Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Governor Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State, who was chairman of the just concluded All Progressive Congress (APC) gubernatorial primaries committee in Ekiti State, has presented Dr. Kayode Fayemi, winner of the primary to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Both men walked into the Presidential Villa, 40 minutes to the commencement of the Federal Executive Council, and went straight to the President’s office.
Speaking to State House Correspondents after the meeting, Governor Al-Makura said he came to present Fayemi, according to the tradition of the party.
He also expressed confidence that going by the support the flagbearer has received from co-contestants, APC would carry the day.
Said he, “It is a tradition in our party that immediately we finish the exercise of primaries and where a winner emerges, after giving the report to the national headquarters of the party, we bring such successful candidate to the leader of the party, who incidentally is the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for his blessings for the candidate that has so emerged. Thereafter, we can say that we are ready to go forward and campaign for his election in line with INEC conditions.”
Asked on ready is APC for the July election, Al-makura said, “APC is very very ready if what I saw in Ekiti is anything to go by. I think we can consider this election as a foregone conclusion, given the support, the solidarity shown by other aspirants after the declaration, gave us an inkling that is going to be supported by all the aspirants.
“If you look at the quality, the comportment, the maturity of the delegates who have unanimously voted Fayemi, you will know that out there, the caliber of people they control are also people that represent the interest of Ekiti State.
“Should the election hold today, I can assure you that with what we have seen, we are comfortable that Fayemi will emerge the governor of Ekiti State.”
Meanwhile, Fayemi has said he would resign his appointment as Minister of Mines and Steel Development in a week time.
This was even as he has said he is on a rescue mission to Ekiti, adding that he has crossed a critical hurdle having emerged as the flag bearer of the ruling party in the July 14th governorship election in Ekiti.
He said there is a lot of work to do and he and his co-contestants are seeing the coming election as a collective rescue mission.
On emerging as a candidate of the APC, he said, “Well, a critical hurdle has been crossed but we still have a major work to do. The important thing is to see this as a collective rescue mission and I am glad that my co-contestants have seen it in that light.
“I have met with all the co-contestants, I have broken fast with them, I have shared ideas with them, I have also extended an olive branch to them to be part of the candidate advisory council for this election, and they have all graciously agreed to do that.
“We are confident that the APC will carry the day but there are still a lot of work to do.”
On Fayose saying his emergence was a walk in the park for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as he will be roundly defeated, Fayemi said, “Well, as far as I am aware, Fayose is not on this ballot. We will deal with the candidate on this ballot and the track record that we have in Ekiti is what that will sell us.”
On the probe panel report that indicted him and his public apology Ekiti people, Fayemi said, “You should understand the contest of the apology, don’t just take the apology on its own.
“What I said was that clearly, they were people in Ekiti even though they were minority, who were not happy with some of the policies and programmes of our government whilst we were in office and to such people, I render an apology. But, for me the rescue mission in Ekiti is a job that has to be done.
“What do you want? You want continuity of lack of salary, continuity of poverty, continuity of want, continuity of directionlessness or you want to return to a past of buoyancy, human development, accountability and transparency in government. That is the clear dividing line and people can see that.
“As to the probe panel that you mentioned, well, I don’t want to dwell on the probe panel. But, the law the land of is clear, it is only a court of competent jurisdiction that can convict anyone, any Nigerian for any malfeasance.
“You cannot seat in your house, cook up a probe panel, a kangaroo tribunal and you say you have indicated someone and that person is guilty and should be ban from public office.
“That is just a joke but then the man we are taking about is an Alawada like we say in Yorubaland, so that is not surprising.”
On when he is resigning from the cabinet, he said, “There is still a lot of work to do. The constitution again is very clear, what the constitution says in Section 182 is that I must leave the cabinet at least 30 days before the general election.
“Well, I am the candidate of our party and I am also the minister of the Federal Republic at least for the next one week. So, for the next one week, I am the minister of mines and steel.”