By Yinusa Ishola
Ado-Ekiti, May 3, 2022 Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti is set to formally declare his intention to contest for president in 2023 on Wednesday in Abuja, Naija247News reports.
Mr Yinka Oyebode, Chief Press Secretary to Fayemi disclosed this in a statement made available to NAN on Tuesday in Ado-Ekiti.
Oyebode said the declaration tagged: “Unveiling My Nigeria Agenda”, was the climax of the governor’s extensive consultations across the geo-political zones in the last six weeks.
The governor’s image maker said the declaration would also lay to rest, speculations on whether he would run for the presidency or not.
Oyebode said Fayemi, after discussing his plan to run for the number one office with President Muhammadu Buhari last month, sought counsel, guidance, and support from traditional and political leaders across states.
He said Fayemi’s engagements with political and traditional leaders went on side by side with consultations with his colleague governors, especially those elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
“The Nigeria governors forum chairman said the engagements with the traditional rulers, and political leaders provided an avenue to share and listen to their perspectives on the ideal approaches to building a united country based on justice, freedom, equity, and the rule of law.
“As of date, he has conferred with, and shared his vision with no fewer than 20 of the 22 APC governors, in the consultation process that is expected to run till the party’s primaries later in the month,” he said.
Oyebode disclosed that Fayemi had kick-started the consultation in Owo, Ondo State, where he met with the Olowo of Owo, Oba Ajibade Ogunoye.
“Owo is renowned as the seat of progressive politics in the country, and the town where the defunct Action Group (AG) was formed.
“Thereafter, Fayemi met with Afenifere leader, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, (who was his Secondary School principal), and other leaders, of the pan-Yoruba socio-political group, including Chief Olu Falae, and Chief Cornelius Adebayo in Akure, Ondo State capital,” he said.
Oyebode said the Afenifere leaders, haven done a frank assessment of current trends in the country, concluded that the country needed a leader, a democrat with character, courage, and compassion at this critical period.
“They scored Fayemi high on these points, and gave their blessings for his aspiration,” he said.
Oyebode said Fayemi, in his determination to deepen the consultations, also visited the Osemawe of Ondo, Oba Adesimbo Kiladejo at his palace in Ondo town, and the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi at his palace in Akure.
“The consultation also took him to Ile- Ife, Osun, the cradle of the Yoruba, where he met the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, who accorded him a grand reception that lasted for hours, interspersed with prayer sessions, and cultural entertainment.
“Fayemi also met with the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Lekan Balogun; the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Michael Gbadebo; the Awujale of Ijebu Ode, Oba Sikiru Adetona; and the Akarigbo of Remoland, who is also the chairman of Ogun State Council of Traditional Rulers, Oba Babatunde Ajayi in their respective palaces, where he got royal blessings.
“Fayemi’s consultation train later moved to the palace of Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe; King (Dr) Dandeson Douglas Jaja, of the Opobo Kingdom, and Chairman of Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers.
“He also visited and had talks with the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, and the Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Mohammed Jega during the Salah holiday.
“Both leaders respectively expressed their admiration for his personality and capacity as a bridge-builder and lover of peace,” he said.
The governor’s aide said Fayemi had earlier held a major meeting with members of Ekiti Traditional Council in Ado-Ekiti, with over 110 Obas in attendance.
According to him, the Ekiti Obas, who were excited at the possibility of one of their sons becoming the next president of the country pledged their unalloyed support for Fayemi’s presidential bid.
“The Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adeyemo Aladesanmi; Ajero of Ijero- Ekiti, Oba Joseph Adewole and Owa Ooye of Okemesi Ekiti, Oba Michael Adedeji, who spoke on behalf of the Obas, said Fayemi is eminently qualified to lead the country in view of his exposure, education, experience, and capacity,” Oyebode added.
Fayemi was governor of Ekiti from 2010 to 2014.
He also served as Minister of Mines and Steel Development from 2015 to 2018.