I will run for office in 2019, and I will win– Femi Fani-Kayode



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NAIJ.com

As NAIJ.com turns four, our team took out time to interview some notable Nigerians, and Femi Fani-Kayode was one of the "chosen ones".

Fani-Kayode, a former minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (twice), shared with NAIJ.com's Nnenna Ibeh and Chinenye Ugonna, his life experiences, education, politics and ambitions. The profound talk took place about ten days before FFK's detention.

On May 9, he honoured the invitation by Nigeria's anti-corruption agency, the EFCC, and remains in custody till date, May 27, 2016.
The former minister of aviation starts with a call to country's leaders to always speak when things go wrong in the society.

Femi Fani-Kayode says that anyone who sees himself as a leader must speak against wrongdoings in his community or the nation. According to him, any leader who fails to speak or keep a ruling government on their toes is a 'bastardo'.
"If you don't speak out then you must be what the Italians call a 'bastardo', I won't say the English translation. If you say you are just a leader even if it's just the leader of your village, things are going wrong and you don't speak out or keep the government on their toes, then you are what they call a 'bastardo'."
About being concerned by the issues of Biafra and the Fulani herdsmen attacks

"It's because I am a Nigerian and if with the wonderful things that this country has given me, over the years for four generations, my family has been blessed in this country. The country has given us so much to be proud of. We have achieved so much as a family so when you see all that."


"In Enugu, a large number of people were killed by Fulani herdsmen and not one governor from east has said a word. Most of them are very good people and are friends of mine so I'm not attacking them. If I were governor of the east, I will do all in my power to speak for the people because that is my duty as governor. I will make sure that as a senator or even local government chairman will do my best to speak for my people. But here the culture is 'do not talk', and it is wrong."
"That is what a real leader ought to be able to do. So I won't be part of those who will say 'it doesn't really matter, why should I bother because my family is okay?' Whether it is Buhari, or Boko Haram, or the Fulani herdsmen, whether it's those locked up unjustly, whether it's running on the economy etc. They are all absolutely horrific.

"And the type of family I come from, the kinds of people I interact with because I am more or less international, I find it traumatising. Even though I have been in Nigeria for the later part of my life, these things are alien. You still have people who want to Islamise the country. In this country, you still have people who believe that women are not better than hooded vultures."
Fani-Kayode said.
About studying the law and mode of operation of the Nigerian courts
Note: The former minister bagged his law degree at the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies in 1983. He further went to the Cambridge University and was later called to the British bar. Fani-Kayode told NAIJ.com he came back to Nigeria to attend the Nigerian Law School following his father's advise and was called to the Nigerian bar in 1985.
"I practised for only about four, five years and when I came back, I stayed in my father's law firm for about four five years and then became a full partner in the law firm. After the four, five years I said goodbye law, because I just did not like the way it operated here.

"In England, there is a distinction between the barristers and solicitors but here there is no distinction, solicitors go to court, barristers do solicitors work and I found that a little bit challenging and complicated. And my whole mind is focused towards advocacy and I would have been a barrister not a solicitor."
The ex minister said.
"As a young lawyer, I found the Nigerian courts slow in the process of taking decisions on various matters.

"I decided to go into the private sector, and then I went into politics.
"
Fani-Kayode says he had an ambition to join the British army which was sternly objected to by his father, Babaremilekun Fani-Kayode.

FFK adds he does not plan to object to any plans his son, Aragon Lotanna Fani-Kayode, wants to do, especially in his career.
About the Buhari administration
My views are self-evident and widely known. I think I have been fairly consistent, I believe that everything that I have said about President Buhari and the sort of people around him, everything I said at the time of the presidential campaign has come to pass.
As a matter of fact, it is even worse than what I said would happen and at that time, everyone was complaining that I was being too hard on them, it is not that bad and that I was being unfair but no, I knew what I was saying because I was being led by the spirit of God. And everything that I have said, in terms of their ability to run the affairs of the country, their monumental incompetence, the introduction of religious politics into our affairs, the division the strive, the sheer poverty. You know the incompetence, so many things and of course most importantly apart from the impunity, there is also the vindictive nature that all voices must be silenced, use their power to discredit the past administration; I told President Jonathan this would happen, I told all of them. You demonize the power in other to justify your own incompetence for the present but like I always say, it is a democracy and Nigerians made their choice, they should live with it for the next few years. Perhaps by 2019, they would realize that the 'Change' which we said at that time would be a change from light to darkness, they would realize now that this is darkness. They opted for darkness and maybe by 2019, they would opt for light again, if they chose not to again, they would rather enjoy it four another four years.
... Fuel queues everywhere, the electricity, you do not have it, and when you have it the cost has shot up. You talk about transport fairs, you talk about food prices, you talk about all these things, and it is a much harder place to live now than it was a year ago. You talk about the ethnic divide, it is sad to say that today, apart from Boko Haram the Fulani herdsmen, what they call the Fulani militants, have grown from strength to strength.
There is no foreign exchange anymore in our country companies are divesting, the international community have stopped investing in Nigeria, no business community, the industries are folding up, agriculture. I mean what and how much worse could it possibly be?

Most important of all if we are not careful and if this sectarian divide continue, these killings continue, these mass murder continues, these genocides continue, we may end up in a terrible brutal civil war and that is my greatest fear now.

It is not about politics any more, I think perhaps the time of politics have gone, now is the time the struggle to keep our nation together as one, which I believe that we need to do but you cannot insist that be one as long as people are being slaughtered all over the country simply because they are not Muslims, or they are not from the north, or Fulanis. That is unacceptable to me as a human being and as a Nigerian. It is wrong for over a thousand to be slaughtered for no reason.

I think it is wrong for IPOB members, these young Igbos that are simply saying 'no, they've had enough' and want to exercise the right of self-determination, I think it is wrong, I mean, you may disagree with them but you don't kill them; nobody does that, except here in Nigeria.
It is not easy in Nigeria today any more but that is the choice we made, so we must live with that choice and we must continue to talk to our government, talk to those in power to try to do the right thing to make life better for the people.
I think it is wrong not to condemn Fulani herdsmen. I think it is wrong to lie about Boko Haram and say that "they have been defeated", when you know they have not being defeated, and they are very much alive and well. I think it is wrong to run a nation or to run a government simply on propaganda. It is a dangerous thing, you can do it for a while, but after a while it becomes dangerous and especially when you take away everything from the people and reduce them to a point of nothingness. People are suffering, people are starving, going through hardship, you so mess up the issue of foreign exchange and getting monies out and so on and so forth that people are withdrawing their children from schools abroad when they send them schools they cannot even afford the fees any more.
And of course, one more thing, when you are waging a war against corruption or supposedly so or you only target your enemies and you demonize them and you break all the orders, you ignore the court violate court orders, you treat the judiciary with contempt, you cause everybody to live in an atmosphere of fear or at least you try to do that. And that if one says anything about the government, we will go and lock you up indefinitely, we will bring up corruption charges against you. For goodness sake, you cannot bully people like that. And great men, strong men, men of distinction will look you in the eye and say do your worse because at the end of the day, the worst you can do is kill.

comments on Buhari's war against corruption
On recommendations for the Buhari government
Which kind of recommendation when they do not even understand the meaning of the word 'economics'?! I mean, there you have the minister of finance speaking Cockney she speaks English with a Cockney accent, do you know the implications of that? I mean, I am sorry, she is a pretty lady. When it comes to ladies particularly, I am always very generous, in terms of emotions and my comments, I am very restrained. She is a pretty lady but then you now have to ask, what school did she go to? What university did she attend? If she was in the UK, and I have never met her, I have nothing against her, I am just speaking as a man that was a minister for 10-11 years ago, so I am far the senior of any of these ministers they have today, not one of them is my senior apart from Chief Audu Ogbeh, who is minister of agriculture, who was minister in the days of the MPN in 1983. But, just getting back to the point, you have to have the right quality of people to get the job done.
If you want to say what is the advice what is the counsel then you have to go back to the drawing board, get a good blueprint together, consult the PDP. The past PDP cabinet they may help you turn the situation around. Go and meet Okonjo-Iweala and beg her, say you are sorry and ask her for her advice. They are also many many Okonjo-Iweala's in this country, not just my sister Ngozi, there are many many others like that. And for goodness sake get off your high horse and get down to doing the job rather than saying: "You know, we did not have light today that is because of Jonathan yesterday." It is time to do the work and they have a lot of work to do.
About running for the office in 2019
I intend to run in 2019, but I will not say which office. I didn't come to politics just to be talking. Depending on what comes our way to the south-west.

I am a very ambitious man and I think it gets to a point when you have contributed so much to the country by keeping government on their toes and working for another president or working for a president, either a spokesman or minister, when will it be your own turn to run for president or vice president etc.

Be rest assured that FFK will run for an elective office, a very high elective office in this country probably the highest, sooner or later. And when I do and I will win!
About allegations on collecting money
I don't respond to allegations. Let them be done formally. I have written an essay in that but we have done absolutely nothing wrong. And the issues that were raised in various sections of the media was responded to in an essay I wrote and I was very open about it. As far as I am concerned, that is where it lies. If anyone wants to make an issue of it then they should go ahead. The most important thing is to be right before God and right before man. Once you are confident in than then there is absolutely nothing to fear.

When it comes to issues of campaign funds, we did not know the source of these campaign funds and we were assured that they were from the private sector and I believe that.

We have no reason to believe that money came from anywhere else. All the directors were sent money from that place either through cash or accounts. All our state coordinators were sent money from the same source (a private company).
About alleged ownership of a house in Dubai
Ask SaharaReporters, because I am still waiting for the key. They should give me the key to that house because I am claiming it in Jesus's name.
FFK was spotted in Lagos accompanied by the EFCC operatives on Tuesday, May 24. Photo credit: SaharaReporters
The ex minister turned pastor while in detention was seemingly in a high spirit. His process is still underway.

NAIJ.com will keep you informed on the development.
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