By CHIBUZO UKAIBE and ANDREW ESSIEN ABUJA
In what appeared to be unknotting of the plot in the uncertainty surrounding the political fate of former minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, yesterday affirmed that the former presidential spokesman has joined the All Progressives Congress (APC).
But in a swift response to Bello’s claim, Fani-Kayode declared that he remained a bonafide member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Speculations that the former minister was defecting to APC were rife early this week when pictures of his meeting with national chairman of the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) and Yobe State governor, Mai Mala Buni, in the company of the Governor Bello in Abuja surfaced.
Before meeting with Buni, Fani-Kayode had revealed that he had fruitful meetings with Kogi State governor and Senator Smart Adeyemi separately at his Abuja residence.
However, while he explained that his meetings with the APC chieftains was on building bridges to address challenges facing the country, Governor Bello declared to a crowd of APC supporters yesterday that Fani-Kayode had decamped to the APC.
Addressing the crowd in a video that went viral on social media, Bello, who chairs the Sensitisation and Mobilisation Committee of the APC registration and revalidation exercise, said, “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.”
He also pointed out that Fani-Kayode is one of the foundation members of the APC.
The governor added that he was holding talks with the leaders of other political parties besides the PDP.
But in a swift reaction, Fani-Kayode denied dumping PDP where he served as minister of Aviation and later spokesman of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential campaign in 2015.
The minister in his tweeter handle said, “Though we have had meetings across party lines and we are in a season of political consultation I have not left the PDP.”
After his meeting with the APC leaders on Monday, the former minister met with his former boss, President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday evening at the latter’s Abuja residence.
“My team and I had the honour and privilege of spending a wonderful evening with President Goodluck Jonathan in his Abuja home last night. None like him,” the minister tweeted on Wednesday without revealing details of the meeting.
Speculations were also rife of Jonathan’s political future shortly after Buni led some APC governors to pay him a visit at his Abuja residence last year.
However, the APC national chairman recently dispelled the rumour that the party was plotting to field Jonathan as its candidate in 2023.
Everybody In South East Want To Join APC – Umahi
Meanwhile, the Ebonyi State governor, David Umahi, declared yesterday that APC registration forms sent to the South East are a far cry from what was expected, adding that everybody in the South East wants to belong to the APC.
Umahi who stated this after a meeting with APC caretaker committee chairman, Mai Mala Buni at the party’s national secretariat said he has requested for more registration forms for the South East.
Speaking with journalists after the meeting, he described as “world class” the quality of the sensitisation, mobilisation and organisation of the ongoing APC membership registration, revalidationm and update exercise.
The governor who is also chairman of the South East Governors Forum said, “I complained to him that the hundreds of forms at the polling units is a far cry from what we expected. Everybody in the South East wants to belong to the APC.”
Umahi who was visiting the party’s national secretariat for the first time since he joined APC last November hailed the party leadership for doing a good job in managing the party.
He said, “The ongoing registration, arrangements and logistics and the intentions are very wonderful. It is first class because I have never seen it in any party administration. So it is important I come to commend him and to also commend the staff who are working with him. This is essentially the reasons why I have come.
“Mr. President has actually helped the South East so much. And in every of my broadcast or media chats I have always enumerated what Mr. President has done for our people. And Ebonyi State is a shining example of the intervention by Mr. President”.
Umahi’s commendation of the registration exercise comes days after former chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, questioned the legality of the exercise