FORMER aviation minister Chief Femi Fani-Kayode has dramatically left Nigeria’s main opposition the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in a development that has shocked the political establishment.
A highly flambouyant character, Chief Fani-Kayode served as aviation minister during the last year of President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration and since then has been a very vocal and visible member of the PDP. A son of the former deputy premier of the old Western Region, Chief Remilekun Fani-Kayode was the spokesman for the PDP during the 2015 general elections, during which he attacked the APC relentlessly.
In a surprise development today, Chief Fani-Kayode formally joined the APC when Governor Mai Mala Buni, the chairman of the party’s caretaker committee presented him to President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa in Abuja. Speaking after the meeting, Chief Fani-Kayode claimed God ordained his defection.
Back in February this year, the APC’s Progressives Governors Forum had vowed that the party would never accept Chief Fani-Kayode into its ranks. On February 9, the forum’s director-general Salihu Lukman, said the party would not downplay its integrity by allowing a personality like Chief Fani-Kayode become a member.
Mr Lukman said the party would not for any reason accept terrorists into its ranks, likening Chief Fani-Kayode to Abubakar Shekau and Nnamdi Kanu. It the time, there had been indications that Chief Fani-Kayode was about to join the APC, prompting the governors forum to announce that he was not welcome in the 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?
“At this rate, 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,” Mr Lukman had said.
Chief Fani-Kayode, who has constantly met with stakeholders of the ruling party over what he termed as the building of bridges for the betterment of the nation, has repeatedly denied he plans to dump the PDP for the APC. Today’s defection is currently generating reactions on all social media platforms as Nigerians express shock and dismay on the nature of politics in the country.