The Director-General of the Progressives Governors Forum, Dr. Salihu Lukman, has cautioned the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC against admitting former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, into the party.
The PGF is the umbrella body of governors elected on the platform of the APC.
Lukman described as disturbing, the circulation of pictures of a meeting between the APC National Chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni; Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello; and Fani-Kayode amid speculations that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, chieftain was being encouraged to join the APC.
Fani-Kayode had since 2025 vilified APC and its leaders, and vowed recently that he would join the ruling party over his dead body.
In a statement titled: ‘APC: Reminder about Our Values,’ Lukman said, “The speculation is that Mr. Fani-Kayode is on his way to joining the APC. The verdict in most media platforms is quite disturbing, but justifiably so, if the news about Mr. Fani-Kayode joining the APC is true.
“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?
“Besides the open letters, what abusive language has he not used against our party and our leaders? Most of these are unprintable.
“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? 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?
“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.”
I’m meeting APC leaders, others to save Nigeria – Fani-Kayode
In an attempt to clear thickening cloud over his meeting with APC leaders, Fani-Kayode in several tweets on his official Twitter handle, @realFFK, said he met with them to discuss the “state of the nation, national issues, party politics and the way forward,” adding that he would meet other leaders across party lines to save Nigeria from imploding.
He tweeted: “Yesterday, I had the honour and privilege of having a very productive and important meeting with the National Chairman of the APC, Governor Mai Buni of Yobe State and Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State. We discussed the state of the nation, national issues, party politics and the way forward.
“These meetings are wide-ranging and ongoing and I am delighted to be involved in them. Despite the obvious benefits and wisdom in this noble initiative, it amazes me that some people should feel that it is wrong for me to sit with other leaders in the country to discuss issues which touch and concern the national cohesion, future and stability of our country. This is a time in which we must set all our differences aside, build bridges and come together as one lest our country drifts into fratricidal butchery and civil war.
“It is right and proper for us to talk and to attempt to join hands across political, religious and regional lines to save Nigeria. I can and will never compromise or jettison my core fundamental principles for any reason and I stand firmly on my honestly held opinion that we need to enthrone equity, justice and fairness in this country for it to survive. I also believe in restructuring the country and in a vigorous and effective fight against terrorism.
“The fact that I am in talks with leaders from a cross-section of pol. parties, including the ruling party, does not in any way derogate from this and does not mean that I will ever change those views. The next few months will be critical in terms of whether or not our country will survive as one and I believe that if we want it to be so, dialogue, building bridges and collaboration, even with those that you may disagree with on some issues, is vital and inevitable. That was the purpose of our meeting. Permit me to add the following for the record. I will always stand for justice and I will never cease to oppose evil.
“Yet the greatest evil that we are confronted with today is the prospect of a second civil war. Despite our differences, as leaders and statesmen, we must all sheath our swords and ensure that we never go down that path. May God help our country and may He guide us all.”
APC still in propaganda mode – PDP
Meanwhile, the PDP has said the APC deserved nothing but pity because for close to six years after taking power, it was still in propaganda mode.
National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, who said this in Abuja, yesterday, declined making specific comments about Femi Fani-Kayode’s meeting with APC leaders on Monday.
Ologbondiyan said: “It is a shame that we have a coalition of angry and directionless power mongers who were unprepared for governance thrust upon our nation as leaders at the highest level in 2015.
“If anyone was in doubt about the crass incompetence of this All Progressives Congress regime led by Major General Muhammadu Buhari, the desperation with which the APC leadership is trying to associate with PDP members at all levels should provide evidence.
“This was a party which vilified the President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration and deployed foul means just to get power. Now after failing woefully they are joining most Nigerians in calling for a return of the PDP using subterranean means.
“I can tell you for free, none of our committed governors is listening to the APC. The claim that they are speaking to four of our governors is clearly false.
“I challenge the ruining party to name just one of our governors they are talking to. This desperate propaganda will not save them from imminent defeat in 2023, Nigerians whose lives have grown progressively worse since 2015, will do the needful using the ballot box.”