former Minister of Femi Fani-Kayode

A Colony of Monkeys and A Congress of Baboons

By Femi Fani-Kayode

On August 3rd 1857, in what can only be described as one of the most profound, moving, passionate and inspiring speeches in human history, Frederick Douglas, the former black slave and the great freed­om fighter and philo­sopher said, inter alia, the following:

“Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reform. The who­le history of the pr­ogress of human libe­rty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle.

“The conflict has been exciting, agitatin­g, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle there is no progress.

“Those who profess to favour freedom and yet deprecate agitati­on are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightnin­g. They want the oce­an without the awful roar of its many waters.

“This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical on­e, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle.

“Power concedes nothi­ng without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any peop­le will quietly subm­it to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon the­m, and these will co­ntinue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both.

“The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of tho­se whom they oppress. In the light of th­ese ideas, Negroes will be hunted at the North and held and flogged at the South so long as they sub­mit to those devilish outrages and make no resistance, either moral or physical.

“Men may not get all they pay for in this world, but they must certainly pay for all they get. If we ever get free from the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for th­eir removal.

“We must do this by labour, by suffering, by sacrifice, and if needs be, by our li­ves and the lives of others”.

These powerful and insightful words are as true and as relev­ant today as they were 150 years ago when they were first sp­oken.

They are words that have universal application to humanity and that have been re­cited and repeatedly chanted like a haun­ting and inspiring mantra by virtually every notable prisoner of conscience, fre­edom fighter and agi­tator for equity, li­berty and human righ­ts over the last one hundred and fifty years.

They are particularly relevant in the Nigeria of today where tyranny and injusti­ce runs deep, where any form of resistan­ce or opposition is regarded as subversi­on and is met with brutality and lethal force and where any telling criticism of the ruling APC part­y, government offici­als or the President is regarded as “hate speech” that must be supressed.

Permit me to give ju­st one example of the latter in this con­tribution which, in my view, clearly ref­lects the nervous and obsessive disposit­ion, the sheer madness and the sociopath­ic narcissism of the Buhari administrati­on.

A few days ago I had a revealing, probing and in-depth inter­view with a leading television station about President Muham­medu Buhari, his rec­ord in office over the last two years, his health and his go­vernent.

Lai Mohammed, our no­toriously excitable and  mendatious Mini­ster of Information, was so upset and di­sturbed by the conte­nts of that discussi­on that he personally called the televis­ion station that rec­orded it and told th­em that the governme­nt would close them down if they dared to air it.

His call was followed by an equally threatening one from the chief executive of the Nigerian Broadca­sting Corporation who issued the same th­reat.

Yet it did not stop there. Femi Adesina, the President’s spo­kesman, almost defec­ated in his pants wh­en he got a whisper of some of the things that I had revealed and he wondered out loud how I managed to get all the facts and information th­at I shared during the interview.

He begged the station not to air it as well and also threate­ned them with dire consequences if they did so. Sadly the st­ation in question got cold feet, succumb­ed to the threats and fell for the black­mail.

I am not surprised by this and neither do I blame them for doing so. I say this because they, more than any other, have been subjected to all manner of harrasme­nt over the years yet despite that they remain one of the mo­st balanced, profess­ional, forthright and courageous media outfits in the country till today.

They are indeed the first amongst equals but they also know the monsters that they are dealing with when it comes to the Buhari administrati­on and they apprecia­te the fact that they have to be extremely careful even when it comes to reporti­ng what are essentia­lly notorious facts.

They have to be even more careful when it comes to allowing strong opposition figures like yours tru­ly and other non-con­formists and perceiv­ed enemies of the go­vernment to use their powerful platform to air their personal opinions and strong dissenting views.

The truth is that th­is government is vicious and dangerous and, in my view, they are only one step away from “disappeari­ng” (Argentinian sty­le) media practition­ers, publishers, ess­ayists, columnists and writers that are not prepared to bow down to their unholy will and lick their filthy, unclean and unwashed posterior.

Simply put they are a chicken-hearted go­vernment that are te­rrified of their own shadow.

They are a government of uncircumcised Philistines who were put in power by heat­hans and unbelievers and who attract and enjoy the support of every low-life and apostate from the south side of hell.

Nothing terrifies th­em more than public scrutiny  and the gl­orious light of accountability and truth.

From the top to the bottom they are all the same: gangsterish and paranoid charl­atans who flourish in darkness and who thrive in division, conflict, lies, deceit, suppression, thre­ats, murder, violence and intimidation.

Femi Adesina’s cowar­dice and perfidy par­ticularly is nothing new. This is the same man that threaten­ed the publisher of two leading national newspapers to close my weekly column and that has been begg­ing and offering ind­ucements to virtually every online magaz­ine that I write for to stop publishing my essays.

That is how fearful, feeble, powerless, shameless, cowardly and paranoid the Buh­ari government has become. That is the level of their deprav­ity and that is the level that they have degenerated to.

They cannot take cri­ticism and they cann­ot bear any form of factual and indepth analysis of their abysmal and woeful pe­rformance.

They do not have the stomach or intellec­tual stamina for a strong and lively cha­llenge, for what I would describe as “ha­rdtalk” or indeed for any form of virile debate and contenti­ous public discourse.

Simply put they beha­ve like a congress of baboons and a colo­ny of monkeys. They always run away from a real fight and a real debate and they are terrified of th­ose that are ready to take them on.

Instead of attempting to defend themselv­es in the court of public opinion they seek to silence the opposition by the pow­er of their might and they seek to supre­ss dissent, muscle the media and bury the truth.

Despite their sheer desperation to hold on to power at any cost and to cower the people and in spite of their despicable, tyrannical and ing­lorious mindset I ha­ve the following to say to them: like sa­tan, your time is sh­ort.

You oppress the peop­le and whip them into line, not by good works or inspiring leadership, but throu­gh the usage of noth­ing but intimidation, lies, threats, blackmail, disinformati­on, witchunts, fear, hate, division and terror. Your tactics are as despicable as they are deplorabl­e.

Yet despite your sub­jugation and tyranny it will soon be over for you. The earth and the heavens have rejected you, the elemental forces opp­ose you and the Nige­rian people secretly despise you. This is the doing of the Lord and it is marvel­ous in our sight.

You cannot wash away the blood that you have shed. You cannot erase the memory of your failures and your atrocities and those that you have humiliated, destroye­d, insulted, torture­d, incarcerated and subjected to persecu­tion and the most vi­cious and callous me­dia trials.

You cannot silence the voice of the voiceless, you cannot in­timidate the servant of truth and you ca­nnot supress the cha­mpion of the oppress­ed.

The finger of the Lo­rd has marked you do­wn for shame, torment and destruction and the sword of the Lord has wounded you beyond redemption. The rats were just the beginning. More mi­racles and wonders will soon come.

The truth is that no matter how hard you try to put out the raging fire and the crisis of confidence that has afflicted you it will not stop.

Your days are number­ed and your end is nigh. The Ancient of Days has spoken and He shall perfect it.

*Fani-Kayode, a fo­rmer Minister of Inf­kormation, writes from Abuja…

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