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Falana, when will you mind your own business?

Source: pointblanknews.com
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By Dapo Thomas
My dear FF, your frequent interventions in national affairs these days are

getting me worried about how you harness your energies, time and resources

at this critical period in your life. I read your statements on police

permit for rallies, the kerosene subsidy palaver and the latest was your

letter to the Auditor-General of the federation on the missing $20 billion

which the CBN Governor, Lamido Sanusi alleged was illegally withheld from

the federation Account by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation

(NNPC).
In your letter dated February 7, you demanded for a comprehensive audit of

the federation account by the Auditor-General of the federation in order

to reconcile the conflicting figures of both the Central Bank of Nigeria

and the NNPC. You also threatened to take appropriate legal actions

against the Auditor-General if he failed to act on your letter. You and I

know that this was not the first time money will be missing from NNPC.

It started way back in 1977 when Vera Ifudu of the NTA had an exclusive

interview with Senator Olusola Saraki on the findings of the Senate

committee that investigated the discovery of $2.8 billion in the account

of a notable military officer in a Midland Bank branch in London.

The Senate committee's findings contradicted those of Justice Ayo Irikefe

panel which absolved the military officer from any wrong doing. Dr. Tai

Solarin who helped in spreading the “rumour” through his column in the

Nigerian Tribune was advised by Justice Irikefe to mind his own business

when he failed to substantiate his claim when he appeared before the

panel. Solarin's confession that he heard about the missing money inside a

molue angered Irikefe and his colleagues.
I commend your consistency and commitment to the struggle for a just and

better society, responsible leadership and good governance. However, I

must warn that you have gotten to a stage in your life when you have to

reflect on your activism and your participatory capacity considering your

age and your expanded family commitments having attained the status of a

grandfather. Just last month, I read that you lost your son-in-law, Juwon

Majekodunmi, who got married to your daughter just a year ago. This may

not have any direct connection to the struggle, it is just a way of

telling you that there is need to re-strategize and possibly deploy and

re-channel some of these energies and resources into some personal

endeavours. I am concerned about the fact that after almost 35 years of

“active activism” you are not showing signs of either withdrawing from it

or slowing down the tempo of your anger against the nation's political

leadership. I must acknowledge though that your serial interventions in

the Nigerian project have really helped us to achieve the little sanity

that we have today, I still feel that the time has come for you to watch

from the terrace or the sidelines how the game would be played without

your involvement. The history of your activism is replete with so many

instances of your confrontations with governments and their security

agencies. Some of them were as dangerous as they were lethal. The number

of persecutions you have suffered in the course of ensuring that our

leaders govern the people according to their oath of office and the laws

of the land, is so massive that we your friends believe that only God

could have made you survive them all, at least to date.

My dear friend, I see some defects, structural and systemic, in our Aluta

strategy. Have you not observed that all our past struggles/Alutas have

only led to changes in characters and styles? Just when you think you have

dealt with a Babangida and his antics, another character, possibly more

evil than Babangida, for instance, an Abacha, would later surface on stage

with his own style, his own evil, his own corruption, his own despotic and

tyrannical tendencies and exploits and then, the struggle continues. What

can we do to end the struggle? When do we have time to mind our own

personal business? What profits do we derive from a national struggle that

saps our youthful energies and faculties, and also threatens the peace of

our old age? What is more pathetic is that some of our people, previously

engaged and involved in this struggle, have been blighted by the

struggle's one-step forward, twenty- steps-backward scenario, and have

either joined them, the so-called oppressors, or have been settled to keep

mute in the midst of evil, or have been disabled physically, mentally,

spiritually and economically.
You and I might have been favoured to still remain alive, blessed and

prosperous, but does that confer on us any moral authority to berate those

who have committed class suicide having seen the vanity and futility of a

struggle that remains as it was in the beginning and appears to want to

remain like that forever? The struggle may be your life but your life does

not have to be all about struggles. That is why the Yoruba say; ta ba

dagba a ye ogun ja meaning our involvement in warfare is halted by old

age.
My dear Femi, your involvement in the struggle at this age (approaching 60

years) illustrates one thing: that our generation has failed in evolving a

succession plan. When I see Dr. Dipo Fasina (Jingo) still doing aluta at

his age, I chuckle at our succession failure. If we started in our 20s and

we have been involved in active engagement for more than three decades,

what is wrong in handing over to some of our youths who have the vibrancy

and the passion for activism? Is it that we don't have confidence in them

or we think they lack the capacity for revolutionary resilience? For all

you know, some of these youths are not coming out because they see that

some of you, the older generation, are unwilling to quit the stage for

them or reluctant to carry them along because you seem to be enjoying the

glamour and the publicity of activism.
Femoo, I want you to tell me in all sincerity if you were not frustrated

and disappointed when you were rejected by your own people in Ekiti when

you contested for the governorship of the State on the platform of the

National Conscience Party (NCP) in 2003. You must have been (mis)led into

politics and the governorship race by the illusion (or is it impression?)

that your popularity and fame as an activist of untainted reputation would

get you into power. Again, you would have thought that it was an

opportunity for the people to compensate you for your activism over the

years and for your past sacrifices to ensure good governance in Nigeria

even at the point of death. Were you not shocked and bemused that the same

people who refused to vote for you as the governor of Ekiti State

enthroned a clown and a clueless fellow like Ayodele Fayose as the

governor of a state like Ekiti which boasts of nothing less than 3 to 4

professors from every community. What do we call this? An anomaly? A

paradox? Political ingratitude? An irony? A contradiction? Whatever name

we give to it, there is no justification at all for an enlightened state

like Ekiti to have opted for a Fayose where there is a Falana. Any

system, nay, any society, where this kind of aberration is encouraged, is

sliding into insanity. Though, some people claimed that you were unable to

effectively fund your campaign, should that be an excuse for your

rejection? Were your selfless sacrifices for the nation not sufficient to

obliterate every financial disability? Were your incarcerations not enough

to generate goodwill in place of financial insufficiency? Was the

humiliation you were subjected to before you were made a SAN, when

virtually all your juniors in the Bar had been made SAN, not an

opportunity for the Ekiti people to console their son who was being

persecuted for fighting an evil society?
But I must submit that the system or society that did this to you was

unfair and unjust. I am not trying to rake up any animousity between you

and your people but it is important that we all learn one or two lessons

from your episode so that tomorrow a Kayode Fayemi will not lose election

to an ungrateful Labourer, or a poultry thief or a failed banker. Or an

Aregbesola losing election to a peripatetic rogue. We must as a people

begin to learn how to reward people's diligence and selfless services to

their fatherland instead of commercializing our electoral

potentials/assets.
I am tempted to ask you to consider spending the rest of your life in the

service of GOD by joining us in the Redemption Camp. But I am not too sure

if you will not continue your struggle by descending on our redeemed

Pastors and their “flamboyant” lifestyles. This may be a very dangerous

adventure. GOD Himself may be forced to ask you “why you are criticizing

another man's servant”. In the church, struggle is regarded as a rebellion

while activism is seen as a mutiny against the “heavenly hosts”. Remember

that you left the Catholic Church as a page boy when you could not condone

or agree with some of their doctrines. I want to believe that you are

still very bitter with the Church. GOD does not encourage rebellion, so, I

advise you to mind your domestic business by spending more time with

Funmi. Folarin, Folakemi and Foladele. My dear friend, you need some rest

after a long battle with this evil society.