Dr. N. Tony Nwaezeigwe
Senior Research Fellow
Institute of African Studies,
University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
In a recent rejoinder to his revealed Nupe ancestry published by Naija.com on-line news out-fit on August 24, 2013, Chief Femi Abdulatef Fani-Kayode in his usual namby-pamby exhibition of intellectual trumpery goofed by describing the present writer as not just ‘some confused Igbo person who Claims to be an academic”, but “the usual 419”.
But that is far from the truth Dr. Nwankwo Tony Okoboshi Nwazeigwe is neither a confused Igbo person nor a fake academic. (Dr. Nwaezeigwe is a full-fledged Nigerian historian of full Igbo extraction trained in both character and learning by the Department of History and international studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Beyond being a senior Research Fellow at the Institute of African studies, at the same university, he is an Igbo of Ibusa extraction, a Deltan by political cartography.
Thus, as a citizen of the defunct Western Region of Nigeria and professional historial, political and intellectual condour to stand by the immutability of alhaji abdulateef Femi-Kayode’s Nupe ancestry.
One had expected Abdulateef Fani kayodee to address the substance of the issues raised regarding his Nupe ancestry on points of historical credibility as a lawyer would do when dealing on issues that demand points of law to contradict. At best, he should have hired a competent professional Yoruba historian to contradict the urgent matter of his Nupe ancestry with incontrovertible body of evidence.
But he chose instead by the usual influence of his generic paranoiac despondency to engage on a peripatetic intellectual dance of madness that acutely places him right on the precipice of his political doomsday.
The chief Abdulateef Fani-Kayode’s problem is the problem of Nigeria’s fatalistic neglect of her history. It his more on his fatalistic ignorance of the subject of historical studies in general and his personal history in particular, than his penchant for chronic garrulousity. Politically hypochondriac with traces of morbid symptoms of schizophrenia and imperiled by an atrocious and impetuous historical “imbecility, “Alhaji” Femi Abdulateef Fani-Kayode by his nobly denial of his Nupe ancestry appears destined for a cataclysmic course of his own history. In a befuddling manner that only speaks of a capitulating morass of identify complex and lacking in the usual cantankerous diatribes, Femi Abdulateef Fani-Kayode wrote:
“I assure you all that there is not an iota of truth in the assertion that I have any Nupe ancestries or blood in me. I have traced my bloodlines back to 8 generations and other than having a little Fulani blood in me through my maternal great grandmother I am a pure Yoruba. I have ancestral ties with Abeokuta, Ilesha, Ife and lagos but no where else. I have no Nupe blood in me and my great grandfather was not a Nupe or a sierra Leonean. Neither was he a slave great Bishop Ajayi-Crowther.”
First if Abdulateef Femi Fani-Kayode denies any relationship with the family of Bishop Ajayi Crowther, he may well explain the relationship between Reverend Joseph Fanimokun, Principal of C.M.S. Grammar school, Lagos (from 1896 to 1914, the father to his paternal ground on other Mrs. Ausora Kayode, and the Bishop Ajayi crowther family. The truth is that his paternal great grandfather, the Respected Reverend Emmanuel Kayode was one of the Nupe Siera Leonean students engaged by Bishop Samuel Ajayi-Crowther to help in Nupe language stranslations mentioned by the renowned ethno-linguist, Professor Robert G. Armstrong during his inaugural lecturer at the University of Ibadan in 1964.
Abdulateef Femi Fani-Kayode further claimed that he could trace his bloodlines back to eight generations. Let him begin by stating his great grandfather’s kindred in Ife, and then to the nature of his ancestral connections to Ilesha, Abeokuta and Lagos.
The fact however remains that Abdulateef Fani-Kayode knows that it was on account of his Nupe ancestry that the former military dictator, General Ibrahim truth regarding Chief Abdulateef Fami-Kayode is that he is a Nigeria, state indigene in the cloak of Yoruba identify. Every descent and patriotic Yoruba nationalist should watch him very carefully, for the leopard can never change its skin. Badamos Babangida organized a private Birthday Dinner for him at Lagos on October 17, 2010, during which he was extolled by the dictator as a worthy son of Niger State playing their eye in Yoruba land (A) the gospel.
If Femi Abdulateef Fani-Kayode claims that he has some pints of Fulani blood in him nobody would dispute him as the Nupe are ruled today by the Fulani. He may as well trace his Fulani blood to the ruling
Efsu-Nupe dynasty to actualize his scavenging fortuitous political adventurism. Had claimed Oshodi-Tapa Lineage of Lagos state, may be that would him given him an edge over those Igbo born and bred in Lagos like him. If truly he was of Fulani blood, let him mention the name and clan of that his Fulani material Great Grandmother.
It should be recalled that in the concluding sentence of the present writer’s previous research note on Femi abdulateef Fani-kayode, the latter was described as a gambari par excellence – gambari being the Yoruba term for the Fulani. This was done deliberately in order to preempt him into divulging his earlier claim in 1991 of falsifying of a remote Fulani ancestry when he sought for political patronage from the former Director General of the defunct Nigerian. (NSO), Alhaji Umaru Slinkafi, Who Subsequently rewarded him with the post of his personal Assistant the same year. Watch it! This time, by bringing up the claim of Fulani ancestry, this Swinely megalomaniac political chameleon may be subtly rooting for some political favours from the likes of General Muhammadu Buhari and co. in the APC. This is obvious since he knows he can never enjoy any faviour or truth from Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu.
But most demeaning of the intellectual status of some one who claims to attend the University of London School Oriental and African Studies, in murderous historical attempt to mis-educated himself and not others on the subject of ethno-linguistics. In his usual eccentric and uncouth voracious quest for delusive intellectualism he had stated: “Unlike the Igbo writer of this fiction, I can trace my history and known my heritage. If had Nupe roots I would be the first to say so and I would be very proud of that. This is because unlike the Igbo, the Nupe are very close to Yoruba and are actually part of us. The Northerners and the people of the South West and Midwest (edo and delta) are inextricably linked by history, marriage, trade, bloodlines and culture.
They are collectively known as the Sudanese Nigerians because they migrated from north Africa down to where they are today. The igbo and the people of the eastern Niger Delta (River, Akwa Ibom, calabar Bayelsa) are known as the Bantu Nigerians and they have no ancestral ties or links with the Sudanese. They migrated to where they are today from East Africa and central Africa hence the name Bantu. The Bantu and the Sudanese are very different in their outlook to life.
And their ways. Unlike the Bantu the Sudanese have a long history of ancient kingdoms and empire sophisticated hierarchical structure, an all-inclusive liberal, tolerant and accommodating tradition, a refined and well educated nobility and ruling class, a rigid class system and a noble tradition of excellence and fair play.
This is the new the ethno-linguistic and historical thesis of someone who calls himself a University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies graduate of law, and a former minister (definitely not from the school of Oriental and African studies of the University of London).of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Nigeria is indeed in trouble. Somebody who does not know that Calabar is a state capital and not a state wherever Abdulateef Fani-Kayode got his gangrenous ethno-linguistic hypothesis, he is first and foremost as a matter of elementary ethno-linguistic tutorials advised to consult professors dietrich Westernmann, M.A. Bryan, Joseph it. Gretiberg and Robert G. Armstrong. These learned men of honour in ethno-linguistics will first set him free from the bandage of a fossilized state of intellectual hysteron-proteron.
For Abdulateef Femi Fani-Kayode’s intellectual benefit, neither the Nupe nor the Yoruba belong to any linguistic classification called “Judanese”, or does the Igbo belong to Bantu Linguistic group. Both the Igbo, Edo, Nupe Idoma Gwari, Ijon, Igbira, Igala and Yoruba belong to one linguistic sub-family called Kwa, which is a branch of the wider Nigeria-Congo language family of Africa. In terms to nearness to origins, the Nupe is far from Yoruba.
The nearest to the Nupe in this regard are Gwari and Igbira. In the case of the Yoruba, you have Isekiri and Igala. The edo group, which include Bini, Esan, Owan, and Afemai and Isoko-Urbhobo represent a transition Linguistic zone between the Igbo and Yoruba. In general, both the Igbo and Edo are nearer to Yoruba in the Matter of year of separation, than the Yoruba is to the Nupe, the dating serince of glotto chronology throught he statistical calculation of laconic statistics will avail these facts more to the likes of abdulateef Fani kayode, if indeed he agrees that he does not know. Talking of the Bantu, This represents the major Bautu language in Nigeria, while the Efik-Ibibio are conveniently classed as Semi-Bautu.
One does not however need to go into the mythology of migration from North Africa, for who can convince the likes Abdulateef Fani-Kayode that quite a number of credible evidence from archaeology, ethno-linguistics and autodichonous traditions have tended to question the variety of such claims, which most probably border on Hamitic hypothesis.
Be that as it may, abdulateef Fani-Kayode’s laborious efforts to extricate himself from his Nupe ancestry have not been factually convincing and thus cannot be sustained by the evidence in history. If Abdulateef Fani-Kayode could serialize his anti-Igbo diatribes, he could in the same manner serialize his Yoruba genealogical tree of eight generations.
His claim that he would live and die for Yoruba land is as related as it is a con-man’s device to deceive the un-knowing Yoruba patriots. The historical died for Yorubaland. He abandoned chief Obafemic Awolowo and ran to the same Igbo people his son is insulting now in 1959. Abdulateef Fani-Kayode should dispute this fact. When the Yoruba joined forces with his peoples Northern oppressors.
For Abdulateef Femi Fani-Kayode, it was thus the question of will the leopard even change its spots? When the call to patriotic duty came for the defence of June 12, Abdulateef Fani-Kayode fled to United Kingdom only to resurface in 2001. Talking about defending Yoruba interest therefore, abdulateef Fani-Kayode cannot compete with those song and unsung igbo pastriots like Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanel (Ltd) Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (Ltd), Okwadike Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Paulinus Nwite, Ubani Chime, Joe Igbokwe, and the present writer who stood firm for the actualization of June 12 while the likes of abdulateef femi Fami-Kayode fled to foreign lands. May be, it would interest abdulateef Fani-Kayode to know that the present writer an Igbo remains up till this moment on associate member of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC). What can be more supportive of the Yoruba interest than an Igbo being part of OPC.