NIGERIA: Fani-Kayode Defects from APC to PDP

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A former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, has finally dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Fani-Kayode, who was until recently a member of the PDP and served in three capacities under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, announced his anticipated decision to quit the opposition APC in a press statement he signed yesterday.
“I wish to inform the general public that as at today (yesterday), June 2, 2014, I have left the APC and gone back to the PDP. I wish the APC well in all their endeavours but as at today we have parted ways forever and my spirit has left them,” he declared.
He alleged one of reasons why he had to leave the APC was because of the party’s somewhat show of affinity towards the Boko Haram sect, which he said he can never be party to.
The former minister described the APC as a “cult” where the people “are not comfortable with any form of admonition or criticism from senior party members like me.”
According to him, one of the reasons he was leaving the party was because more than just party politicking, politics should rather focus on nation building.
“I consider nation-building as being far more important than party politics, party affiliation or party formations. I am a devout and committed Christian and I cannot remain in a party where a handful of people that have sympathies for Boko Haram and that have a clear Islamic agenda are playing a leading role.
“This is made all the more untenable when some of those people are working hard silently and behind the scenes to impose a Muslim-Muslim ticket on the party for the presidential elections next year. I believe that religion ought to play no part in politics but a situation where members of the Christian faith are not treated as equals and where the all the substantive positions of the National Executive of the party are made up of almost exclusively Muslims is unacceptable to me,” he said.
According to him, there are many leaders within the APC who share his views and who are also opposed to the religious agenda of the party, stressing that “I am not prepared to stay and fight from within because the very presence of any closet Haramites on the same political platform as me is something that I find utterly repugnant. I have raised these issues privately with virtually every key party leader including most of the governors but nothing has changed.”
“Lai Mohammed, only last year said that it was wrong and ''unconstitutional'' for the federal government to proscribe Boko Haram. This is the same Boko Haram that has killed no less than 15,000 Nigerians in the last three years. I cannot be in a party where the leading presidential candidate, only last year said that Boko Haram ought to be treated like the Niger Delta militants, granted amnesty without any conditions, pampered and paid and who said, in 2001, that Muslims should only vote for people who will protect their faith.
“I cannot be in a party which appears to have politicised the whole of the Chibok issue and who are not sincere in trying to get the girls back. I cannot be in a party where a few of its leaders are more interested in playing politics with the whole Chibok issue and hurling bricks at our military for allegedly not doing a better job,” he added.
He described the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, as a liar over an alleged claim by the party’s scribe that  he (Fani-Kayode) was never part of the APC, insisting that he was a registered member of the party before opting out.
“Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the spokesman of the APC, had the effrontery to say in an interview with Premium Times earlier today, that I was never a member of the APC and that I never joined them formally. He also went further to say that if I had been a member of the APC the party would have sanctioned me for expressing my opposition to the idea of a Muslim-Muslim ticket. The truth is that Mohammed is not only a liar but he is also a coward. If he wanted to know the truth he and those that sent him to issue the statement could have called me and asked me. He ought to have done his homework before speaking out. I was not only a member of the APC but I was also a leader of that party and a foundational member. Yet once I joined I began to see things as they really were,” he insisted.
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