Dr. Salihu Lukman, Director-General of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), has explained why some members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are protesting Mr. Femi FaniKayode’s defection to the party.
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He gave the explanation in a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja in response to Fani-recent Kayode’s defection from the Peoples Democratic Party to the APC (PDP).
In a statement titled “APC’s High Profile Membership Recruitment and Issues for 2023,” Lukman stated that Fani Kayode‘s capacity to build and sustain relationships was limited, not only politically, but in all aspects of his life.
“Late on Thursday, September 16, 2021, reports surfaced that Fani-Kayode had joined the APC and had been received at the Presidential Villa by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Since the release of the report, negative commentary has dominated public attention in the country,” the PGF DG stated.
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He noted that the development had sparked criticism, mostly from APC members who questioned why Fani-Kayode was given such a high-profile reception by the party leadership.
Sen. Babafemi Ojudu, Special Adviser to President Buhari on Political Matters, was among the first to express disappointment, according to the PGF DG.
Ojudu, he said, had lamented that Fani-Kayode’s reception had made the day the saddest of his political career.
“The opposition to Fani-Kayode joining the APC stems from his venomous personality; he abuses, insults, and disparages everyone, almost indiscriminately.
“Almost every APC member is furious that our leaders have brought someone like Fani-Kayode into our party. This is exacerbated by the red carpet treatment he receives, which he does not deserve.
“However, since it has occurred, there is no need to weep over spilled milk. What is clear is that our leaders, particularly President Buhari, have forgiven Fani-Kayode and accepted him as one of us,” he said.
APC Members Are Angry
Lukman explained that as APC members, the anger with Fani-Kayode stemmed from the fact that he had abused the party, Buhari, and virtually every other party leader.
He did, however, advise that despite all of Fani-previous Kayode’s criticisms of the APC and its leaders, if its leaders could accept him into the party, its members “should not be more Catholic than the Pope.”
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“APC members should be understanding,” Lukman said.
He noted that since 2015, many opportunistic political leaders, such as Fani-Kayode, have joined the APC, received a warm welcome, and then betrayed the party.
Such political leaders, he claims, have undermined the APC and its leaders in the past.
Part of the frustration of many APC members, according to Lukman, was that it could be predicted that the party’s leaders were wrongly investing trust and confidence in the wrong people.
“Those who are consistent and loyal to our party and our leaders, on the other hand, have not received the deserved respect they deserve.
“This may or may not be intended, but it is there. Regardless, members must proceed with confidence and commitment to engage our leaders,” he said.
Members should respect the decision because the party’s leaders have developed the large heart required to forgive Fani-Kayode.
“To that extent, party members should respect our leaders’ decision to admit Fani-Kayode and welcome him with a red carpet reception.
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“We must not be distracted in any way. If Fani-Kayode requires a red carpet reception to be an APC member, millions of party members have shown that they do not require any form of recognition to work for Nigeria.
“As very consistent and stable APC members, we should also recognize that the party is partly what it is today because of our small contributions over the years,” he said.