The Director-General of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), Salihu Lukman, has warned the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), to be wary of the ‘clandestine’ attempts by former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, to infiltrate into its camp, saying doing so will be ‘rewarding scandalous behavior.’
Lukman was reacting to stories making the rounds on Monday that Fani-Kayode was consulting with some leaders of the APC with a view to perfecting his defection to the ruling party.
In the evening of Monday, pictures had emerged of the former Minister with the Chairman of the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the APC, Governor Mai Mala Buni of Borno State and Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi States who is the Chairman of the APC Membership Mobilization drive.
However, Fani-Kayode has come out to clear the air on the meeting with the APC leaders, saying his meeting with them was to discuss the “state of the nation, national issues, party politics and the way forward.”
“Yesterday, I had the honour and privilege of having a very productive and important meeting with the Nat. Chairman of the APC, Gov Mai Buni of Yobe state and Gov Yahaya Bello of Kogi State. We discussed the state of the nation, national issues, party politics & the way forward,” Fani-Kayode posted on his Twitter handle on Tuesday morning.
But the PGF DG would not take such explanation as he came out with a statement on Tuesday titled “APC: Reminder about Our Values,” Lukman kicking against any attempt to admit Fani-Kayode who is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), into its fold as he will bring in division into the ranks of the ruling party.
Lukman added that the APC should not be for someone like Fani-Kayode, asking whether the party leadership would also “contemplate admitting secessionist agitator, Nnamdi Kanu or Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau into its fold.
The statement reads in part:
“For our leaders to associate themselves with Mr Fani-Kayode, is simply rewarding scandalous behaviour. Mr Fani-Kayode has fabricated stories, distorted, insulted and damaged information about our party and our leaders.
“The elementary rule of decency would require some good distance between our leaders and such a person. Not even the ward leaders where he is located should be associated with him except for reasons of family ties.
“By the way, the Caretaker Committee of our party should avoid a situation whereby it takes a decision on issues that are very weighty without consultations. On no account should anyone with the kind of baggage of Mr Fani-Kayode be invited to join the party without clearance from a statutory structure of the party.
“In this particular instance, the National Caucus should be the clearing house.
“That our leaders will be meeting with Mr Fani-Kayode in such a compromising way, suggesting that he may be on his way to joining our party, clearly indicates that either those of us saddled with the responsibility of advising them have failed or we have been completely cut off.
“How can a person, who just a few days, if not a few hours ago, wrote to one of our leaders and derogatorily and condescendingly condemned his political prospects of emerging as the Presidential candidate of our party, be given such a high-level reception?
“Assuming the open letter to our National Leader, which is all over our media at the time of such reception, wasn’t offensive, what of the open letter he wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari last year?
“Besides the open letters, what abusive language has he not used against our party and our leaders? Most of these are unprintable. A typical example of the kind of abuses he spat on our leaders and our party can be demonstrated with his response to a tweet by Mr Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to President Buhari on Information, last May 2020.
“Mr Adesina argued that President Buhari’s emergence as President saved the country. Responding, Mr Fani-Kayode said: ‘Not so my friend. The emergence of Buhari in 2015 annihilated Nigeria and plunged her into darkness, death and destruction. He came to steal, kill and destroy and for the last disastrous 5 years that is all he has done.’
“Compared to most of Mr Fani-Kayode’s barrages of insults on APC and its leaders, this would appear to be very civil. Most Nigerians, both APC members and non-APC members, would appear to be in agreement that any association between APC and its leadership with Mr Fani-Kayode is indicative of the problem of values.
“Without being academic in any way, the issue of values is basically about the qualities of people and the vision they hold. What kind of people are we aspiring to attract into our party?
“Do we want to reduce our party into one in which everybody is welcome? Can we, for instance, in any way or form contemplate having a Nnamdi Kanu or Abubakar Shekau as a member? If that were to be the case, why don’t we just have INEC register IPOB and Boko Haram as political parties and allow them to field candidates for elections?
“We may be tempted to argue that Mr Fani-Kayode is not Nnamdi Kanu or Abubakar Shekau. It is however difficult to fathom what qualifies him to be associated with our leaders at that high level?
“At this rate, one day, Nigerians will just wake and see some of our leaders presenting Mr Fani-Kayode to President Buhari as a new member of our party. Although we can confidently argue that President Buhari will not approve such deranged possibility, it is important to caution that such consideration will be stretching the trust of party members beyond acceptable limits.”
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