Segun Adewole, Punch
Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode has said that his meeting with some leaders of the All Progressives Congress was to discuss the “state of the nation, national issues, party politics and the way forward.”
Fani-Kayode had yesterday met with the National Chairman of the APC, Governor Mai Buni of Yobe State and Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.
Pictures from the meeting had sparked the controversy that Fani-Kayode, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, was on the verge of decamping to the APC which he’s an ardent critic of.
In a statement issued on his official Twitter handle on Tuesday, Fani-Kayode said the meeting with the APC leadership was to build bridges, join hands across political divides and regional lines to save Nigeria from drifting into civil war.
He also said that he’s in talks with the leaders of other political parties asides the ruling APC.
He said, “Yesterday, I had the honour and privilege of having a very productive and important meeting with the Nat. Chairman of the APC, Gov Mai Buni of Yobe state and Gov Yahaya Bello of Kogi State. We discussed the state of the nation, national issues, party politics & the way forward.
“These meetings are wide-ranging and ongoing and I am delighted to be involved in them. Despite the obvious benefits and wisdom in this noble initiative, it amazes me that some people should feel that it is wrong for me to sit with other leaders in the country to discuss issues which touch and concern the national cohesion, future and stability of our country. This is a time in which we must set all our differences aside, build bridges and come together as one lest our country drifts into fratricidal butchery and civil war.
“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. The next few months will be critical in terms of whether or not our country will survive as one and I believe that if we want it to be so, dialogue, building bridges and collaboration, even with those that you may disagree with on some issues, is vital and inevitable. That was the purpose of our meeting. Permit me to add the following for the record. I will always stand for justice and I will never cease to oppose evil.
“Yet the greatest evil that we are confronted with today is the prospect of a second civil war.
“Despite our differences, as leaders and statesmen, we must all sheath our swords and ensure that we never go down that path. May God help our country and may He guide us all.”