Considering his age, one would think former Minister for Aviation, Mr Femi Fani Kayode, should know more and have grown beyond this jejune divisive politics. But he won’t continue to leave the public in bewilderment with his manner of peddling falsehood, creating confusion and brewing political anarchy. If anything, Femi proves the theory that old age, at times, does not translate to wisdom.
His diatribes, targeted at Islam and the North this week do not come as a surprise. For many people who have been following him religiously, it is the continuation of his sinister mission to attack Islam and abuse the sensibilities of the Northerners. For him not to appear clever in the face of the undiscerning ones, it is important to address some issues.
Patriotic Nigerians who have been around for some times would agree with me that there is nothing like Islamisation agenda that Fani and his ilk are mouthing about. If anything, it is Christianization agenda which started long ago. One may wonder if Fani Kayode was in Jupiter when Muslims who wanted to acquire Western education in the colonial Nigeria were forced to change their Islamic names and chant gospel songs. Maybe he has not been born then. But as somebody who parades himself as a guru of history, he should know well.
Many Rasheeds who were forcefully christened Richards; Sulaimans who were forcefully christened Solomons; the list is endless. With this forced baptism, many Muslim brothers and sisters had been led astray. Many thanks to the few ones who were able to stand boldly in resistance of the unholy mission. This is why our academic gown is in the mirror of a priest’s robe.
Once upon a time in Nigeria, there was no holiday for Ramadan. There was only a one-day holiday for Eid-el-Kabir, while our Christian brethren continued to enjoy holidays for Christmas, New Year, Easter and all of that. Where was Fani? Government owned radio stations run Christmas Carol free of charge; while Muslims in the month of Ramadan pay for “Let Him Talk” given on no charge to Christians during Christmas.
The traces of the Christianization agenda are still here. Why should a Friday which is a miniature festive day for Muslims not be a work-free day? And on the other hand, a Sunday would continue to be a work-free day? Why would our Muslim sisters not be allowed to don their hijabs in public schools despite right to freedom of religion being enshrined in the constitution? On the contrary, female Christians can always put on their berets.
All these and many others point to the fact that there is a Christianization agenda. Our civil service is populated by Christians, and mostly headed by them. FFK would not come out to shout Christianization agenda. How a governor in this same Nigeria has decided to make all his cabinet members Christians despite being a state where Muslims domicile is public knowledge. All the governors in the Southwestern region are Christians except one. FFK would not wail because it doesn’t support his sinister motive.
One of the major undoings of this administration is that, while agents of destabilization and evil like Fani Kayode are still left to roam about the street unchallenged, an Omoyele Sowore, whose noise is inconsequential is turned to a hero. People like Fani Kayode are not meant to stay amidst other citizens in saner climes. This is somebody who should bury his head in shame because his hands are not clean, and therefore lacks the moral right to discuss public issues.
He would not stop at his “Islamization rubbish”. He is also mouthing Northernisation agenda.
Earlier this week, he took to his Facebook page to read ethnic colourations to the removal of Mr Fowler and Dr Banire. As someone who follows political developments very well, why Fani Kayode would not understand that an amendment was done to the AMCON Act by the National Assembly is baffling. Why he would not know that Fowler’s tenure has expired is another source of worry.
When Alhaji Zikrullahi Hassan, a Southerner who has served Fani’s own state, replaced a Northerner as the Commissioner-designate of NAHCON, the social media noise maker was taciturn but when a Northerner who is even a Christian replaced Fowler, Fani would ululate like a baby whose lollipop was snatched by a cruel elder. All these are tearing Fani’s divisive theory into shreds.
His latest onslaught is against the Chief Justice of Nigeria for his honest opinion that Shariah law should be taught in schools with the Arabic language. How teaching Shariah Law in school becomes a crime in a multi-religious society like Nigeria is curious. If there is Christian law, Fani should also advocate for its teaching with whatever language. This is the path of honor, rather than shouting Islamization.
Arabic is a mere language just like English. It has nothing to do with the level of one’s faith. Though it helps a lot to understand the language as a Muslim, we have Muslims who understand the language inside out but are not better than others in terms of faith. In fact, there are Christians who speak Arabic which does not translate to change of faith or Islamisation as Fani wants us to believe. The Arabs used to be chronic disbelievers before Islam.
Isaac Ogunbiyi, the first Christian professor in Nigeria, did not change his faith despite his detailed understanding of the Arabic language. M.S Cole, a reverend of CMS, once translated the Holy Quran into Yoruba. His versatility in Arabic did not make him drop his reverend status. So, how teaching Shariah law with Arabic translates to Islamisation is, to say the least, surprising.
Commentators have advocated and continue to advocate the teaching of pupils in primary schools with their local languages for better understanding. I am not aware of Fani Kayode’s antagonism to that. But because Arabic, a harmless language attributed to Islam to teach SHARIA LAW not COMMON LAW, is involved, Fani is throwing invectives and crying Islamisation.
It is because of the lack of the knowledge of Islam and Shariah Law that some misguided lots are killing under the guise of Boko Haram. If they understand the Shariah Law very well, they would understand that a life is sacred in Islam regardless of the background. The use of the Arabic language to go in-depth in this regard is not out of place. The ultimate objective of teaching is understanding. Knowledge is knowledge regardless of the language used to transmit it.
Rather than make a mountain out of molehill, FFK should table his sensible and workable opinion (if he has any). Nigeria is a multi-religious and multi-cultural society. The attempt to groom our children on the values and principles of our respective religions in whatever language is not a crime. It is, in fact, patriotic and by natural order logical.
Anybody who still thinks that Northerners are illiterate, is living in a fool’s paradise. Western education has travelled far in the North. It is not as it used to be in the past. Fani Kayode should keep himself busy and stop behaving like a park tout who is bent on destroying things with his divisive rhetoric.
I sympathize with him knowing full well that he’s still nursing the pains of the political tsunami that has made him irrelevant in recent times. He wants to be relevant at all cost. I urge the federal government to take him to where he belongs: the asylum. He needs our love in these trying times. Indeed, Far From Knowledge (FFK).
Abdullah writes from Sokoto, Nigeria.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Muslim News Nigeria