Former Ekiti governor Kayode Fayemi says he will stand for office during July elections

FORMER Ekiti State governor and current mines and steel development minister Dr Kayode Fayemi has thrown his hat into the ring for the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in the state saying that he will be a candidate in the polls.


Dr Fayemi was governor between 2000 and 2014 but was defeated by the incumbent governor Ayo Fayose, whose tenure is now approaching an end. On July 14, Ekiti State will go to the polls to elect a new governor and there are already numerous candidates lining up for the job, with Dr Fayemi's All Progressives Congress (APC) boasting of a long list that includes the likes of former governor Segun Oni, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Gbenga Aluko, Olufemi Bamisile, Opeyemi Bamidele and Bamidele Faparusi.


Speaking at a news conference at his Isan-Ekiti country home in Oye Local Government Area of the state, Dr Fayemi declared that he will be a candidate too. He said he was driven by his past record of positive achievements, especially for workers, retirees and pensioners while in office in the state.


Dr Fayemi explained that his decision to seek re-election was to deliver the state from incompetent and dubious hands and take Ekiti to where she is supposed to be. He now becomes the 35th person to formally indicate an interest in the governorship race within the APC alone.


Governor Fayose's Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has already adopted his deputy, Professor Kolapo Olusola, as their candidate in the polls. Dr Fayemi said he would formally submit his letter of intent to the state secretariat of the APC as soon as the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec) lifts the ban on campaigns on April 15.


On the issue of a white paper, indicting him for corruption and consequently banned him from seeking public office for 10 years, Dr Fayemi said he was not bothered. He declared that the said white paper cannot stop his ambition, describing the document as the final result of several months of political witch-hunt launched against him by the Ayo Fayose-led administration that cannot stand the test of time.


Dr Fayemi added: “Regardless of whatever anybody may think, I know I am eminently qualified to contest the election, if I am not qualified, I would never have come to tell you I want to contest. Most of the negative things Fayose and his government said or alleged of me were deliberately concocted out of malice to either malign my character or score cheap political goal but the truth will always prevail.


“Same goes for the manipulated debt profile of the state which was a clear case of exaggeration and distortions. Can you imagine, Fayose said he issued a white paper banning me from holding public office but today, I am giving him red card and by the end of the gubernatorial poll exercise, we will know who is right between the two of us.”


He vowed to dislodge Governor Fayose and his deputy in the poll if picked at the May 5, 2018 gubernatorial primary of the APC in Ado Ekiti. He advised other aspirants against divisive tendencies by their followers, stressing that whoever that eventually emerged from the coming primary must be embraced by all since the national secretariat of the party had promised that the whole exercise would be open, free and fair.