How I wooed Umahi, Ayade, Matawalle into APC – Fani-Kayode

Former Minister of Aviation Femi Fani-Kayode was officially received into the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

He was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari as the newest member of the ruling party at the Presidential Villa  Thursday by Yobe state Governor and Chairman  APC’s  convention/caretaker committee Mai Mala Buni, and the governor of Zamfara state, Mohammed Bello Matawale.

Speaking to State House Correspondents after the meeting with President Buhari, Fani-Kayode,  said he defected from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the sake of the country’s unity.

Fani-Kayode also said he influenced  several other defections into the ruling party.

The former minister said he was instrumental to the defection of the three PDP governors into the APC.

He listed the governors to include  Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state, Ben Ayade of Cross River state and  Matawale.

Fani-Kayode, who  held various appointments under the PDP administrations  of both Obasanjo and Jonathan, further said  he has friends across party line and was wooing some PDP governors into the APC fold.

Such governors, he said, include Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state, Seyi Makinde of Oyo state and Bauchi state Governor Bala Mohammed.

“There are many people. If you ask my friend and brother, Governor Matawale here, there are many people within the PDP, really do want to come over to the APC, I can tell you that I was there and very instrumental when Governor Umahi joined the APC.

“I was there and very instrumental when Governor Ayade did the same thing. I was there and very instrumental when my friend and brother governor of Zamfara, Governor Matawale did the same thing.

“There are many others, some of the most remarkable men in this country are still within the ranks of the PDP, it’s our job to try to win them over. Now, if you don’t mind me mentioning names, somebody like the governor of Enugu State, the governor Oyo State, and of course, my good friend, the governor of Bauchi State, great friends of mine, and I sincerely hope that they too may end up coming in this direction.

“But whether they do or not, the most important thing is that we work together as a people, as a country, and move our country together and fight and kill the terrorists and put to shame the foreign elements and I emphasise that word, foreign elements, that want us to end up fighting one another in this country and turning our country into a massive refugee camp,” he said.

On why he joined the ruling party despite his criticism in the past, he said, “I’ll say that the only constant thing in life is change. You can’t hold me to what I’ve said in the past if circumstances change and I will always bow to superior argument and logic. For me, the primary cause today and let me say this, there’s no way I will renege on my fundamental core values and principles, anybody that knows me will tell you that.

“I believe in certain things; how the country should be moved forward. I will fight for that from within this party to ensure it’s done. I believe in fairness and equity. But the most important thing for us today is we must not allow our country to fall apart based on disagreement and misunderstanding amongst one another.”

The lawyer-turned politician, was before now a strong critic of the Buhari administration.

He was also the spokesman of PDP presidential campaign organisation in 2015 during which he made some scathing remarks about the APC and Buhari, its presidential candidate during the campaign.