A former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, has replied critics of the tribute he paid to the late Mallam Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari. The top chieftain of the party in opposition at the federal level, PDP, says he has his humanity in a piece titled ‘For the record’. Excerpts:
My opposition to the Buhari government for the past five years has been as constant as the northern star and it remains as strong today as it ever was.
I have spoken and written more than anyone else in this country over the past five years about the atrocities of herdsmen and Boko Haram.
I have also suffered more, lost more, been humiliated more, been persecuted more, been incarcerated more and been insulted more than most people in the country due to my unrelenting opposition to the government.
They have literally taken everything from me and it is only by the grace of God that I am still alive.
I have also spoken up for the weak, the poor, the oppressed, the deprived, the voiceless and the persecuted across ethnic, religious and party lines.
And I have done all this right under the noses of those in power and not from distant shores or foreign lands.
That does not, however, mean that I have lost my humanity. That does not mean that I will relish in anyone’s death. That does not mean that I will dance on the grave of others because death comes to us all and doing so diminishes us as human beings and makes us little better than beasts.
For the last 30 years, I have written and spoken out against the hegemony that the people of the South and the Middle Belt and the Christian community have suffered in the hands of our collective oppressors since 1914 and over the last 106 years.
I have also consistently argued that the people of the South-East were subjected to nothing less than genocide during the civil war and that if we really want peace, we must make the necessary amends and atonement for this and they must be treated in an accommodating, reasonable and compassionate way and with far more decency and sensitivity.
The Christian minorities of the North, who have suffered in the hands of the hegemonists immeasurably and have also been subjected to ethnic cleansing, mass murder, crimes against humanity and genocide over the last 60 years, deserve no less and also need to be treated with more sensitivity and have their self-respect and dignity restored.
These, to some, now count for nothing and that is to be expected. God alone vindicates and rewards and posterity and history will judge us all by what we did and said when evil darkened the land and the oppressors held sway.
Meanwhile, those who doubt my commitment to the struggle and to the resistance simply because of my tribute to ABBA KYARI, an old friend of 40 years who passed on are entitled to their opinion and are free to stop reading my contributions and commentaries.
The last thing I need is validation from any man. Why would I crave for that when I have the love of God?
Regardless of their disposition towards me, I will continue to hold on to my views and express them. I owe myself, my God and my nation that much if nothing else. I wish you well. Shalom.