A former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, says his closed-door meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Tuesday has earned him insults.
Fani-Kayode, an ardent critic of the President, laments on Wednesday, that what transpired at the meeting had been the subject of so much “online speculation.”
Writing on his Facebook page, he insists that he has a right to pay a courtesy visit to Jonathan, just as governors who belong to the opposition All Progressives Congress do.
He notes that he will not declare if he is dumping the APC or not over an alleged plan by the party to field a Muslim/Muslim presidential ticket.
“What I have said is very simple and clear. I will say nothing until I am ready. Let those that are insulting me and making assumptions continue to do so. That, in itself, tells me a lot,” he stated in a reply to an inquiry by one of his Facebook fans.
The former minister, however, adds that he aligns himself with the opinion of one of his friends, Biodun Ishola-Ladepo, who he quotes as saying, “If I were Femi Fani-Kayode and my party planned to field a Muslim/Muslim presidential ticket, especially in the age of Boko Haram, I would bolt faster than Hussein Bolt.”
Fani-Kayode says he is glad that “someone is seeing things clearly”, adding that he wants the leadership of the party to break its “silence” on the issue.
“This is not about leaving parties but about principle. Let us hope that the leadership of the APC sees it fit to clarify this matter at the soonest and assure us all that they will do no such thing.
“Their silence on the matter and their refusal to rule it out is simply fuelling more speculation and dissent from within,” he adds.
Meanwhile, Fani-Kayode has continued to receive online criticisms occasioned by his visit to the Presidential Villa.
Special Assistant to a former Governor of Kwara State, Abubakar Saraki, on Media and Advocacy, Bamikole Omishore, accuses Fani-Kayode of making a “U-turn.”
Urging him to give a comprehensive explanation for the circumstances surrounding his visit to the Villa, Saraki’s aide tweets, “I’m sure Femi Fani-Kayode is loving all this attention. I’m still waiting for his next letter on why he left or why he is not leaving.
“I’m still waiting for him to tweet on his decamping to the Peoples Democratic Party. Want to know the rationale behind the U-turn.”
Also on Twitter, Ville Tony in a protest message to the former minister writes that it was high time Nigerians realised that their political leaders were not guided by ideology.
“It is time Nigerians realised that our politicians are a bunch of selfish sociopaths! I was of the mind that Fani-Kayode’s criticisms of GEJ were based on sound ideological leaning. But his defection to PDP reeks of opportunism,” Tony says.
Arguing that it will be out of place for Fani-Kayode to decamp to the party (PDP) he had once described as a “sinking ship”, one Adékúnlé Al-Muftau writes on Facebook that his body language speaks volumes.
Al-Muftau says, “There is nothing wrong in visiting one’s President; there is nothing wrong with standing against a Muslim/Muslim presidential ticket. But so much will be wrong with you leaving APC to go back to a PDP you once described as a sinking ship.
“I understand you did not say you have jumped ship, but saying ‘I will talk when I am ready’ could as well mean ‘Read my body language.’ You said APC governors visited the President, is it not part of the governors’ job to meet with their President? That analogy does not correctly equate your visit and theirs. But then you have a right to visit your President. We are patiently waiting for you to talk.”
But the Presidency says Fani-Kayode’s visit to Presidential Villa is a good development, adding that he is “welcome home.”
The Presidency, through the Special Assistant to Jonathan on New Media, Reno Omokri, states on Twitter that Fani-Kayode’s homage to the President is as a result of some previous extensive discussions.
“I’m glad that what we discussed has materialised. My joy knows no bound. You never belonged with them. Welcome back home!” Omokri says.
Lending a voice of support to Fani-Kayode, political blogger, Japheth Omojuwa, says he should not be castigated for whatever decisions he takes.
“You may not like Fani-Kayode but to say a Muslim/Muslim ticket would not be an issue in an increasingly polarised Nigeria is to deny reality,” Omojuwa says in a Twitter post.