Femi Fani-Kayode

 

As I was about to enter the hall to deliver my speech at the
Anaedoonline first-year anniversary lecture in Nnewi, Anambra state
yesterday my lawyer and a member of my delegation, Mr. Ifeanyi
Ejiofor, and I were approached by the DSS and told that he must not
attend the event.

They said that if he insisted on attending the occasion with me the
venue would be sealed up and the entire event would be stopped and not
allowed to hold.

They said they had orders from Abuja to stop him from attending
because, apart from being my lawyer, he is also the lawyer to Mazi
Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB.

I was shocked. This was a clear case of not just persecution but also
guilt by association. I wondered whether being a lawyer to my friend
and brother Mazi Nnamdi Kanu or to IPOB was now a crime.

My stomach turned as I listened to the words of the  DSS operative. I
took a deep breath, restrained myself and kept repeating to myself,
"FFK, do not lose that famous temper of yours!"

Had it not been for my love and respect for Chief Innocent Chukwuma,
the Chairman of Innoson Motors who hosted me, Anaedoonline, the
organizers of the event who invited me, Professor Kingsly Moghalu, the
Chairman of the event who is a dear friend and N'digbo generally who
are my in-laws, I would have turned back there and then and not graced
the occasion with my presence.

This was coupled with the fact that Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor himself
insisted on abiding by their shameful directive in order to save the
event. Amidst my protestations, he volunteered to stay back and
insisted that I still attend the proceedings and go ahead and make my
speech.

Apart from that my decision to still go ahead was reinforced by the
fact that getting annoyed and turning back or making a scene, which
could have had volatile and dangerous consequences, was precisely what
the FG and the DSS wanted.

The whole thing was designed to provoke me to anger and not go on with
the show. I saw through that and I was not prepared to give them the
pleasure.

Consequently, I proceeded to the venue, went ahead with the speech and
the full text was live-streamed on both Twitter and Facebook in
realtime. Millions of people listened to it from all over the world.

It will also be posted on my twitter handle (@realFFK) and on my
Facebook page (Femi Fani-Kayode) later today.

Given all that happened on this occasion, I am constrained to ask, why
is Buhari so scared of his own shadow?

By their actions, the DSS not only violated the civil liberties and
human rights of my in-law, lawyer, friend, and brother, Mr. Ifeanyi
Ejiofor, but they also proved that our Government is tyrannical,
insidious, cowardly, insensitive and intolerant of opposition and
dissent. They just wanted to ruin the whole occasion for no just
cause.

What is it that scared them so much about Ejiofor's presence? He is a
distinguished, responsible, dedicated, loyal, diligent and
hard-working lawyer and proud son of Anambra a state and he was one of
many that welcomed me to his state with so much enthusiasm, love, and
joy. Is that a crime? Is the DSS so petty? Do they have nothing better
to do?

Worse still their shameful and overzealous behaviour only made them
appear to be far more delusional, unreasonable, weak and paranoid than
I already believed them to be.

Thankfully their madness changed nothing because the show still went
on, I delivered my speech before a warm, friendly and receptive crowd
of responsible people in a beautiful and opulent setting and it was a
great outing.

Many businessmen, politicians, legislators, and leaders of thought
were in attendance and the creme de la creme of Nnewi and Anambra were
there.

They included the Speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly,
numerous members of the State House of Assembly and a representative
of the governor of Anambra state.

I thank Chief Innocent Chukwuma for hosting me in such a lavish manner
and I thank Anaedoonline for honoring me by not only asking me to
deliver the keynote address but also for awarding me the prestigious
'Peoples Choice Award'.

Finally, I thank my lawyer, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, for being so
selfless, for displaying such magnanimity, maturity, restraint, and
patience and for being so gracious despite the atrocious way in which
he was treated by the DSS.

He took it all in his stride and smiled all the way through just for
my sake and the sake of the organizers of the event.  He is indeed my
man of the moment!
 

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