A former Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, has issued a strongly-worded response to demands by his former party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, that he retract his recent comments about the party and its spokesman or face legal action.
Mr. Fani-Kayode had while speaking on Sunrise Daily, a Channels TV breakfast programme on Monday, described the Boko Haram as the armed wing of the APC, a reason he alleged, made the party to be sympathetic to the insurgents’ cause.
In his response to the National Publicity Secretary of APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Tuesday, Mr. Fani-Kayode said that he stands by his allegations and assertions that the APC comprises of “at least a handful of Boko Haram sympathizers and questionable individuals who have at various times expressed a certain degree of support for Boko Haram.
“May God guide and help them and their party to see the light and to appreciate the virtues and beauty of a decent and peaceful secular state where violence and religious fundamentalism of any sort has no place”, he said.
“And may He deliver them from continuously and habitually treading the path of division, rancour, lies, deceit, bullying, intimidation and self-destruction before it is too late. Hell will freeze over before I issue Lai Mohammed or the APC any type of apology for what I have said. If they are waiting for that they will wait forever. I look forward to seeing them in court and may God’s will be done”, he added.
Mr. Mohammed, on Monday, in a swift reaction to the ex-minister’s allegation that the APC had a soft spot for the terrorists, said: “Our position on Boko Haram has been well articulated for anyone who cares to know, but at no time did we condemn the government for proscribing it.
“When the state of emergency was declared in three northern states, we criticised it and we stand by that. But we did not condemn the proscription of Boko Haram. We are not Boko Haram sympathisers and we cannot be under any circumstance”, the APC spokesman added.
However, in his Tuesday response, Mr. Fani-Kayode described Mr. Mohammed as “a pathological liar and a shameless coward”.
“Apart from being a pernicious liar he is also a malicious and vindictive soul who is either going senile and therefore habitually forgets what he once said or who simply derives pleasure from creating even more problems for his political party than they already have”, said Mr. Fani-Kayode.
“Though he denied it, it is on record that he protested about and opposed the proscription of Boko Haram by the Federal Government in various newspapers on June 10th 2013 and he described such proscription as being unconstitutional and/or extra-constitutional and wrong in various newspapers.
“At that time he spoke in his official capacity as the spokesman of the ACN which is a constituent part of the present-day APC and which merged with other parties a few months later to form the said APC. The same Lai Mohammed is now the spokesman of the APC and I have no reason to believe that he has purged himself of his earlier sympathies for that murderous organisation and its deadly activities.
“I should also add that the same Lai Mohammed, on behalf of his party, opposed the idea of Boko Haram being labelled as a terrorist organisation by the United States of America throughout last year. As shameful as it is, this was his position and that of his party after that evil and insidious terrorist organisation had slaughtered thousands of our compatriots and innocent citizens and abducted, bombed and maimed our people. This speaks volumes”, Mr. Fani-Kayode added.
Mr. Fani-Kayode also rejected in strong terms, suggestions by the opposition party that he had cut a deal with the federal government to save him from imminent jail term over his ongoing criminal prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
He described the suggestion as “not only asinine but absurd”.
“It is a lie from the pit of hell and it is a gratutious and slanderous insult on not only the Nigerian Judiciary, the Federal Government and my goodself but also on the legal profession as a whole and all those that are involved in the case”, Mr. Fani-Kayode said.
“The case has been in court for the past 7 years and I can say clearly and categorically that no deals have been cut.
“It is also clear that the prosecution is about to close its case and for Lai Mohammed to suggest that some kind of deal has been cut is not only libellous, extremely damaging and deeply malicious but it is also contemptuous of the court proceedings.
“This matter will, of course, be taken up at the highest level and Lai Mohammed will be required to produce the evidence and the strictest proof of this so-called ‘deal’.
“I have instructed my lawyers to send a letter to Lai Mohammed and the APC to urge them to issue a public apology within a specified period of time or else I will instigate legal proceedings against them for this vicious and most malevolent form of libel and defamation of character”, Mr. Fani-Kayode added.