After months of rumours, speculations and denials, Femi Fani-Kayode, former minister of aviation, has finally left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to join the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The former minister was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday by Mai Mala Buni, chairman, caretaker committee of the APC and governor of Yobe state, at the presidential villa, Abuja.
The development put to rest the talks of Fani-Kayode joining the APC as well as the repeated denials from him.
‘APC has Boko Haram sympathisers’
In 2013, Fani-Kayode announced his defection from the then ruling PDP to join the yet-to-be registered APC.
The minister said he took the decision after he met with Kayode Fayemi, governor of Ekiti.
In 2014, the former minister returned to PDP from APC after just a few months in the then opposition party.
Explaining the reason for his departure, Fani-Kayode claimed that some members of the then-opposition party were sympathetic to Boko Haram.
He said the APC was “working hard silently” and “behind the scenes” to produce an all-Muslim pairing for the 2015 presidential election and accused the party of being unfair to Christians.
‘I would never join Buhari, APC’
In 2016, as the then spokesperson of the presidential campaign of the PDP, he said he would never join the Buhari-led APC.
He made the comment after spending more than 60 days in detention, following allegations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that he laundered money to the tune of N4.9 billion.
He also rubbished the insinuation that he had apologised to Buhari and might be willing to return to the APC.
‘APC is Almajiri Peoples Congress’
In 2019, Fani-Kayode described the APC as an “Almajiri Peoples Congress” in a bid to rubbish speculations that he had decamped.
The former minister had described the report of his defection as “false and insulting”.
To emphasise his point, the former minister said he would rather die than to join the APC.
“The suggestion that I joined the APC is false and insulting. Those that are peddling this fake news should bury their heads in shame. With what we have witnessed I would rather die than join a filthy, rat-infested sinking ship like the Almajiri Peoples Congress (APC),” he had said.
“Those that claim that I have joined them & that seek to link my good name to such a bloodthirsty, blood-lusting, accursed political association of Boko Haramists, Fulani herdsmen, genocidal maniacs, ethnic cleansers, mass murderers, ethnic supremacists, religious bigots.
..I am committed to oppposing the APC and those that are in their ranks for the rest of my natural life and I will NEVER join them no matter what! They are nothing but darkness whilst I stand for the light of God and truth: there can be NO fellowship between light and darkness.
— Femi Fani-Kayode (@realFFK) December 15, 2019
“I am committed to opposing the APC and those that are in their ranks for the rest of my natural life and I will NEVER join them no matter what! They are nothing but darkness whilst I stand for the light of God and truth: there can be NO fellowship between light and darkness.”
‘I’m still a PDP member’ — but only for a few more months
But in 2021, chatter from the grapevine suggested that he may be planning a return to the APC, especially after he held meetings with some key members of the ruling party.
On February 9, 2021, Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi, informed reporters that Fani-Kayode had joined the APC.
One day later, the former minister debunked the claim, saying, “although we have had meetings across party lines and we are in a season of political consultation, I have not left the PDP”.
Again on February 21, Fani-Kayode denied fresh rumours that he was planning to defect to the APC.
The former minister’s comment came after he met with Bello and Mai Mala Buni, Yobe state governor.
Six months after the repeated denials and seven years after he left the party whose members he once called “cow-lovers and corrupt treasury looters,” it appears the “spirit of God” has finally led Fani-Kayode back home to where he belongs.