A Final Parting Of Ways By Femi Fani-KayodeArticles/Opinion, Latest News Sunday, June 8th, 2014
I declared for the All Progressives Congress in June last year in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State well before the party was registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission. I formally joined the party, amidst great fanfare, on February 7, 2014 in my hometown Ile-Ife and I registered my membership with the party on that day.
He also went further to say that had if I had been a member of the APC, the party would have sanctioned me for expressing my opposition to the idea of a Muslim/Muslim ticket.
The truth is that Mohammed is not only a liar but he is also a coward. He ought to have done his homework before speaking out. I was not only a member of the APC but I was also a leader of that party and a foundational member. Yet, once I joined I began to see things as they really were.
I have never been and will never be part of a cult and the fact that people like Mohammed and those he represents within the APC are not comfortable with any form of admonition or criticism from senior party members like me speaks volumes.
I have nothing but the fondest thoughts and memories for the majority of APC leaders but today I have an important announcement to make.
I wish to inform the general public that as at today, June 2, 2014, I have left the APC and gone back to the PDP. My reasons for leaving the party are because I consider nation-building as being far more important than party affiliation.
I am a devout and committed Christian and I cannot remain in a party where a handful of people that have sympathies for Boko Haram and that have a clear islamic agenda are playing a leading role. I will not be amongst those that seek to bury Christ and to destroy His counsel and Church.
This is made all the more untenable when some of those people are working hard silently and behind the scenes to impose a Muslim/Muslim ticket on the party for the Presidential elections next year.
I believe that religion ought to play no part in politics but a situation where members of the Christian faith are not treated as equals and where all the substantive positions of the National Executive of the party are made up of almost exclusively Muslims is unacceptable to me.
In fairness to the members of the party there are many leaders within it’s ranks who share my views and who are also opposed to the religious agenda that the few have but I am not prepared to stay and fight from within because the very prescence of any closet Haramites on the same political platform as me is something that I find utterly repugnant.
I have raised these issues privately with virtually every key party leader including most of the governors but nothing has changed. I cannot be in a party in which the spokesman, Lai Mohammed, only last year said that it was wrong and ‘’unconstitutional’’ for the Federal Government to proscribe Boko Haram.
This is the same Boko Haram that has killed no less than 15,000 Nigerians in the last three years. I cannot be in a party where the leading Presidential candidate, only last year said that the members of Boko Haram ought not to be killed but instead ought to be treated like the Niger Delta militants and granted amnesty.
I cannot be in a party where that same leading Presidential candidate said, in 2001, that muslims should only vote for people who will protect their faith and that it was his intention to spread sharia throughout the nation.
I cannot be in a party where a number of leading people question the secularity of the state. I cannot be in a party in which such people appear to hold sway. I cannot be in a party which appears to have politicised the Chibok issue and who are not sincere in trying to get the girls back.
I cannot be in a party where a few of it’s leaders are more interested in playing politics with the whole Chibok affair and hurling bricks at our military rather than in encouraging them to do a better job.
I cannot be in a party in which the role of one of it’s governors in the Chibok affair is not clear: this is a governor that has not been able to explain to the world why he insisted that the girls should go ahead and do their exams in that school and remain there for the night even though WAEC and the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Education, had warned them about the dangers of doing so and told them not to do it..
I cannot be in a party in which one of the leading members was the individual that originally founded Boko Haram. I cannot be in a party in which another of it’s leading members has openly insulted my traditional ruler the Ooni of Ife and called him, together with many of our other traditional rulers in the South-West, “useless.”
I cannot be in a party in which dissent and having a differing opinion with others on fundamental issues is seen as a grave offence and something that ought to be frowned upon. I have been in politics for the last 24 years of my life and all along I have taken monuemental risks and been guided by my princples.
I have consistently exhibited that I have the courage of my convictions and more often than not I have dared to say what many others are thinking but dare not say. I am not about to stop now and I cannot be intimidated into doing so. It is clear to me that such sentiments are not appreciated in the APC under it’s present leadership.
I believe that every religion and every ethnic nationality in this country ought to be treated with the greatest respect even within the context of a political party. I believe that we are all equal before God regardless of our religious differences.
A situation whereby, as a Christian, I am made to feel that I am a second class citizen in any association or political party which I am part of and for which I have laboured so hard in the last few months is unacceptable to me.
In order for any political party to move our country forward you need the input, support and confidence of the adherents of all religious faiths and not just that of the Muslims. This is something that some in the APC do not seem to appreciate.
As a Christian I feel deeply offended by some of the rhetoric and behaviour of some of the APC leaders and I cannot be expected to remain silent in the face of such behaviour. These are the main reasons why I have left the APC.
I bear no-one in the party any ill-will or malice. I wish them well in all their future endeavours and I sincerely hope that they can rectify their internal contradictions before it is too late
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