If the tumultuous crowd of party supporters and members that turned out for the declaration of intention of Dr. Kayode Fayemi to contest the Governorship of Ekiti State is anything to go by, he is a sure bet to emerge the flag bearer of the APC for the July 14,2018 election in the state.
The declaration of Fayemi at the party’s secretariat at Ajilosun in Ado Ekiti has put paid to the speculations surrounding the aspiration of the Minister of Mines and steel Development who is gunning for another shot at at Ekiti State Governorship.
As early as 7am, on that day, supporters and loyalists of Fayemi started trooping into the state Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti state capital, going around the major roads as show of strength of the followership of their man. There was a resultant gridlock of traffic as more convoys of of loyalists arrived the state capital.
Known supporters of other aspirants in the party were seen to have taken their place behind Dr. Fayemi, who has become the man to beat in the party primary..
It was apparent that Fayemi ‘s commanding presence and level of acceptance .among the party hierarchy have sent palpable fears down the spines of other aspirants.
Fayemi who arrived in a long convoy enroute Fajuyi in Ado Ekiti at around 1pm came down at Okeyinmi and took a walk amidst his hundreds of supporters down to the party secretariat In Ajilosun which is about 5 kilometers distance while people kept trooping out to greet him and show their love for him even as some followed him down to the main venue of the programme.
In his address to party executives at APC state secretariat, Fayemi said the party will deploy everything within the constitution to ensure the defeat of PDP and send Governor Ayo Fayose to jail for various crimes committed in the state.
He revealed further that the PDP will accuse the APC of so many things after the July 14 election but that the APC will not care.
Fayemi, who was the Governor between October 16, 2010 and October 15, 2014 was defeated by Governor Fayose in July 21, 2014 Governorship election in the state.
The minister became the number 37th aspirant that had declared interest in the governorship of the state while 24 were said to have collected the nomination form at the Abuja party headquarters as at the time of filing this report.
Specifically, Fayemi told the state working committee (SWC) led by its state Deputy Chairman, Chief Mrs Kemi Olaleye that “we will use local, state and federal power to take over Ekiti from a rapacious government run by brigand.
“Those of us who traveled out of Ekiti are being insulted, assaulted and mocked on daily basis asking why Ekiti they thought were well read, refined and exposed could make a character like Fayose their Governor.
“That is why it is important for us to reclaim our land and restore our values. Each time I move round Ekiti, I see pain in faces of the 25,000 elderly persons who benefited from our social security scheme, 600 people were employed into the peace corps, and 10,000 volunteers who took 10,000 per month among others but have been cut off from these safety nets by Fayose”.
Fayemi who said he never owed salary of workers added that more than 40,000 persons who were gainfully employed by his government and that his government increased the salary of workers from N5,000 to N7,000, and from N7,000 to N13,000 and that he later to increased it to N19,300.
While lamenting that the suffering of teachers, state civil servants, local government workers, and pensioners who are being owed backlog of arrears of salaries, allowances and benefits, Fayemi said the Fayose government had no excuse for not paying workers’ salaries and pensioners benefits having collected two tranches of bailout funds, two tranches of Paris Club refund and Budget Support Funds for thirteen months.
The former Governor declared that education was free up to SS3 during his tenure while he paid rural allowance, scholarship, bursary, WAEC and NECO but that all these were stopped by a government that has no interest in social investment for the people.
The minister pointed out that latest records from the Debt Management Office (DMO) showed that Fayose had borrowed N56 billion since coming to power in October 2014 with nothing tangible to show for it.
Fayemi who challenged Fayose to make public the state’s IGR figure, wondered why the state IGR figure which reached N600 million monthly during his tenure is now shrouded in secrecy.
The former governor who admitted borrowing N25 billion, said the money was spent on improving infrastructure in the state, including building major road networks, revitalising moribund Ire Bricks company, Ikogosi resort, government House, Civic centre, state pavilion, and comprehensive renovation of all schools in the state.
The N25 billion bond, according to him had a seven- year tenure, with a well structured monthly repayment plan, adding that the state had repaid N14.5 billion before he left office in 2014.
Fayemi who lamented the suffering that Fayose is making Ekiti people to go through now insisted that he would be brought to justice at the end of his tenure on how he has mismanaged all the funds received from the Federal Government on behalf of the people of the state.
Fayemi said,” Today I can boldly say that there is no town I get to out of the 133 towns and villages in our their state where I will not point to five projects . if I have not done their road, I would have built schools or renovate their hospital bug today , nothing is happening.
“Even those project I did not complete were abandoned by Fayose. There is no aspirant in APC who will not do much more fantastic works than what we are getting in Ekiti under Fayose
That is why it is important for us to be united. Let me say this, I am a loyal party man and I am ready to support whoever the party field as the candidate”.
On the vicious attacks on him for recontesting despite holding a pivotal position of Minister, Fayemi said he would be satisfied with it if the politics he plays is for himself and his family.
He declared that there was an unfinished business in Ekiti State he has to complete and bring back those projects he initiated and that it is not about title but about services and sacrifice.
The minister advised the SWC to set out a code of ethics to regulate the conduct of every contestant, pointing out that the tirades against his person is unacceptable.
“We should be ready to support whoever wins the primary as the candidate, provided the process is free, fair and transparent, if truly we are loyal party men. I will see whoever fight after the primary as a mole who was sent to destroy pur party”. Fayemi said.
The Deputy chairman of the party, Mrs Okaleye, in her response assured that the party will try its best to be transparent in the primary and warned members against hurling insults on SWC members with the way it has been managing the party.
She urged members to be united, pointing out that Fayose is their only enemy that should be defeated, adding that ” our minister has been supportive to the party . we ate proud of him for using his ministerial position go help Ekiti and APC members.