The Minister of Mines and Steel, Kayode Fayemi, has officially notified the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and governors elected on the platform of the party of his intention to contest the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti.
Mr Fayemi, who is the immediate past governor of Ekiti State, gave the notification on Thursday after a tour of local governments in the state.
A statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Yinka Oyebode, on Thursday said the minister would formally make his declaration on Saturday.
According to the statement, Mr Fayemi’s letter conveying his intention to run was addressed to the National Chairman of APC, John Oyegun; national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu; former Interim National Chairman of the party, Bisi Akande; all traditional rulers in Ekiti State; his colleagues in the Federal Executive Council (FEC); former and serving governors elected on APC platform, as well as prominent sons and daughters of Ekiti.
The minister had on April 2 hinted of his plan to run for the party’s ticket during the quarterly meeting of the Ekiti APC leaders at his Isan Ekiti country home.
Mr Oyebode said the minister held meetings with local government and ward executives as well as elders of the party during the tour of the 16 local government areas.
The tour had kicked off on Monday in Efon Local Government, and ended in Oye Local Government on Thursday.
Mr Fayemi, in the letter said his decision to join the governorship race was informed by the need to join other patriots to rescue the state from the grip of the current “insensitive and incompetent PDP-led administration,” that had plunged the state and its people into unimaginable misery and poverty.
“My mission in public life which has always centered on transforming the material conditions of our people has always revolved around these three imperatives – breaking the yoke of ignorance that keeps our people down; liberating them from ill-health and other limitations that restrain them from achieving their potentials; and breaking the stranglehold of poverty which keeps people from living full creative lives,” he said.
“In practical and policy terms, this for me has always meant prioritising social investments in education, healthcare and other social interventions that reduce the cost of living, while raising the quality of life.”
The Vice Chairman, South-west, of the APC, Segun Oni, who served as governor before Mr Fayemi, is also seeking the APC ticket to run for governor.
The number of aspirants seeking the APC ticket has risen to about 35, raising fears that the contest might mark a dangerous turn for the primaries.
However, the party leadership had maintained that it would provide a level playing field for all aspirants as a step to minimising discontentment during and after the primaries.