There are indications that the moves by Femi Fani-Kayode, former minister of aviation and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to join the All Progressives Congress (APC) may not yield the desired result.
Salihu Lukman, a chieftain of the APC, has warned that President Muhammadu Buhari would not approve of it, saying such consideration would be stretching the trust of party members beyond acceptable limits.
Just on Monday, there were trending photos of Fani-Kayode with the APC caretaker national chairman, Mai-Mala Buni, and Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello, in a manner that suggested the former aviation minister was consulting to be admitted into the ruling party.
But Lukman said for APC leaders to associate with Fani-Kayode would be simply rewarding scandalous behaviour.
He recalled that the PDP chieftain had fabricated stories, distorted, insulted and damaged information about APC and its leaders.
Lukman, who is the director-general, Progressive Governors’ Forum, in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja said with Fani-Kayode’s barrage of insults on APC and its leaders, most Nigerians, both APC members and non-APC members, would appear to be in agreement that any association between APC and its leadership with him is indicative of problem of values.
“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’,” Lukman said.
“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 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.
“On no account should anyone with the kind of baggage of Mr. Fani-Kayode be invited to join the party without clearance from the statutory structure of the party. In this particular instance, the National Caucus should be the clearing house.
“APC emerged with a commitment to social democracy. Social democracy is about values of collective justice and individual freedom where everyone’s basic needs are fulfilled. This, among others, upholds respect for the dignity of the individual party members.
“We need to appeal to all our leaders, especially the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee and all the thirteen members to always remember that they are entrusted with the responsibility they have today to democratise our party. They are not sole administrators. To democratise will require more meetings and consultations. Their actions should reflect decisions taken at meetings or at least from wider consultations,” he stated.