David Umahi, governor of Ebonyi, says Femi Fani-Kayode, former minister of aviation, was not instrumental in his defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The former minister, on rejoining the APC on Thursday, said he was instrumental in the defection of three Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors to the APC.
He listed Umahi of Ebonyi state; Ben Ayade of Cross River, and Bello Matawalle of Zamfara as the governors he helped facilitate their defection to the APC.
Umahi had joined the ruling party in 2020, citing “injustice” done to the south-east by the PDP as the reason for his defection.
But speaking on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme, on Friday, Umahi said Fani-Kayode played no role in his movement to the APC, and so he must withdraw the “insulting” statement.
He said he had moved to the APC to bridge the gap between the people of the south-east and the federal government.
Umahi also said though he is still a good friend of Fani-Kayode, he is certain that the former minister never played a role in the defection of any governor, including himself to the ruling party.
“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,” he said.
“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 Azikwe 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.”