There are majorly three Femis in the Nigeria media space none of who can be ignored.This clarification is however decided by the spectacular with which we view them. The first in line, far from being a journalist even though he bestrides this space like a colossus, is none other than Femi Fani Kayode who it must be said has made his contributions to the society within the propensity of all mortals.
The other is Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker, House of Representatives. Like the first Femi, the law profession is a ground upon which both find affinity. However, Femi Gbajabiamila’s presence in the media space is not for the things he is saying or doing, but more for the failure of his leadership of the House elected and inaugurated to ease the pains of Nigerians by making laws that will advance the cause of the people by checking the excesses of the Executive arm of Government. Unfortunately, our House of Representatives has become an extension of the powers that be; a rubber stamp, approving government’s afflicting policies.
There is yet another Femi, surnamed Adesina. Compared to the other two, this one is a media guru of no mean repute. This media man, with “kulikuli” as his cherished pen name was a delight then when soaking his many “garricious” articles with his style and flair. He was one writer firmly entrenched on the side of the people.
Femi Adesina started his career in journalism as a writer for Radio Lagos. He later joined Vanguard Newspapers. Adesina wrote for Vanguard Newspapers and National Concord Newspapers before joining The Sun Newspaper, where he rose to become editor-in-chief, and later Managing Director. He also served as president of the Nigeria Guild of Editors. Although re-elected for a second term as the Guild’s president, he stepped down after receiving his present government appointment. He also stepped down as editor-in-chief of The Sun. He was sworn-in as special adviser on media and publicity to Buhari on August 31, 2015 and thus became the President’s mouth piece.
The Sun of hope rose with him at the Sun Newspaper where he justified every position he occupied. When elevation came, there was therefore little or no surprise when Buhari, the hero of the masses beckoned on him to become his mouthpiece. The President’s choice seems to be one mouth without odour and hearing from Femi shouldn’t pose any challenge.
Femi (“love me” for that in simple terms is the meaning of his name), was indeed loved until the duty of speaking for Mr President began. Somewhere along the line, the ubiquitous Aso Rock demons once again reared their ugly heads! These were the same fiendish entities which according to Dr Reuben Abati, the then spokesperson for the Goodluck Jonathan’s government, that emasculated him and made sure that all manner of stumbling blocks were put in the way of performance. This same Aso Rock demons seem to have woken up once again over and against Pastor Femi even though his shout of “tofiakwa”, God forbid could mean nothing. Unfortunately, the prognosis coming from that Rock is to say the least quite chilling. Or could it be the childhood myth of an old classmate name that held me bewildered that circumstances is explaining here. Back in my days at Victory School Oke Ado, Ibadan, I had a classmate whose name was Yinka surnamed Mafe. Yinka had a brother that was fondly named Femi. Until I left primary school in 77/78 though I never met Femi Mafe, but the curiosity stayed with me of how one person will be “love me” don’t “love him” at the same time. This is the mystery shared by our once loved-by-all Femi Adesina.
It is therefore understandable that Pastor Ladi Thompson in the bid to unmask the masquerade that Gumi has become will bring both him and Femi Adesina to the court of posterity. Gumi, as the accused and Femi as a witness.
The rising status of Gumi and the threat he constituted to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria necessitated Thompson’s intervention.
In the dock of history, Thompson called Femi to witness against Gumi before a forgetful nation covered by Channels TV. Gumi, our today’s hero was yesterday instructor of almajiris who have graduated into today’s bandits. The man whose words are laws to the bandits, kidnappers and terrorists stood to answer questions that posterity the judge of our actions of yesterday in the context of the light of the present will pose at him. Thompson reminded us that we are dealing with someone very clever. A young fiery Islamic preacher whose first Tarir (Islamic preaching) threw the nation into confusion in 2004 that it took the intervention of one person to play such roles at stabilising national polity at that time. Femi Adesina it was! In Thompson’s words, uniformed opinion only make matters worse and that is the lot of Femi Adesina today. As good as this may sound, it is more of a laundering to how Adesina is perceived. Adesina, he told us, stuck out his neck to say, as the fourth estate of the realm and under our watch, you can’t kill people here. Pastor Ladi Thompson believes Adesina hasn’t changed, but has only become wiser, knowing influence is meant to be managed.
In struggling to remind us, Pastor Ladi has forgotten the words of “hasn’t changed Adesina” during the land for RUGA and Cattle’s colony programme of Muhammadu Buhari’s Fulanization agenda. Those words still echo in our ears, “choose between your ancestral land and your lives”, Adesina charged at a bewildered nation of over 200 ethnic nationalities. The Adesina who stuck out his neck as a journalist in 2004 couldn’t do so 14 years later when he was not the voice of the people but the mouth of the President.
Adesina can be forgiven and should be, but not by making it look as if he has done no wrong. Posterity today is judging his actions of yesterday, side by side Gumi. While Gumi is condemned Adesina is vindicated. But Adesina should be reminded that his actions today under Buhari will tomorrow stand for judgment in the court of posterity.
To err is human and to forgive is divine. Forgiveness is activated by asking for apology. Adesina knows what to do if he desires it. He remains one of the best things to have happened to the practice of Journalism in this country, that no one can deny, though he didn’t leave us with much to celebrate about him as a Presidential spokesman. I for one will continue to respect his astuteness as a journalist.