The All Progressives Youth Forum, APYF, is aware that the meeting between former minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode; the governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello and his Yobe State counterpart, Mai Mala Buni who also doubles as the Chairman of the Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee of the APC has generated quite a presumably heated conversation in Nigeria’s political circle. The interest the meeting has generated is largely due to the politics of the person the two governors hosted and, of course, the image he has built for himself in Nigeria’s political landscape.
Today in Nigeria, the name — Fani-Kayode could pass as effective synonym for treachery, bigotry, betrayal and divisiveness. Many who have had the not so pleasant experience of undertaking a political journey with Femi Fani-Kayode have different gory and unsavory tales to tell.
The APYF is conscious of the fact that politics is neither a religion nor is it meant only for saints. It is a game that accommodates both the good and the bad, the virtuous and the evil. But as a party that prides itself on progressivism, there are just some certain limits we must set for ourselves and a determined line we must not cross. And while Fani-Kayode definitely has the freedom of association and could choose to identify with any group of his choice, we as a progressive party must have the necessary self-regard and decency to not make our party a platform for divisive elements and ethnic/religious bigots.
Aside the fact that Femi Fani-Kayode does not enjoy a good public image and reputation to add a ounce of value to the APC, it is our belief that he also does not possess the requisite character of a principled and consistent individual who deserves to be decorated with a progressive badge. How Governors Yahaya Bello and Mai Mala Buni negate to review the antecedents of their new friend remains a mystery.
But do we blame Fani-Kayode for his seeming preparedness to kowtow before the same Buhari he has described severally in very damaging and unsavory words? Not at all. That is who Fani-Kayode is. He will swallow his words and recant a million times if doing so would secure for him another meal ticket. We do not blame Fani-Kayode in the least.
However, we must put on record our disappointment with the present managers of our party, the APC. We are appalled by their unrestrained effort to ridicule all the people that have laboured for this party and all the hard work they have put in. They are the people cracking the walls of the APC and extending invitations to all manners of ‘lizards’ to come and sojourn here. But, as young progressives, we make bold to assure all those who think the APC is just another party they can mess up that we would not sit by and watch them do as they wish with the party. Never.
We don’t know and do not care to know whatever selfish interests anyone may have at this point. But we must especially express our disappointment with the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello. If he is a good student of history, we expect him to know by now that desperation has never won anybody the presidential seat in Nigeria. We advise him to tread with caution and remember that if it were for strategy and scheming, he would never have even been a Governor to begin with.
It is a pity that Gov. Yahaya Bello who first became governor at a little over 40 is showing this level of brashness and untempered ambition. At just 45, what’s the need to be so blinded by ambition that the very people who publicly humiliate the same President Buhari whom Gov. Bello said he could die for are now his preferred political men-fridays. It is quite unfortunate.
If Gov. Yahaya Bello cares about how posterity will judge him, he will immediately retrace his steps and relationship with a character like FFK. The work for which he was elected in Kogi State deserves much more attention than staying in Abuja trying to offload all manners of political liabilities on a party that has done so much for him.
As custodians of the ideals and legacy of the APC, we must reiterate our willingness and readiness to stand up to anyone, no matter how highly placed, who think they can use the party to prosecute whatever selfish ambitions they may have. While some individuals may have satisfied their desires on the platform of the party and therefore care less what becomes of it, we still have a future with the APC, and we would do whatever is necessary to prevent anyone from cutting short our steady and assured growth into an ideologically-driven political party that promotes principled politics.
We invite all the party elders and leaders to, at this stage, to call the present managers of the party to order and to prevail on them to do things in accordance with our established ethos of progressiveness. While we would strive to accord everyone in the present leadership of the party their due regard, we would not hesitate to call out anyone who places whatever personal ambition above and ahead of our collective integrity and survival as a party.