Former Minister of Aviation Femi Fani-Kayode, who is reported to have abandoned the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says he will tell Nigerians should he do so.
“If ever choose to leave the party I will let the Nigerian public know and I will give my reasons,” he wrote in a statement.
On his Tuesday visit to President Goodluck Jonathan, he noted that the visit to the villa has been the subject of much online speculation.
“What I said to the media whilst there was very clear and I chose my words very carefully. Let those that are interested read those words in the newspapers rather than speculate. Other than that I will say no more on this matter until I am ready to do so.”
He drew attention to the recent visit of APC governors from the south west to the presidential for a meeting with Mr. Jonathan, pointing out that the subject of their discussion has yet to be made public.
“Does that make them PDP governors?” he asked. “The Presidency belongs to every Nigerian irrespective of religious and political persuasions.”
He also cited the fact that General Muhammadu Buhari was recently honored by President Jonathan during the centenary celebration, an event that did not enjoy the support of the APC, asking whether that means Buhari has joined the PDP.
“Again the ongoing Federal Government confab has some APC chieftains participating in it despite the fact that the party is against it. Does that mean that they have left the APC? People should get real and stop speculating.”
He quoted an online writer, Biodun Ishola Ladepo, as saying about him, ''If I were Femi Fani-Kayode and my party planned to field a Muslim/Muslim presidential ticket, especially in the age of Boko Haram, I would bolt faster than Hussein Bolt.'' He described the writer as someone “seeing things clearly,” suggesting that the possibility of a Muslim/Muslim APC presidential ticket may be at the heart of his political concerns.
“This is not about leaving parties but about principle,” Fani-Kayode said. “Let us hope that the leadership of the APC sees fit to clarify this matter at the soonest and assure us all that they will do no such thing. Their silence on the matter and their refusal to rule it out is simply fuelling more speculation and dissent from within. When I say this I am speaking for many within the party leadership who have chosen to remain silent for obvious reasons.”
Mr. Fani-Kayode has a controversial past. A one-time critic of former President Obasanjo, he later became a rabid attack dog for the president he once pilloried. He hurled insults at Mr. Obasanjo’s critics, including Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, literary icon Chinua Achebe, and a former military governor of Kaduna State, Abubakar Umar.
Mr. Fani-Kayode is facing a pending prosecution for alleged corrupt practices tied to his tenure in the Obasanjo administration. Seen as very close to the former president, who is politically estranged from President Jonathan, Fani-Kayode has often led attacks against the incumbent president.
President Jonathan and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have adopted a policy of wooing members of the opposition APC to their fold.
Mr. Jonathan, who will seek reelection in 2015, has been reaching out to politicians in the southwest, an area where the APC is deemed impregnable.