Femi Fani-Kayode, a former federal minister, and Dino Melaye, a former senator, have exactly two things in common — they’ve both been in the same Nollywood film and possess an abundant lack of shame. Both men have years of political experience under their belts, but their most visible contribution to Nigerian politics has been farcical comedy.
On the one hand, Fani-Kayode is unintentionally hilarious because he takes himself too seriously and shoots off wacky conspiracy theories like evil spirits directing Nigeria’s affairs.
On the other hand, Dino Melaye is a deeply intentional comedian with his skits and theatrics, including dodging a court appearance by faking a kidnap story that involved hiding on a treetop for 11 hours.
Together, Fani-Kayode and Melaye are both the unstoppable force and immovable object of political comedy in Nigeria. And they clashed on social media this week.
Who started it?
On September 4th, 2022, Fani-Kayode called for the arrest of Melaye and the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for alleged corruption. He said Melaye confessed in an interview that PDP governors spent money on delegates to elect party chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, in 2021, violating electoral laws.
And because Fani-Kayode can’t do without speaking big English, he called the PDP “a party of scammers, carpet-baggers, vote-procurers, petty thieves, pickpockets and yahoo-yahoo criminals.”
Fani-Kayode also warned the Nigerian police to take action or he’d be forced to drag the PDP to court. You see, unintentional comedian.
How did Melaye take it?
Melaye didn’t take Fani-Kayode’s finger-pointing too well when he issued his own response hours later. First, he said the comment his nemesis referred to was from an old interview — as if that changes anything — and devolved into his own round of name-calling like “bootlicker”, “drug addict” and “a serial hustler around food dispensers”.
And this was when the real war moved to the worst place imaginable: Twitter.
A timeline of insults… and skits
Fani-Kayode spent much of September 5th calling Melaye an “asslicker” and drug addict with tweets like this:
And Melaye responded with a video clip of a random woman calling Fani-Kayode a drug addict.
On September 6th, Melaye played his next card: a clip of the current Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, accusing Fani-Kayode of embezzling over ₦2 billion during his tenure as Minister of Aviation between 2006 and 2007. Melaye now added his own jara that Fani-Kayode spent the money on drugs.
Fani-Kayode responded with his own video “proof” that Amaechi’s allegation was bogus. He also found it in his heart to call Melaye a “fat, desperate, mannerless, filthy and uncouth plebian, peasant and clown”.
But the entire time, he still considered his engagement to be “mild and restrained”.
God save us all if this is restrained
Before we go on, here’s an intermission showing Melaye doesn’t know how front cameras work:
And back to the battleground, Fani-Kayode posted this hilarious video of Melaye seriously play-acting to avoid police detention. He also dropped some mean words mixed with homophobia, because that’s who this former minister is.
He followed it up with this picture of Melaye in the trenches to remind him he used to be poor:
And Melaye was quick to reply that with, “And so?”
We presume Drake’s “Started from the Bottom” was playing in the background when he tweeted this
Does this thing end?
For the grand finale that’s better than what Game of Thrones gave the world, Fani-Kayode and Melaye finished with a battle of skits.
Melaye dropped his skit first and it looked like this:
And Fani-Kayode responded with his own skit:
We really just have some sympathy for those bodyguards and hangers-on who were dragged into the production of these skits to earn their urgent ₦2k. Also, it wasn’t a great day for interior decor.
So, who won?
After dragging each other back and forth for three days, Melaye tweeted that he’d no longer dignify a politically-irrelevant Fani-Kayode with more responses.
And Fani-Kayode graciously accepted the ceasefire by calling Melaye a lipstick-wearing pig. He also hinted that the ceasefire happened because “leaders” intervened behind the scenes.
And now, we hope we can start seeing some of the “issues-based election campaigns” everyone talks about even though we never really see it happen.