Former Nigeria’s Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode has explained that his meeting with leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was in national interest.
Fani-Kayode, a chieftain of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) met separately, then together, with Governors Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and Malam Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State who is the chairman of the caretaker committee of the APC on registration and revalidation of party members at a Guest House in Wuse, Abuja.
He also met Senator Smart Adeyemi, the APC Senator representing Kogi East in the Upper Chambers in his palatial home in Abuja.
Many believe the meeting could signal part of the process for the former minister, a staunch critic of President Muhammadu Buhari to return to the ruling party.
However, President Buhari’s aide, Bashir Ahmad has reacted to report that Fani-Kayode plans to rejoin APC.
The Nation had reported that Femi Fani-Kayode may be on his way back to the APC after meeting with the acting national chairman of the APC, Governor Mai Buni of Yobe State and Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello over the weekend.
Reacting to the report, Ahmad said the former Minister may not be welcomed by the majority of APC members whom he attacked for several years.
He tweeted, “If he decides to join the governing party, I don’t think he will be welcome by the majority of the party members whom he made it a duty to attack and insult for several years.”
Dr Salihu Lukman, the director general of the APC’s Governors’ Forum said the return of Fani-Kayode to the party was undesirable.
“For our leaders to associate themselves with Mr. Fani-Kayode, is simply rewarding scandalous behaviour,” Lukman said in a statement on Tuesday.
”Mr. Fani-Kayode has fabricated stories, distorted, insulted and damaged information about our party and our leaders.”
But Fani-Kayode in a Twitter thread said the meeting was beyond politics and “it amazes me that some people should feel that it is wrong for me to sit with other leaders in the country to discuss issues which touch and concern the national cohesion, future and stability of our country.
“This is a time in which we must set all our differences aside, build bridges and come together as one lest our country drifts into fratricidal butchery and civil war.”
He said it is right proper for them to talk and to attempt to “join hands across political, religious and regional lines to save Nigeria.”
The former minister said he “will never compromise or jettison my core fundamental principles for any reason and I stand firmly on my honestly held opinion that we need to enthrone equity, justice & fairness in this country for it to survive.
“I also believe in restructuring the country and in a vigorous and effective fight against terrorism.”
He said the fact that he is in talks with leaders from a cross section of political parties, including the ruling party.
Fani-Kayode stated that his relation with leaders of the ruling party does not mean that he will ever change his views on insecurity and calls for the country to be restructured.
He said the next few months will be critical in terms of whether or not the country will survive as one but did not give any context to the statement.
“I believe that if we want it to do so dialogue, building bridges and collaboration, even with those that you may disagree with on some issues, is vital and inevitable,” Fani-Kayode said.
“That was the purpose of our meeting.
“Despite our differences, as leaders and statesmen, we must all sheath our swords and ensure that we never go down that path,” Fani-Kayode said.
I Would Rather Die Than Join APC – Fani-Kayode
On December 15, 2019, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, faulted the claims that he has defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a series of tweets on Sunday, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain insisted that he remains a staunch member of PDP.
He described the report of his defection as “false and insulting,” adding that it was nothing but fake news.
Fani-Kayode, however, asked those sponsoring the report to bury their heads in shame, saying he would “rather die than” than join the APC.
He accused the ruling party of failing to protect the nation and its people, as well as faulted the government’s anti-corruption war.
“I am committed to opposing the APC and those that are in their ranks for the rest of my natural life and I will never join them no matter what!” the PDP chieftain said.
He stressed that he stands for light and truth, saying there can’t be any union between light and darkness.
His words: I am not surprised that my good friend Senator Musiliu Obanikoro and Senator Iyiola Omisore have got their passports back from the EFCC and are now in America.
”I do not blame them for joining the ruling party to avoid persecution. Some are strong whilst others are weak. I would rather die than join APC or bow to Buhari.
”We must stay strong and focused and refuse to be distracted. We must enthrone justice, fair play and equal opportunities for every Nigerian regardless of his faith, ethnic nationality or circumstances of birth. Ours is to speak for the weak, the poor, the voiceless and the oppressed.”