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Femi Fani-Kayode vs Bianca Ojukwu •Did FFK rape Adaobi Uchendu and Chioma Anasoh?

By Emeka Ugwuonye on 19/08/2013

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I have tried quite hard to evade all further questions coming to me on the topic of Femi Fani-Kayode (FFK) since my last comment on the matter. I am still puzzled by the level of public interest in the matter. Surprisingly, the interest seems to be rather focused on the aspect of his essays where he made references to a past relationship with Ms. Bianca Onoh, the beauty queen, who later became married to Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, the revered leader of the Igbos. Some mischievous bunch, particularly those on some of list-serves frequented by Nigerians, have used that point to endlessly make jokes at the Igbos.

Of course, any association between FFK, who has shown such extreme hatred for the Igbos, to Bianca, who is an iconic figure and an Igbo, irritates a lot of Igbo people. The idea that it could be true that FFK ever had any relationship with Bianca has been vehemently denied. Even so, in pursuit of the matter, some online news portals have come forward with stories that there was indeed an intimate relationship between the two. Obviously, such media effort became necessary because some people had denied the possibility of any such relationship regardless of the time when that might have occurred. That is the sense of outrage with which the Igbos have viewed the extremely provocative statements FFK has made against their ethnic identity and history.

FFK’s allusion to intimacies with this icon ought not to have been given as much weight as it has been. In fact, it should have been dismissed as a joke, not because it could not have happened, but rather because it was invoked at the most irrelevant timing and context. Who cares about whom FFK dated nearly 30 years ago? And who cares about whom Bianca might have dated nearly 30 years ago?

If one must analyse FFK’s claim in any detail, the outcome of such analysis will not be favorable to FFK. It actually puts him in a very horrible light. For a start, the affair he referred to occurred about 30 years ago, when Bianca was just a teenager studying for her A-Levels in the United Kingdom and FFK was a Master’s in Law degree candidate in Cambridge University, also in the United Kingdom. It is not an achievement that a man pursuing a Master’s degree in law was only able to impress a teenager, however beautiful the teenager may be. Thirty years ago, any relationship between Bianca and FFK would have been an upgrade for the young teenager but a significant downgrade for Lawyer FFK. In any case, the relationship ended around 1986 (27 years ago).

Why would such relationship be so important in FFK’s life that he should mention it now? That is where FFK gets portrayed in the poorest of lights. The answer to the question lies in what happened to the two since the past 30 years.

In the ’80s, FFK was a rising star. Great family name! Great education! Great career promise! Well spoken! A dashing physique! In that same period, Bianca was a young girl trying to make up her mind what her choice of career and future would be. She was an impressionable young lady. Soon after they ended their association, Bianca’s life and career took off like a rocket. She won many a beauty pageant that made her one of the most successful beauty queens in Nigerian history. As she attained these heights, she also gradually grew into an extraordinary personality with a Law degree in her handbag, and a highly regarded public figure in Nigeria and beyond. As Bianca exploded in fame, FFK shrank into something much smaller than was expected. There was no flourishing Law practice despite the great foundations laid by his family. There was no career in the academia despite a postgraduate degree from Cambridge. Instead, FFK ended up in Ghana with a local church where he became a born again and learned to speak in tongues and cast out demons, a skill that was to later make him quite resourceful at the Aso Rock chapel. He spent three years in Ghana in that process.

A resurrection occurred for FFK when he became one of President Olusegun Obasanjo’s spokespersons. He distinguished himself in that position principally because he could abuse the perceived opponents of the President with words and language that most people would consider extreme. In less than two years remaining in Obasanjo’s administration, FFK was appointed the Minister of Aviation. Though an important elevation, it was too short a period and FFK’s reputation and development had already plateaued. And since 2007 when he last held a government office, he has continued a decline toward irrelevance such that he found it necessary to try to revive himself by a daring and extreme resort to bigotry and ethnic hatred for the Igbos.

Consider Bianca’s development within the same period. She had been the beloved wife with whom the leader of the Igbos spent his last 25 years of his life. She has become one of the most loved persons in Nigeria. She had become a force to reckon with, the leader of a political party, Special Adviser to the President (the same position that FFK held a few years earlier, but without the hostilities and enemies that FFK made while on the job). She earned the respect of the entire world for the graceful manner she handled the sickness, death and funeral of her husband. And she became Nigeria’s Ambassador to Spain, a key European country.

To confirm the mindset of FFK behind the references to his association with Bianca, consider the profiles of the two women he mentioned along, namely, Adaobi Kate Uchendu and Chioma Anasoh. Both were his aides while he worked in Obasanjo’s administration. Both were people he had the power to hire or fire and to fix their pay. None was an independent person with real choice. They met him while he was married. They are not comparable with Bianca beyond the fact that they are all Igbos. Clearly, FFK had suffered a total drop in his ability to impress women, moving from being able to impress a rising beauty star to a point where he could only impress unemployed and poor girls who needed him to put food on their tables. All that raises questions whether these two women truly consented to whatever they did with him or whether we are dealing with cases of rape or at least sexual harassment. The story is indeed not palatable on the side of FFK.

Whether or not he dated the 17-year old Bianca nearly 30 years ago is therefore totally irrelevant. It does not add anything to him and it does not detract anything from Bianca. Also, whether he managed to date two poor Igbo girls working for him is not a thing he should be proud of either. A hunter that has settled for lame ducks cannot be considered a resourceful hunter anymore. It is thus not an insult or humiliation to the Igbos that FFK mentioned those three Igbo ladies as women he has had “long-standing and intimate relationship[s with]”. It is time to really bury that topic and focus on the real issues at stake like the deportations going on in Lagos State.

•Emeka Ugwuonye, a lawyer and activist, whose photo appears along with this piece, wrote from Lagos.

Source News Express

Posted 19/08/2013 2:52:25 PM

 

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