A former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has explained why he returned to the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Mr Fani-Kayode dumped the PDP on Thursday and also visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He was a member of the PDP until 2013 when he defected to the APC. He, however, returned to the PDP in June 2014.
There had been speculations in the last few months that Mr Fani-Kayode was planning to return to APC but he repeatedly denied the moves.
Speaking with journalists after he was presented to President Buhari by the caretaker chairman of the APC, Governor Mala Buni of Yobe State on Thursday, Mr Fani-Kayode, said he believed that “it was time for him to cross over to join hands with the president in moving Nigeria forward”.
“The point is that I felt it was time to do the right thing, to put Nigeria first and appreciate the efforts that have been made, particularly in the last couple of years in terms of security; fighting insurgency and terrorism,” the former minister said.
“It is not always negative and when the time is right, we change direction to join forces and join hands to move the country forward.
“Doing this doesn’t mean we are enemies to anybody. Even if we are in another party, the PDP or any other party or group, we can still work together across party, regional, ethnic or religious lines.”
Mr Fani-Kayode added that Nigerians must remain united to salvage the country from those bent on destroying the progress of the nation.
He advised Nigerians not to allow any person or group to divide them or make the country disintegrate.
He said, “Most importantly is the appreciation of the fact that we must remain one as a nation, and build bridges, work together to move the country forward.
“The most important thing is for us to understand the fact that Nigeria must not disintegrate and those that want us to end up fighting one another in a war will be put to shame.
“There are people that think like that and that is what informed me to come here and meet the President.
“He was very gracious and it is an honour to me, and we will move the country forward together.’’
Mr Buni said President Muhammadu Buhari warmly welcomed Fani- Kayode to the APC during the visit to the president.
The Yobe governor, who was accompanied by Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State, said Mr Buhari was pleased that the former minister joined the ruling party.
He said: “We are here to present our newest member of the party, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode to the President and leader of the party.
“He is the newest member of APC and we just received him in appreciation and understanding of the President’s vision and magnanimity.
“The President received him very well. The President is a leader who shares his vision and looks toward greater Nigeria, so he received him very well and commended his courage.”