The governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, has denied claims by former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, that he played a crucial role in his (Umahi) defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Mr Umahi defected to APC from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last year while Femi Fani-Kayode formally joined the ruling Party from the opposition party on Thursday.
The former Minister of Aviation, who served under President Olusegun Obasanjo administration, after he was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja as a new member, disclosed his role in the defection of the three governors from the PDP.
The other governors are Ben Ayade of Cross River State and Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State both of whom defected this year.
Fani-Kayode, however, last night on “Politics Today”, a Channels Television programme told the anchor, Seun Okinbaloye, to excuse his use of “instrumental” but insist on playing a role in the defection of the governors.
Reacting to Fani-Kayode’s claim on the same platform on Friday morning, Umahi called the latter a liar and demanded an apology for his ”insulting” claim.
“For someone to come and say that a whole Chairman of the South East Governors Forum, that he was instrumental to my movement from PDP to APC is an insult on my person and with all due respect, he has to withdraw that statement.
“He remains my friend and a good one for that matter, but he played no role in my movement and I am sure he didn’t play any role in the movement of the rest of us,” the governor countered on Channel Television breakfast show, Sunrise Daily.
Fani-Kayode, a former critic of the APC-led government, has continued to face serious criticisms from different quarters for his sudden defection despite his public disgust for the ruling party.
An official aide to Buhari on Political Matters, Babafemi Ojudu, in a Facebook post after the news of the ex-minister joining the APC went viral, marked the day as his saddest in his political career.
“This is the saddest day of my political career,” Ojudu said after sharing a post where Fani-Kayode expressed his preference to die rather than joining the ruling party.
He retracted his initial stance, saying he was proud of his decision to dump the PDP for the APC and dismissed whatever his critics would throw at him in the coming days.
“I’m proud to be here, it doesn’t matter what people say or think,” Fani-Kayode surprisingly said.