Director-General of the Progressive Governors’ Forum PGF, Salihu Moh. Lukman has charged members of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC to show greater understanding and accept a former Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani Kayode into their fold.
Lukman in a statement titled, “APC’s High-Profile Membership Recruitment and Issues for 2023” issued Sunday in Abuja advised aggrieved party members against protesting the red carpet reception offered Mr Kayode saying if President Muhammadu Buhari and party leaders have accepted him, then party members should not be more catholic than the Pope.
Lukman said; “Almost every member of APC is angry that our leaders have brought someone like Mr. 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 spilt milk.
“What is very clear is that our leaders, especially President Buhari have forgiven Mr Fani-Kayode and embrace him as one of us. As members of APC, our anger with Mr Fani-Kayode is that he has abused both the APC, President Buhari and virtually every leader of the party. For instance, he claimed that the ‘emergence of Buhari in 2015 annihilated Nigeria and plunged her into darkness, death and destruction. He came to steal, kill and destroy and for the last disastrous 5 years that is all he has done.’ More than this, he has said unprintable things against the APC and all its leaders.
“At this point, therefore, if with all these, our leaders can accept Mr Fani-Kayode into the party, APC members should not be more Catholic than the Pope. Why should APC members be sad that our leaders are magnanimous? Perhaps, because of the red-carpet reception, which many committed APC members cannot even dream of, it should be legitimate to feel unappreciated like Mr Joe Igbokwe had cried out.
“But as APC members, especially those who have been in the party since its formation in 2013 and have endured all the challenges of being loyal members, we must always be reminded that our commitment is to contribute in whatever way and manner possible to change Nigeria for the better.
“If therefore, someone like Mr Fani-Kayode, who is considered unreliable and therefore not qualified to be a member, would seek for forgiveness from our leaders, based on which they extended their arms to him, members of the APC should also show understanding”.
He said what is required in the circumstance is for APC leaders to test the commitment of Mr. Fani-Kayode to reform himself.
“The first test is that Mr Fani-Kayode should be reminded that politics is local. Coming from Osun State, his commitment to reform himself should start with getting him to integrate himself with APC leaders back in Osun State.
“At this early stage of his membership of APC, beyond the photo show with our dear President Buhari and the Chairman of the APC Caretaker Committee, Mr Fani-Kayode should have a photo gallery with images of him uniting with Chief Bisi Akande, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Governor Gboyega Oyetola and other party leaders in his home state, Osun.
“In fact, part of this test would have been met had Governor Oyetola and Ogbeni Aregbesola, at the minimum, been part of the welcome reception at the Presidential Villa on Thursday, September 16. Had that happened, the raging controversy following the admission of Mr Fani-Kayode into the party would have been minimised.
“The photo gallery should also cover images with leaders from the South-West. Mr Fani-Kayode should take every step to reciprocate the gesture of our leaders by demonstrating that he is ready to reform himself. Some of the controversies he has already created make it doubtful whether he wants to reform himself at all.
“For instance, when he claimed that he facilitated the defection of some Governors that joined the APC from PDP, suggests that he is still his old venomous self. Only people with very small minds could make such statements and only gullible people can believe them”, Lukman declared.