Despite being in custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for over a week now, former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, has hailed the removal of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as a very “big relief”.
The embattled former spokesperson of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organization in the last general elections, said Sheriff’s removal weekend, was long overdue as the former Borno State Governor had no business being the chairman of the opposition in the first place.
Mr. Fani-Kayode was one of several former PDP ministers who strongly opposed Sheriff’s emergence as chairman, labeling the latter a known Boko Haram sponsor.
In a statement he issued from detention, the ex-minister, who is to remain in EFCC custody for another three weeks after the anti-graft agency secured an order from a Magistrate Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos State to hold him for a longer period, recalled that he was maligned by “some party members and citizens alike for insisting that Sheriff must go as he was bad news for the PDP, his sack at the Port Harcourt convention has justified our stand”.
According to Fani-Kayode, the forum of former PDP ministers (1999-2015) was aware that the former Borno governor “railroaded himself into the chairmanship of the PDP under false pretences and bogus claims, three months into his ill-fated tenure, it has become clear to everyone that SAS (Sheriff’s nickname) was a mistake the party should not have made in the first place”.
He continued: “Now that he is gone, it is expected that the caretaker committee of patriots and dedicated party leaders put in charge to run the affairs of the party for the next 90 days would do well to embark on the urgent reconciliation of members with the purpose of making PDP that usual united and formidable party it has always been.
“I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the Caretaker Committee as led by its chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, former governor of Kaduna State, who has also been my longtime friend and political associate, will create the needed atmosphere of trust and comradeship among party members going into the next convention”.
Fani-Kayode also appealed to all aggrieved members of the PDP to sheathe their sword at this time and come together as one people under one umbrella, saying now that the sore point – a veiled reference to Sheriff – has been removed, members must not miss the opportunity to forge a united front for the sake of Nigeria.
While calling for a return of power to the people, the detained ex-minister expressed his appreciation to governors elected on the platform of PDP, party leaders and elders for their steadfastness to do the right thing in the face of immense pressure.
“This action is proof that PDP is ready to correct its mistakes of the past and remain the only alternative to bringing genuine dividends of democracy to our teeming citizens”, he asserted.