•I can’t be disqualified, minister replies
Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
A group, under the aegis of Concerned All Progressives Congress (APC) members, has called on the party top hierarchy to disqualify former governor and minister of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi, over alleged indictment by the state government and refusal to resign as a minister.
The group threatened that the party would implode if the allegation that the minister has bought the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun –led National Working Committee over to spare him despite not resigning and being indicted for alleged financial misappropriation by the state’s judicial panel, was proven to be true.
The group also warned the governor of Ondo State, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu against alleged meddling in the internal affairs of APC in Ekiti, saying the party was ready to resist all his alleged plot to impose Fayemi through subterfuge at the primary.
Fayemi and 29 others have already picked nomination forms to contest the May 5 gubernatorial primary of the APC in Ekiti State.
Speaking in Ado Ekiti on Sunday, the group’s Coordinator, Dr. Ife Olu-Olubusuyi, said: “we are concerned and we advised that the APC headquarters must adhere strictly to its own rules and disqualifies whoever has not met the minimum conditions for governorship as indicated by the constitution and guidelines.
“It is by doing this that we can have a credible candidate and proceeds to win the general election. Prior to his formal declaration on April 14, the minister had been boasting and spreading news that presidency and NWC had picked him and will impose him as the candidate of the APC.
“Even after our National Chairman, Chief Oyegun visited Ekiti and denied any such plan of imposition and promised a free, fair and credible primary, the minister and his men continued to inform and spread news of his impending imposition by the presidency and powers that be, spearheaded by Ondo State governor. We are also aware of the guidelines of the APC for qualification as an aspirant for governorship and there was a specific question as to whether someone has been indicted at home or abroad by a judicial panel or awaiting any criminal court charges. We are also conscious of the specification regarding 30 days minimum condition for resignation from office before any election, which Fayemi has not met,” the group added.
Meanwhile, Fayemi had while declaring in Ado Ekiti recently said his detractors were only chasing shadows by relying on a “frivolous” indictment by the Justice Silas Oyewole judicial panel set up by Governor Ayodele Fayose.
Insisting that he was not rattled by the indictment and recommendation that he should not hold political positions for 10 years, Fayemi described the panel’s white paper as not worth more than a “tissue paper”.
He said the Supreme court had adjudicated over several matters of similar nature and held that only the court of law can bar anyone from contesting election, saying “they said Governor Fayose has indicted me in his white paper. This is just a mere tissue paper. But I have a red card for him in July 14 election”, he stated.