Fayemi presented to Buhari as Ekiti guber candidate
•Minister set to resign next week
Nasarawa State governor and Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primaries in Ekiti State; Tanko Al-Makura has presented Dr. Kayode Fayemi, flag-bearer of the party for the July 14 governorship election to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking after presenting Fayemi to Mr. President before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja yesterday, Al-Makura said he was in Aso Rock to present the Minister of Mines and Steel Development and flag bearer of APC in the coming Ekiti governorship election in line with the party’s tradition. He also expressed optimism that the party would win the governorship election.
The governor said it is the tradition of APC that immediately after any primary where a winner emerges and after the report must have been submitted to the national headquarters, the successful candidate is brought to the leader of the party, for his blessings “thereafter, we can say that we are ready to go forward and campaign for the candidate’s election in line with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conditions.”
Reacting to questions on the election, Al-Makura said APC is prepared for the polls in Ekiti in view of what he had seen on ground in the state. According to him, “I think we can consider this election as a forgone conclusion, given the support, the solidarity shown by other aspirants after the declaration. This gave us an inkling that Fayemi is definitely going to get support of other contestants. If you look at the quality, the comportment, the maturity of the delegates who unanimously voted Fayemi, you will know that out there, the caliber of people they control are those that represent the interest of Ekiti State.”
Al-Makura boasted that should the election hold today, “I can assure you that with what we saw, we are comfortable that Fayemi would win the governorship race.”Fayemi in his remark said he is on a rescue mission to Ekiti. He said he has crossed a critical hurdle having emerged as the flag bearer of the major opposition APC in Ekiti in the July 14th governorship election.
The former governor of Ekiti, who also said he would resign as minister next week to face the task ahead explained there is a lot of work to do as he and his co-contestants are seeing the coming election as a collective rescue mission.
According to him, “A critical hurdle had been crossed, but we still have a major work to do. The important thing is to see this as a collective rescue mission and I am glad that my co-contestants have seen it in that light. I have met with other aspirants, I have broken fast with them, I have shared ideas with them and also extended an olive branch to them to be part of the Candidate Advisory Council for this election and they have all graciously agreed to do that. We are confident that the APC will carry the day but there are still a lot of work to do.”
On the comments credited to the incumbent governor of the state, Mr. Ayo Fayose, who said Fayemi’s emergence was a walk in the park for the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the minister said, “As far as I am aware, the governor is not on this ballot. We will deal with the candidate on this ballot and the track record that we have in Ekiti is what will sell us.”
On the probe panel report which indicted him and his public apology to Ekiti people, Fayemi said, “You should understand the contest of the apology, don’t just take the apology on its own. What I said was that clearly the minority in Ekiti, who were not happy with some of the policies and programmes of our government while we were in office, to them I render an apology.
“But, for me the rescue mission in Ekiti is a job that has to be done. What do you want? You want continuity of lack of salary, continuity of poverty, continuity of want, continuity of lack of direction or you want to return to a past of buoyancy, human development, accountability and transparency in government. That is the clear dividing line and people can see that.
“As to the probe panel that you mentioned, well, I don’t want to dwell on the probe panel. But, the law of the land is clear, it is only a court of competent jurisdiction that can convict anyone and any Nigerian for any malfeasance. You cannot seat in your house, cook up a probe panel, a kangaroo tribunal and you say you have indicted someone and that person is guilty and should be ban from public office. That is just a joke but then the man we are taking about is an Alawada like we say in Yoruba land, so that is not surprising.”
On when he would resign from the cabinet to face the task ahead, he said, “There is still a lot of work to do. The constitution again is very clear and what it says in Section 182 is that I must leave the cabinet at least 30 days before the election.“I am the candidate of our party and I am also the minister of the Federal Republic at least for the next one week. So, for the next one week, I am the minister of mines and steel,” he said.
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