The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, in Sunday praised British envoy, Ben Llewellyn-Jones for naming the Director, New Media of the Bola Tinubu Campaign Organisation, Femi Fani-Kayode, among those making inciting comments.
In a statement, the Special Assistant on Public Communication to Atiku , Mr. Phrank Shaibu, said the Department of State Services (DSS) ought to have invited Fani-Kayode as his rhetoric could set the country on fire.
Atiku maintained that Fani-Kayode’s claim that he would make Nigeria ungovernable if Tinubu is not inaugurated as president on May 29, 2023, was infuriating and deserving of the attention of the DSS.
The former vice president noted that the UK Deputy High Commissioner, Ben Llewellyn-Jones, deserved special commendation for pointing out that Fani-Kayode had been making inciting comments and ought to have been cautioned by Tinubu, his boss.
“We acknowledge as timely the statement of the DSS’ call on politicians not to overheat the polity. But we call on the security agency to arrest Fani-Kayode for not heeding the counsel of the DSS when he threatened to make Nigeria ungovernable.
“The DSS rightly invited Fani-Kayode after he made false claims about Atiku planning a coup back in January and asked him to report daily. But for some reason, he has continued unhinged to spew hate.
“Recently, he even justified the attacks and the profiling of the Igbo in the recently concluded fraudulent governorship election in Lagos State. He has also threatened to make the country ungovernable if Tinubu is not sworn in.
“I think it’s a good time to remind the DSS that Femi Fani-Kayode has returned to his old ways. Now, he is threatening fire and brimstone over a most contentious election, which Nigerians have refused to endorse or celebrate one full month after the collective disenfranchisement of the electorate.
“Fani-Kayode is threatening that he and some other desperados will make Nigeria ungovernable if Tinubu is not inaugurated on May 29, 2023. It is time to take in Fani-Kayode so he doesn’t inflame any further, the already combustible national angst,” Atiku stated.
The presidential candidate alleged that the Nigeria Police Force had continued to give Fani-Kayode cover and had been used many times to intimidate people as stated by his staff.
He wondered why, despite an order of the Inspector General of Police that only those holding political offices should move with police escorts, Fani-Kayode had continued to move with heavy security like a governor.
“Although Nigeria is grossly under-policed, over 40 per cent of its police is attached to VIPs and unauthorised persons. With between 350,000 and 370,000 personnel for a population of 200 million, it cannot meet the United Nations recommendation of 340:100,000 police-to-citizen ratio, rendering it grossly ineffective in fighting crime.
“Yet, Fani-Kayode, who has not held any political office since 2007 when he was aviation minister, moves with a siren-blaring convoy. He should immediately be stripped of those security aides, uniformed or otherwise. He only uses the security to sustain that delusion of self-importance. He is posturing with state owned security personnel – that is not even enough for the rest of us.
“The likes of former Vice President Namadi Sambo, former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, ex-Presidents Goodluck Jonathan and Olusegun Obasanjo do not enjoy the number of security details FFK has around him and honestly, this is what fuels his feeling of self importance,” Atiku stated.
He noted that the All Progressives Congress (APC) had on March 2, 2015, said in a statement by Alhaji Lai Mohammed, that “Fani-Kayode may have unhinged, perhaps as a result of a relapse into an unhealthy lifestyle of substance abuse.”
Atiku said this was probably the reason behind Fani-Kayode’s volatile behaviour and erratic temper, which was caught on video in 2020 when he gave a dressing down to a journalist who had asked him an innocent question.
“Fani-Kayode’s reputation for his volatile and erratic behaviour is legendary. This was a man who publicly threatened a journalist for asking an innocent question. The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) rightly blacklisted the cantankerous former minister,” he added.
Atiku called on Nigerians not to take Fani-Kayode seriously as his only guiding principle was his stomach.
“Fani-Kayode’s life story is one of ‘anywhere belle face’. In 2018 he said he would ‘rather die than join a filthy, rat-infested sinking ship like the Almajiri Peoples Congress’. Then when his pocket began to dry up, he embarked on a nebulous tour of PDP states in search of money.
“Immediately Lawan lost, Fani-Kayode began begging associates of Atiku Abubakar to facilitate an appointment into the media team of the PDP. After he was rejected by Atiku’s camp, Fani-Kayode began following Tinubu all over the place in search of a position in the campaign.
“After Tinubu’s ‘illegitimate’ victory, Fani-Kayode is now lobbying for a new position in the ill-fated government that will be sent packing by the courts,” Atiku concluded.
Chuks Okocha and Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja