The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, at the weekend declared interest in the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti State on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The former governor who was in the saddle between 2010 and 2014, said the APC would deploy all logistics that would make the party win the poll.
He said the state Governor, Ayodele Fayose’s judicial panel which indicted him of alleged corrupt practices was not enough to stop him from contesting, adding that “at the appropriate time, I will be stopped if not eligible to contest, but not Fayose’s white paper will stop me.”
With his declaration, Fayemi is now the 36th aspirant on the platform of the APC.
Speaking with journalists in Isan Ekiti, his country home, yesterday, Fayemi said he had learned a great lesson from his disastrous defeat in June 21, 2014, while seeking reelection, saying this experience and what he did in Ondo State would be of great benefit to him in the election.
Fayemi said he decided to tarry a while so that he won’t breach the Electoral Act and Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) laid down rules, saying he would formally notify his party at the state secretariat of the party anytime from April 14.
He said he was never a coward and not afraid to declare openly of his intention to recontest despite opposition by some people, adding that he is running based on his track records and not out of power seeking venture.
The former governor said: “Yes, I will run for the governorship of our state. As a leader of the party, I am going to follow the due process as laid down by our party and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
This include formal notification of the leadership of the party, presentation of letter of intent at the state secretariat and a public declaration.
“I am running based on track records which you can’t controvert. We will lay it bare for people to see. My government did social security for the elderly, renovated all schools, we established peace corps, youth in commercial agriculture, youth volunteer scheme, paid bursary and scholarship, established traffic management agency, constructed roads among others.
“But sad enough, this government has ruined everything. I am contesting because of the pains I see on the faces of my people.
“The present government is allowing poverty to move free among our people, I could see that pains and bitterness and this I am coming to correct.”
Fayemi said he was aware of various speculations about whether he would run for the governorship or not.
He, however said, with the last week release of guidelines and time table for the July election, the right time for him to make a formal declaration and join the race has come.
“The state government controversial Whitepaper can’t not stop him from contesting the governorship election, as designed by the People Democratice Party (PDP) government. INEC has scheduled April 15 for the commencement of electioneering process for the July election,” he said.
Earlier, the minister had addressed a mammoth crowd of party leaders from all the 177 wards of the state at the APC leaders’ meeting held in Ishan Ekiti, where he urged them to be united in the battle to unseat the incumbent PDP-led government.
The state Chairman of the party, Chief Jide Awe; Deputy Chairman, Mrs. Kemi Olaleye and state Secretary, Paul Omotosho, led other state, local government and ward executives as well as elders of the party to the quarterly meeting.
Saying that the huge number of aspirants jostling for the APC ticket was a good development for the party, Fayemi urged all aspirants and their supporters to pursue their ambitions in a very decent manner, emphasising their credentials and plans to lift the state from its present state.
He said it was obvious the PDP-led government in Ekiti State was bereft of ideas and does not have anything good to offer the citizens of the state, stressing that the July 14 election would be an opportunity to halt the brigandage and maladministration going on in the state.
Apparently referring to his formal presentation of letter of intent, Fayemi had told the cheering crowd of his plan in the coming weeks to visit the party secretariat to commence the process.
“I will come to the party secretariat in Ado-Ekiti and do the needful.
He said while the new APC government in the state would restore all the Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) created by his administration, and which was cancelled by the PDP government.
“Our people clamoured for the creation of these LCDAs and they were created for them. But the PDP cancelled all of them. I can assure you all that the new APC government would restore your LCDAs because that is what the people want,” he said.