Monday, April 29, 2013


Ladies and gentlemen, in the fourth part of this syndication, Femi Fani Kayode talks about service and loyalty. FFK is a very loyal man and he describes himself as a die hard President Obasanjo boy. Here he brings a spiritual dimension to service and loyalty. : You have served at the feet of greatness all over and you have been very loyal, you were President Obasanjo’s voice, let’s talk about service and loyalty
FFK:  There are two basic principles and two important virtues that I live by. The first is courage.  They say that ''courage is the greatest of all the virtues''.  

I believe that. I was brought up to believe that. It was the great Greek philosopher Plato that first said it thousands of years ago and I believe it passionately. It is as true today as when Plato said it thousands of years ago. The second great virtue is loyalty.  You see there is a spiritual principle which we as Christians ought to know if we don’t know it already. It goes like this- in order to lead, you have to first serve. Even though He is God and the second person of the Holy Trinity, Jesus had to come down amongst men. He came down and He despised the shame of becoming an ordinary man because He had a mission and purpose that He had to fulfill.
He was born in a manger. Do you know what it means to be born in a manger in a stable or a barn? He was nothing and a nobody at birth. He was brought up by a carpenter. He came from a poor family. God Himself came down and became nothing. They betrayed Him. They beat Him. They misrepresented Him. They crucified Him. And then they killed Him. He went through all that. Jesus suffered all that because He knew He had to serve. He served humanity. He served God the Father that sent Him. He carried out His mission.  It was only after that service that He could be exalted and lifted up. This could only happen after He was crucified and after He went down to hell and spoilt the principalities and powers. He rose again and then from there halleluiah!  He ascended into heaven where He is seated at the right hand of God the Father. Up until now He is with God interceding on our behalf. If He hadn’t served, if He hadn’t done all that, if He hadn’t been courageous and loyal  to the counsel of God and to the purpose He was sent to achieve, if he hadn’t done all that, He would not have been able to ascend. He would not have been able to say ''I have paid the price, I have shed my blood so that they can come back and reconcile with You'' to God the Father.
So He had to serve before He could rise up to lead and that’s the principle. If you want to be a good leader in this country, a good leader, you have leaders that never served and they have been bad leaders but if you want to be a good leader, you need to be able to serve people.
A lot of people think I just came in on the scene. Like President Obasanjo just looked for me somewhere and picked me. It’s not true. I worked for Chief Tom Ikimi who was a great man when he was Chairman of NRC.
 I was his spokesman. People don’t know this. That was in 1991. After that I worked for Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi as his spokesman too in his Choice '92 Presidential Campaign organisation and during his presidential campaign. Throughout the NADECO years I worked under a leader. His name was Chief Tunde Edu. When I was in Ghana the first time from 1993 till 1995 I left politics completely and when I went to Bible College. Whilst there I worked under Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams and that’s when I learnt what life was all about and then I learnt my lessons. When NADECO came and I went back into politics in 1996 I worked under Chief Tunde Edu who was my leader. He was the commander of NADECO in Ghana and I took orders from him. I came back to Nigeria eventually and I met President Obasanjo in 2001. We had an eight hour argument with lots of talking and shouting and all the rest. I had been so hostile to him in the past and I told him what I believed about Nigeria and he said to me ‘you are a stupid boy’ and we really argued. I didn’t back down, I argued with him but in the end he convinced me that he was right and that I was wrong about whether Nigeria should remain as one country. He invited me to be close to him and from that point every weekend; I was in Abuja with him in the villa. I worked under that man and got to know him well long before I joined his government. I  got to know that man inside out for at least two years or about a year and a half before I joined government. We were very close so by the time I joined government I knew what I had to do and I committed that I would defend this man with my life if I had to because I believed in him and his cause. 
I resolved that I would protect him and that I would stand by him and that is what I dedicated my life to doing for three years.
Ninety percent (90%) of the enemies I have today are because of my position with Obasanjo and I don’t regret it at all. After that I was appointed a Minister by him and at that point I faced my ministry as Minister of Culture and Tourism and then later as Minister of Aviation and I stopped defending him. Somebody else took over that job. I still remain loyal to President Obasanjo and I continue to be loyal to him till today. We may have had one or two disagreements from time to time; I disagreed with his choice of President Yaradua openly. A number of us did. We saw that it was a mistake but I still remain loyal to him and till the day that he dies and even after his death I will be loyal to President Obasanjo. This is because President Obasanjo’s government was a good government that brought development to my country and Obasanjo himself is a profoundly good man. That doesn’t mean to say I can’t disagree with him from time to time. I can and I have. That is bound to happen again but I will always protect him and defend his cause and it is in doing things like that and serving at the feet of these people and learning at their feet, just as the Apostle Paul learnt at the feet of somebody else, that you can grow. When you do that and you learn from their mistakes and achievements you are also imbued with their knowledge and their anointing begins to flow on you as well. By the time your own time comes to lead. God will honor you because He has been preparing you all these years for that particular role. He will now honor you because you have served loyally. When you have served loyally and your own time comes to begin to lead, others will also serve you loyally. This is because you once served somebody else well. Never betray. If you disagree with your leader tell him that you disagree and that you have decided to opt out. You can do that. I will never be a slave to anybody. I have never been and I can never be. Nobody that bears the name Fani-Kayode can be a slave to anybody.
We are loyal to a fault but if we disagree, even with our leaders, we will say so quietly and we will part ways amicably. Yet loyalty and courage, as far as I am concerned, are the keys to life and if a man wants to eventually lead he needs to imbue those two virtues.
You must have courage and loyalty and you must have the humility to serve others until your own time to lead comes.

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