Gov Umahi calls Fani-Kayode a liar, says he played no role in his defection

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“I think he needs to withdraw that statement. He’s my good friend but it was an insult to my person,” Umahi says.

Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State (BBC)

Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, who dumped the PDP for the APC in November 2020, has called out ex-Aviation Minister Femi Fani-Kayode, who has just agreed personal terms with the APC after completing his medicals and paper work.

After his defection, Umahi said he made the switch to APC because the PDP had been unfair to his southeastern geopolitical region since 1998.

After he formalised his move to the APC on Thursday, September 16, Fani-Kayode said he was instrumental to Umahi’s defection.

He also said he was instrumental to the defections of Governors Ben Ayade of Cross River and Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State.

According to Fani-Kayode, who was flanked by Matawalle and APC caretaker committee Chairman Mai Mala Buni as he spoke, “There are many people. If you ask my friend and brother Matawalle here…there are many people within the PDP who really want to come over to the APC. I can tell you that.

“I was there and very instrumental when Governor Umahi joined the APC. I was there and very instrumental when Governor Ayade did the same thing. I was there and very instrumental when my friend and brother Governor of Zamfara, Matawalle did the same thing.”

However, Umahi considers Fani-Kayode’s remarks an insult; and has asked for a withdrawal of the comments rendered by APC’s newest signing.

L-R: Yobe State governor, Mai Mala Buni; President Muhammadu Buhari; and Femi Fani-Kayode [Presidency]

“I think he needs to withdraw that statement, he’s my good friend but it was an insult to my person and the other governors,” Umahi said during a ChannelsTV breakfast programme.

“The man did not know when I moved but he incidentally visited me and he said he’s coming to join me with the other governors to declare.

“How would someone in the PDP be instrumental in my moving? A whole governor of a state, not even a small governor, an experienced one.

“He has to withdraw his statement. He was never part of any discussion of my movement. I moved south-east to the centre of administration. I moved to close the gap between the centre and south-east, which our forefathers like Nnamdi Azikiwe fought for.

“For somebody to say that he’s instrumental to the movement of a whole chairman of south-east governors forum is a bit of an insult to my person. And with all due respect, he has to withdraw that statement.

“He remains my friend, a good one for that matter. But he played no role in my movement and I’m sure he played no role in the movement of the rest of the governors,” Umahi added.

Fani-Kayode, who was very critical of the APC and President Buhari until this week, now says the APC and Buhari have changed a great deal since he last poured scorn and insults on them.

Fani-Kayode also said he is currently working to woo Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu and Bauchi Governor Bala Mohammed, to the APC fold.

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