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What does Femi Falana want?



femi falana

By Joseph Edgar…Yes, that is what is on my mind this morning. What does this Senior Advocate really want? His confusing and mixed statements about goings on in the polity have begun to make me question his essence and even his state of mind. What is coming to me right now is that the man is most likely suffering from a crisis of identity. Or, how else can you explain the myriad of fence crossing positions he has been taking culminating in the one he has asked the Federal Government to sack Gov Fayose if he refuses to resign.


People, to me who is a legal illiterate, this statement if correctly ascribed to him borders on a flirtatious play of the respected learned eagle with comedy. It is this statement in its effect that has made me to start worrying about the psychological state of this SAN.


I remember him very well. He had come to the university of Ibadan campus in the 80s with his mentor, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi for a rally. Chief Fawehinmi in the middle of his usual railing against the military had paused to introduce his soldiers and Femi Falana was one of them. He was very young with scraggy beards and ill-fitting khaki which was then the uniform of the comrades. He did not speak that day apart from screaming the usual mobilization chant.


I watched him very closely as if I could see through his future. Something about him struck me and I am not sure exactly what it was. Maybe the fact that he was looking unkempt and not too interested in the ‘fight’ as I caught him many times staring and looking around the campus like a small child in Disney land. Well, all that is history now. He has grown to become a major figure, not only in civil society but also in the body politics of the country.


Throughout the military era and initial civilian rule, Femi Falana was in the forefront for the protection of human rights and civil liberties. He jumped into the fray like his mentor and failed woefully in converting the equity he had amassed over the years to political capital and ever since he has been in the wilderness not sure where or what he now stands for.


Everybody and every subject is now target for him. From the former Finance Minister, to the Edo State Governor, the Federal Government and now Fayose, everybody has been at the mercy of his increasingly confusing tirade. His statements now lack the ideological weight it used to have, carrying with it the lightness of a Lilliputian social agitator. I am beginning to suspect that relevant authorities are no longer taking him seriously or how else would you expect a democratic government to take the Fayose statement seriously.


His ideology has been muted by a failed personal ambition. He has been left staggering with the blows of electoral defeat and public rejection in the face of what would have been a great self sacrifice in the push for the enthronement of the democracy which we now enjoy.


This rejection to me must have left a certain bitterness and a need to lash out at the ungrateful people who do not understand what he must have gone through to give them this right to reject him at the polls. I also sense a need to lash out at those who have gained from his struggles hence the lash out at any but everybody that catches his fancy, devoid of the fine points of law and in some cases common sense.


The bright light in all these is his son, Falz whose beautiful rhymes and wise cracks have continued to smoothen our nerves, making us want to forgive his father and his quest for a rented relevance.


How are the mighty fallen? What does Femi Falana really want? I have failed to answer the question in this piece, so I keep my peace.


Ripples Nigeria…without borders, without fears.

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