Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, on Friday vowed that former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, did not influence him into dumping the Peoples Democratic Party for the ruling All Progressives Congress in November 2020.
The governor made the statement on Friday during ‘Sunrise Daily', a breakfast programme on Channels Television.
An angry Umahi described the allegation by the ex-minister as an insult.
Recall that FFK, as he is popularly called, had insinuated, after his official presentation to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) at the Presidential Villa, that he was instrumental to Umahi's shocking defection last year.
This is just as he had hinted about the possibility of the governors of Bauchi, Enugu and Oyo States leaving the opposition party along with their huge number of supporters to pitch tent with APC.
The ex-minister had said, “There are many people. If you ask my friend and brother, Governor Matawalle here, there are many people within the PDP, who do want to come over to the APC. I can tell you that. I was there and very instrumental when Governor Umahi joined the APC.
“I was there and very instrumental when Governor Ayade did the same thing. I was there and very instrumental when my friend and brother governor of Zamfara, Governor Matawale did the same thing.
“Now, if you don’t mind me mentioning names, somebody like the governor of Enugu State, the governor of Oyo State, and of course, my good friend, the governor of Bauchi State, great friends of mine, and I sincerely hope that they too may end up coming in this direction.”
But Umahi warned Fani-Kayode to retract his statement in Friday's interview, adding that the ex-minister was “never” part of the discussions that led to his defection.
The Ebonyi State governor said, “I think he (Fani-Kayode) needs to withdraw that statement, he’s my good friend but, it was an insult on my person and the other governors.
“The man did not know when I moved, but incidentally he visited me and we discussed, and he said he was coming to join me with the other governors to declare.
“How will somebody in the PDP be instrumental to my moving? A whole governor of the state. Not even a small governor, an experienced governor. He has to withdraw the statement," he fumed.