The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ward 5, Ile-Ife, Osun State, the registration unit of a former minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, has vowed to resist any attempt by the National Working Committee of the party to sanction Fani-Kayode, over his call for members of the party’s national leadership to resign.
Irked by recent allegations by Fani-Kayode, who accused some members of the NWC of working against the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan, the committee had directed the Osun State chapter of the party to investigate the former minister’s activities and membership of the party.
The PDP said the Osun chapter of the party should first verify Fani-Kayode’s membership and issue appropriate sanctions against him.
It also directed the chapter to treat Fani-Kayode, who served as the spokesperson for President Jonathan’s campaign team in recent elections, as a “usurper” if the party confirms he is not a full member.
But the party’s leaders at the Ward level, who are Fani-Kayode’s kinsmen, see the attempt to probe him as a victimisation plot.
Rasheed Ojikutu, who chairs the Ward, at a press conference in Ile-Ife on Friday, warned the NWC not to victimize Fani-Kayode, as it would endanger the unity of the party in the state.
Ojikutu said Fani-Kayode was being victimized for joining other party leaders in calling for the resignation of members of the NWC for their dismal performance during the last presidential election.
According to him, Fani-Kayode is a registered member of the party who was issued a membership card on his return to the party in April 2014 from the All Progressives Congress.
“It came to us as a surprise that despite the immense and cogent contributions of this great party faithful (Fani-Kayode), the NWC is seeking disciplinary action against him just because he joined other great party leaders like Governors Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State, Sule Lamido of Jigawa State among others in calling for the NWC to go after leading the PDP to its worst election in its 16 year history.
“We wonder why among all these people, only Chief Femi Fani-Kayode has been singled out for a planned sanction. Could this be a deliberate plan to victimize him and force him out of the party? If it is so, we want to assure members of our great party in particular and Nigerians in general that we shall stand by Chief Femi Fani-Kayode to the end no matter the cost to our persons and offices.
“We abhor injustice, victimization and tyranny and we shall prove this with our strength and everything at our disposal in the coming days unless those concerned retrace their steps speedily.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to reiterate that Chief Femi Fani-Kayode is a bona fide member of our great party and was issued a membership card from our ward in April 2014 after his return from the APC following relentless and intense pressure from us and since then, he has been contributing immensely and generously far above the required level.”
Some other party leaders, including Femi Odofin, a Deputy Chairman of a group, Osun Renaissance, also vowed to resist the NWC’s move to sanction the former minister.
They asserted that after leading the party to a disastrous outing, the NWC ought to have resigned as it.