As in the case of Obadiah Mailafiya, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode is a privileged Nigerian who is largely a creation of the Nigerian media. This, of course, is not to strip him of his deep intellect and urban-ness. An African adage has warned us never to play with a tiger, for we could end up in its stomach. And that’s exactly what happened.
Fani-Kayode has for years been disrespectful of countless respectable Nigerians. When he served as an aide to President Olusegun Obasanjo, he applied his sharp tongue to lash at anyone who disagreed with the President. What did the media do? We kept applauding virtually his every move.
Even his so-called tour of some southern states is only relevant because Fani-Kayode has a ready platform in the media to get the required publicity. So afraid are many reporters of Fani-Kayode that when he was busy pouring invectives on the Daily Trust reporter last week in Calabar, they were pitifully apologizing instead of staging a walkout. The man must have started seeing himself as invincible. Though he did his best to strip that reporter of his humanity, Fani-Kayode was still threatening to report the hapless correspondent to his employers in Abuja.
The Nigerian media has come a long way, playing key roles that have seen to democracy being sustained without interruption for over two decades, for the first time in our history. For me, the lesson is for the Nigerian media to go back to the drawing board and reassess its relations with some of the over-hyped personalities in this country. It also means that, going forward, we need to be a lot more careful with the way we lend our strong platforms to personalities, as not all of them will ever value it. Many of them will abandon us or take us for granted when it matters most.
For the Femi Fani-Kayodes of this world, the lesson is that though the media can be your friend for decades, it cannot watch idly-by when you deviate and start attempting to devour it. It is a big lesson for us all.