want can be accomplish. God bless Nigeria.

  • It is clear that this man FFK is an Igbo hater, and is not ashamed to say it. He talks as if the ibos are not proud of their heritage or don’t care about their homes. I ask him one question ; has he driven around the city of Lagos between the third week of December to the first week of January each year. As they say na condition make crayfish bend. I always ask my Yoruba friends to imagine if the British had made Enugu or Onitsha the federal Capital or if the South East was near the ocean or had more arable land, Lagos will just be another youruba state like ondo and osun.
    In more advanced countries, any investor with a significant sum of money to invest in their country is given automatic citizenship, but not in Nigeria, and definitely not in Lagos where u are constantly reminded that you are just a guest of the Yoruba and can be thrown out anytime they like.
    Maybe it’s high time the ibo start thinking of divesting from Lagos, after all money goes where it is most needed, may be we should invest in Ghana or São Tomé or better still invest in our hometowns and states. It’s only a matter of time.

  • I don’t know why we always shy away from the truth , it is true FFk is corrupt but these time I think he is talking sense, Why will Fashola apologize to one set of people and leave others are we not all Nigerians , Infact why deporting fellow Nigerians in Nigeria, if people like Fashola,FFK and there likes provides programmes aim at reducing poverty in our streets will you see destitute! They would soon come and Cajole the same destitute to come and Vote for them, after the same destitute would line up in the Sun , casting there vote for them ! Enough is enough , Democracy is not for the elite leaving in Surulere, Leki . Ajah only , It is for the good people of Nigeria! We must be free any where we choose to leave, worship , do our businesses in Nigeria ! My brothers our problem is ourself ! Whenever we are elected into Offices , our mentally change , we don’t value our fellow human beings , they become dogs in our sight! Do u remember the story of Lazarus in the bible! My friends do u know what we need in these country ?

  • Femi Fani Kayode is just an educated illiterate. There is no difference between him and omoniles. When will this Yoruba hatred against the Igbos end? Is just pure jealous and envy. Femi Fani Kayode GROW UP. Thank God you are not the Governor of Lagos State and will never be.

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