The Director-General of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Dr. Salihu Lukman has reacted to the recent defection of Femi Fani-Kayode to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Lukman in a statement on Sunday titled “APC’s High Profile Membership Recruitment and Issues for 2023″ however observed that many party members are not happy with Fani-Kayode’s defection and the red-carpet reception he was accorded in Abuja by party leaders.
He lamented that Fani-Kayode lacks the character that can endear him to people, submitting that he abuses and hurls insults at people without any iota of respect.
Naija News recalls Fani-Kayode who claimed he was led by the spirit of God defected officially to the APC last Thursday and was brought to the Aso Rock Villa by the Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the APC, and governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni where he met with President Muhammadu Buhari and other party leaders.
The defection has continued to generate mixed reactions but one thing that is certainly clear is that some members of the APC have become unsettled over his defection.
For example, Joe Igbokwe a former spokesperson of the Lagos APC slammed the ruling party for giving a political “charlatan and prostitute” like Fani-Kayode a red carpet welcome.
Similarly, a Presidential aide, Babafemi Ojudu, has expressed sadness over the defection of former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a post via his Facebook page on Thursday, Ojudu described Thursday as the saddest in his political career following Fani-Kayode’s defection into the APC.
The Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters added that he is unhappy after the former minister joined the ruling party.
Not done, Dr Lukman on Sunday added his voice to those of members who seem disenchanted and unconvinced by the political value Fani-Kayode will add to the APC by his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Lukman said many members of the party are also not happy with the development.
Explaining what he feels might be responsible for this, the DG of the PGF said functional relationship is something every politician should have but Fani-Kayode lacks this capability.
He added that Fani-Kayode’s capacity to build and sustain relationships was short, not just politically, but in every aspect of his life.
“Late on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, reports emerged that Fani-Kayode had joined the APC and was received by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.
“With the emergence of the report, public attention in the country has been dominated by negative commentaries,” the PGF DG said.
He added “The protest against Fani-Kayode joining the APC has to do with his venomous nature, he abuses, insults, and disparages everybody, almost indiscriminately.
“Almost every member of APC is angry that our leaders have brought someone like Fani-Kayode into our party. This is made worse by the red carpet reception given to him, which he doesn’t deserve.
“But since it has happened, there is no need to cry over spilled milk. What is very clear is that our leaders, especially President Buhari have forgiven Fani-Kayode and embrace him as one of us.”
Lukman added however that since the party leadership seems to have forgiven Fani-Kayode, other party members should do the same and move on.
“Members of the APC should show understanding,” he said.
Lukman went on to say since the APC attained power in 2015, many opportunistic politicians have also joined the party but the leaders have welcomed them with open arms.
He lamented that many original members of the party are outraged by this, particularly since they seem neglected for the defectors who may end up betraying the party.
He further warned the party leaders against the mistake of investing trust and confidence in the wrong people and called on the members to regardless of how they feel, continue to support the APC even as the 2023 elections draw near.
“Contrastingly, those who are consistent and loyal to our party and our leaders hardly gained the deserved respect they should have.
“This may not necessarily be intended, but it is there. Be that as it may, members need to move forward with every confidence and commitment to engage our leaders,” he said.
He added that “To that extent, therefore, party members should respect the decision of our leaders to admit Fani-Kayode and welcome him with a red carpet reception.
“On no account should we be distracted. If Fani-Kayode needs a red carpet reception to be a member of APC, millions of party members have demonstrated that they don’t need any form of recognition to work for Nigeria.
“Being very consistent and stable members of the APC, we should also recognize that the party is partly what it is today on account of our little contributions over the years,” he said.