The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South-West on Friday criticised a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, over his claim that he had wrongly judged the President, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) in the past.
The South-West PDP, through its Publicity Secretary, Chief Sanya Atofarati, said nothing had changed about Buhari as the socio-political and economic situations in the country were getting worse by the day under his watch.
It, therefore, challenged Fani-Kayode to come out clean, describing him as a “political liability” “unstable as wind” and a “political beggar.”
The controversial ex-minister had officially defected from the PDP to the APC on Thursday and was presented to Buhari at the Presidential Villa by the APC caretaker chairman, Mai Mala Buni.
But Atofarati, who spoke in a statement titled, ‘‘FFK: South-West PDP hails APC for inheriting liability.’’ in reaction to the defection, said, “This was a man who openly accused President Buhari of corruption allegation as Minister of Petroleum in 1977 and cursed himself to death in 2019 if he ever attempted to join the Buhari-led APC.
“Now, the question for Fani-Kayode is: what has changed? Have the unemployed Nigerians been employed under Buhari? Has Buhari now been able to curb the killing spree of Nigerian soldiers and kidnappings of innocent citizens by bandits and herders across the country?
“For some of us and especially the South-West PDP, we knew the featherweight politician would defect to the APC because we had always been aware of his insincerity and unholy alliance. We in South-West PDP are the most grateful because the snitch within has finally gone home to roast (sic). We predicted earlier that those sabotaging the progress of this country will be exposed; now, Nigerians have seen it and we are vindicated.
“FFK should not be taken seriously. Even when he was acting as a self-acclaimed PDP spokesman, many of us knew he wasn’t sincere. He was then PDP in the day and APC in the night. FFK lacks the integrity required to portray a liberator’s stature. He is a political beggar whose only source of income is in corporate begging.
“Over the years, FFK has remained a worthless entity within the party and especially in South-West. History has it that FFK has never won any election even in his polling unit for PDP other than scavenging for political relevance.”
Fani-Kayode played no role in my defection to APC – Umahi
Similarly, the Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, has said Fani-Kayode, played no role in his defection to the APC in November 2020.
The governor, who made this known on Friday when spoke on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily breakfast programme monitored by Saturday PUNCH, described as an insult the claim by Fani-Kayode that he was instrumental in his defection last year.
The controversial ex-minister made the statement while speaking to journalists after he was presented to the Buhari.
Fani-Kayode had hinted at the possibility of the governors of Bauchi, Enugu and Oyo states dumping the PDP and joining him in the APC.
But speaking on television on Friday morning, Umahi said Fani-Kayode must withdraw his statement, adding that the ex-minister was “never” part of the discussions that led to his defection.
The governor said, “He (Fani-Kayode) needs to withdraw that statement. He is my good friend but it was an insult to my person and the other governors. The man did not know when I moved but, incidentally, he visited me and we discussed and he said he was coming to join me with other governors to declare.
“How would somebody in PDP be instrumental to my moving, a whole governor of a state, not even a small governor – an experienced governor. So, he has to withdraw the statement; he was never part of any discussion of my movement. I moved the South-East to the centre of administration; I moved to close the gap between the centre and South-East which our forefathers, like Nnamdi Azikiwe, fought for. He remains my friend but he played no role in my movement and I am sure he did not play any role in the movement of others.”
Also reacting, the Enugu State Government described the possibility of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi joining Fani-Kayode in the APC as a distraction.
The State Commissioner for Information, Mr Chidi Aroh, said, “You should tell Fani-Kayode to explain more about what he said because my governor is the chairman of the PDP zoning committee doing his work in that committee and he is also providing dividends of democracy to the people of Enugu.”
However, opposition to the admittance of Fani-Kayode into the APC has continued to mount.
Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Babafemi Ojodu, wrote “This is the saddest day of my political career,” on his Facebook page to describe his disappointment with the decision to admit the former minister into the party.
Also, a former Lagos State APC Publicity Secretary, Joe Igbokwe, who before now, was Fani-Kayode’s sparring partner during the 2019 general elections, also expressed his anger in a Facebook post.
He wrote: “Despite all my push for the APC, Abuja has not given me a phone call not to talk of inviting me for a coffee with the C-in-C but here is a political charlatan and prostitute being given a red carpet in the seat of power, Abuja. APC rewards enemies. They pamper enemies. This life has no balance at all.
“Please, I am ok where I am today but I know a countless number of APC diehards who are 100 per cent better than FFK. Nobody has remembered them. Not even a recharge card, not even a bottle of coke, not even thank you.”