Femi Fani-Kayode, former minister of aviation, has hit back at those who criticised him for describing Isa Pantami, minister of communications and digital economy, as his “friend and brother”.
Fani-Kayode had, in April, labelled Pantami as a “jihadist”, after the minister’s pro-Al-Qaeda views surfaced.
But on Friday, Fani-Kayode caused a stir when he shared photos featuring him and Pantami at the wedding of Yusuf, son of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Responding to the criticisms via a statement on Saturday, the former minister said he will remain friends with Pantami irrespective of what people say.
“I offer no apology or explanation and I need no validation from you.
You either trust my judgement or you do not and either way, I do not care,” he said in part.
“You see my faith teaches me to forgive those that express regrets about their past actions and utterances and to be at peace with as many people as possible.
“It also teaches me to shake a hand when it is extended to me in friendship.
“The bottom line is as follows: you can do and say your worst.
You can vent until you wee in your pants.
You can wail until you defecate in your trousers. You can scream and shout from morning till night.
“It does not move me and it changes nothing: though we may not agree on everything, Isa and I are now friends and we will remain friends.
Live with it or die with it.
“If most of you had 10% of my courage and foresight, Nigeria would be a far better place.
History will vindicate me and posterity will judge us all.
“You do not know what I know and you do not see what I see.
You assume the worse because you are the worse.
“Whatever you choose to say or do I don’t care.
All I know is that I will never prostitute my principles or compromise my stance on fundamental issues and I will disagree with those that I choose to disagree with but I will never be driven by hate or be deaf, dumb and blind to reason.
”Fani-Kayode added that he was not the only person at the wedding who was photographed with a political opponent, citing former vice-president Atiku Abubakar’s interaction with President Buhari as an example.