Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode has spoken for the first time since the rumours of his planned defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) emerged on Monday.
The ex-Minister in a series of tweets on his Twitter account on Tuesday morning denied holding the meetings with APC leaders because of defection plans.
While noting that the project of saving Nigeria transcends every political barrier, he added that in the coming days, he would meet with leaders of other political parties in Nigeria.
It will be recalled that after Fani-Kayode’s meeting with the National Chairman of the APC caretaker committee, Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State and Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello in Abuja, the rumour mill went wild with reports that the PDP chieftain was set to defect.
Later, more reports emerged that not only Fani-Kayode, but also four PDP governors are in defection talks with the APC ahead of the 2023 general elections.
However, Fani-Kayode on Tuesday, debunked such rumours, stating clearly that the meeting with the APC leadership was to build bridges, look beyond political divides and regional lines to save Nigeria from another civil war.
In his words: “Yesterday, I had the honour and privilege of having a very productive and important meeting with the Nat. Chairman of the APC, Gov Mai Buni of Yobe state and Gov Yahaya Bello of Kogi State. We discussed the state of the nation, national issues, party politics & 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.”
Meanwhile, the Presidency has stated that it is not wrong to lobby senators for confirmation of appointments of former Service Chiefs as ambassadors.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had on Thursday last week forwarded a request for confirmation to the Senate ambassadorial nominations of former Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, former Chief of Army Staff, Lt- Gen Yusuf Tukur Buratai, former Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal, Abubakar Sadeeq and former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok – Ete Ekwe Ibas.
But the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and some Nigerians had called on the Senate to align with the Nigerian people and reject the confirmation.