Socrates was summoned through the accusation of Meletus, Anytus and others, to the court of Athen for corrupting the minds of youths and teaching them to disrespect elders and even the God of Athen. Plato’s dialogue gives us a pry into the exegesis of the historical interlocution. In defence of himself, Socrates had said that he has never corrupted anyone intentionally, since corrupting someone would carry the risk of being corrupted back in return, and that would be illogical, since corruption is undesirable.
When push came to shove and Socrates was expected to give up his argument to escape the death penalty that was clearly before him, he seized the opportunity to impress that the soul which is immaterial and bear the truth that should not suffer neglect by accepting the indignity of lies to the flourishing of the body. When an old friend of Socrates, Critos, made effort to smuggle him out of prison to safety in another land, he refused to accept the offer and proved that his philosophies and arguments were not mere sophistry. He defended his conviction till death.
Away from this reflection, let me summon Femi Fani-Kayode, FFK, into perspective and we can begin to make judgments of the difference between sophistry and the reticence of propriety. Governor Yahaya Bello has been visiting FFK just the same way Critos visited Socrates in prison to persuade him to escape from the prison and find solace in a near country. FFK without any modicum of honour, took a calm resignation from his conscience and totally embraced the stature which he had earlier censured. He had described Godswill Akpabio as a coward and traitor when Godswill defected to APC.
When a man makes known his principles and philosophy, he must defend it and sometimes to the discipline of his appetite. There is no man who doesn’t value his safety and who is not appetitive to wealth even in moderate measure to keep the body and soul together. But when opportunity presents itself to axe through our core principles and philosophy, we ought to discipline the desire to accept such opportunities.
Socrates did that and marked a distinction between sophistry – mere speech of a passionate noncommittal impressions of a weak character like Femi Kayode, and – the commitment to one’s philosophy which is the reticent beauty and dignity of an action-er.
When commitment to his previous remarks was questioned, FFK immediately dishonorably sought to take no account. He said he owes no one an explanation for his action. Redeeming such man to the path of dignity would be harder than cutting a Gordian knot.
He should be told that he has betrayed the confidence of people (those who still had confidence in him) and should face a trial of neglect, beyond social media. Unlike the revered philosophy who was wrongly accused, FFK should be made to understand the level of wrong he has done to the youth community. His dishonorable path is a lesson to young people who see him as a hero. He is a corrupter of the youths.
His fine speeches and essays are now biblically in the beginning of formless and void.