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Fani-Kayode faults defection claims, insists on PDP membership

By Idowu Abdullahi,

Nigeria’s former minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has refuted claims that he has defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

He said that though he recently met with politicians across party divides, he was yet to leave the main opposition party to the APC.

The former minister clarified that though the country was in a season of political consultation, he still remains a card-carrying member of the former ruling party.

“Though we have had meetings across party lines and we are in a season of political consultation I have not left the PDP,” Fani-Kayode wrote on his social media page on Wednesday in reacting to reports that he has officially joined the APC.

His reaction was coming hours after a viral video clip that surfaced online on Wednesday showed the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, confirming the former minister’s defection to APC.

“Our brother and friend, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode has joined our party in good faith. He’s joining our party to add his own positive energy and make contributions into ensuring that APC is a party to beat,” Bello said in the video clip.

It would be recalled that Fani-Kayode recently met with Bello, the senator representing Kogi Central senatorial district, Smart Adeyemi, and other top APC members to discuss possible solutions to the country’s challenges ahead of the 2023 general election.

The meeting sent a signal that the former minister was already making moves to abandon PDP for the ruling APC, which had been in power since 2015 after President Muhammadu Buhari defeated the incumbent leader of the country, Goodluck Jonathan.

Also, Fani-Kayode, who had been a major critic of the ruling party’s policies and programmes, was said to have discussed with the Bello and other APC top members on modalities to switch allegiance to the APC.

But following the mixed reactions that greeted his alleged defection report, the PDP stalwart said that his meeting with APC top members was only to proffer solutions to the country’s challenges and not for defection as being insinuated in some quarters.

“It is right and proper for us to talk and to attempt to join hands across political, religious and regional lines to save Nigeria. I can and will never compromise or jettison my core fundamental principles for any reason and I stand firmly on my honestly held opinion that we need to enthrone equity, justice, and fairness in this country for it to survive.

“I also believe in restructuring the country and in a vigorous and effective fight against terrorism. The fact that I am in talks with leaders from a cross-section of pol. parties, including the ruling party, does not in any way derogate from this and does not mean that I will ever change those views,” he said in a statement issued yesterday.

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