Less than 24 hours after the meeting of former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, with some leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) became public, strong opposition has emerged against his possible return to the party.
Director General of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) Salihu Lukman on Tuesday warned that admitting the controversial politician will be counterproductive to the current registration and revalidation drive of the party.
The Nation had hinted exclusively that Fani-Kayode may be on his way back to APC after he met with chairman of APC Mobilisation and Sensitisation Committee for the registration and revalidation exercise, Governor Yahaya Bello at the weekend.
Bello later facilitated a closed door meeting chairman, Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) Gov. Mai Mala Buni with Fani-Kayode.
Lukman’s opposition to Fani-Kayode’s return to APC was contained in a statement titled: “APC: Reminder about our values” on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said admittance of the former Minister would amount to a reward for scandalous behaviour.
Lukman warned as a progressive party, APC should not be for someone like Fani-Kayode, asking whether the party leadership would also contemplate admitting Nnamdi Kanu or Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau into its fold.
The PGF DG said President Muhammadu Buhari will not be favourably disposed to the move, adding such consideration will be stretching the trust of party members beyond acceptable limits.
Lukman cited many derogatory statements, confrontational open letters against the President and one of the APC national leaders recently by Fani-Kayode, adding the national caucus of the party must be involved in clearing should he be
According to him, “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.
“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 problem of values.
“Without being academic in anyway, 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?”
He went on: “Do we want to reduce our party into one in which everybody is welcome? Can we for instance in anyway or form contemplate having an 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.
The PGF boss noted fraternising with the likes of the former Minister by the party leaders is simply rewarding scandalous behaviour.
“Mr. Fani-Kayode has fabricated stories, distorted, insulted and damaged information about our party and our leaders. 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 decision on issues that are very weighty without consultations.
“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 few days, if not 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?”
Cautioning against indiscriminate membership drive, Lukman warned party leaders against the culture of delusion and deception.