A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and Director-General of Progressive Governors Forum, PGD, Dr. Salihu Lukman, has expressed disappointment with leadership of the party for holding a closed-door meeting with a chieftain of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Femi Fani Kayode.
Nigerian media space, especially social media, around the late evening of Monday, February 8, 2021, was agog with the photos and news of APC National Chairman, Mai Mala Buni and Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, in the company of Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, a notable leader of the Peoples Democratic Party with speculation that Mr. Fani-Kayode was on his way to joining the APC.
Reacting to the development, the PGF boss said for APC leaders to associate themselves with Mr. Fani-Kayode, is simply rewarding scandalous behaviour.
Recalling how Mr. Fani-Kayode has fabricated stories, distorted, insulted and damaged information about the party, and its leaders, he stressed that 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.
Lukman bemoaned the Caretaker Committee of the party for taking a decision on such issues that are very weighty without due consultations.
He said, “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 clearinghouse.”
In a statement issued Tuesday and made available to journalists in Abuja, the PGF boss said, “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 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 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?”