The capital of Ekiti state was on Saturday locked down as former Governor of the state, Dr Kayode Fayemi, on Saturday declared for the governorship race on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), boasting that the party will defeat Governor Ayodele Fayose in the July 14 poll and ensure that he goes to jail afterwards.
Fayemi said the party will deploy everything within the constitution to ensure that whoever emerges in the May 5 primary will triumph over the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“They said the June 21 governorship poll is free, fair and credible, so that of July 14 will be free, fair and transparent as well. They will accuse us of so many things. They will accuse us of using federal might, but we will not care”, Fayemi said.
The declaration, was attended by large crowd of party supporters and admirers, who clad in vests bearing the portrait of the Minister of Mines and Steel Development.
There traffic was chaotic along Ado-Ikere-Akure road for several hours, with commuters spending over one hour to navigate a distance that would take less than two minutes on a normal day.
Fayemi, who was the governor between October 16, 2010 to October 15, 2014, was defeated in the last election held on June 21, 2014 by Governor Ayodele Fayose.
The Minister was the number 37 aspirant to have declared interest in the coveted seat; 21 have collected the nomination and expression of interest forms at the headquarters of the APC in Abuja.
Addressing the State Working Committee (SWC), led by its State Deputy Chairman, Mrs Kemi Olaleye, Fayemi said: “We will use local, state and federal power to take over Ekiti from a rapacious and government being run by brigand in Ekiti.
“Those of us who traveled out of Ekiti, we are being insulted, assaulted and mocked on daily basis asking why Ekiti they thought were well read, refined and exposed could make a character like Governor Ayodele Fayose as their governor.
“That is why it is important for us to reclaim our land and restore our values. Each time I move round Ekiti, I see the pains on the faces of the 25,000 elderly persons who benefited from our social security scheme, 600 people who were employed into the peace corps, 10, 000 volunteers who took N10,000 per month, among others but have been cut off from these safety nets by Fayose.
“More than 40,000 persons who were gainfully employed by my government have been disengaged by this present government in Ekiti.
“Under my government, I increased the salary of workers from N5,000 to N7,000 and from N7,000 to N13,000 and later N19,3000. Who will the workers hate between a government that did these and one that is not paying salary for more than ten months?
“They said teachers didn’t like Fayemi. During my time, education is free up to SS3. I paid rural allowance to teachers, Core Subjects’ Allowance, paid scholarship and bursary, paid for WAEC and NECO, but all these have been stopped by a government that has no interest in social investment.
“Today, I can boldly say that there is no town I get to out of the 133 towns and villages in our dear state where I will not point to five projects. If I have not done their road, I would have built schools, or renovate their hospital, but today, nothing is happening.
“Even those projects I did not complete were abandoned by Fayose. There is no single aspirant in APC who will not do much more fantastic works than what we are getting in Ekiti under Fayose among all the aspirants on the APC platform.
“That is why it is important for us to be united. Let me say this, I am a loyal party man and I am ready to support whoever the party fields as the candidate”.
On the virulent attacks against his person on why he is recontesting despite holding a pivotal position as a Minister, Fayemi said: “Yes, am holding an important position in this government through the grace of God and by the magnanimity of our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari and I am satisfied with it if politics that I play is for me and my family alone.
“But there is an unfinished business in our State. We have to complete and bring back those projects we initiated when we were in the saddle. But politics, to me, is not about title but about service and sacrifice”.
On the rising acrimony among the aspirants, the Minister urged the State Working Committee to set out a code of ethics to regulate the conducts of every contestant, describing the tirades against his person as unacceptable.
“it is absolutely unacceptable for aspirants to indulge in abuses, use intemperate languages against one another. If we do this, we will be damaging the brand the APC is known for. Each contestant should sell his brand to the party delegates who will decide our fates.
“We should be ready to support whoever the party picks as the candidate, provided the process is free, fair and transparent if truly we are loyal party men. I will see whoever fights after the primary as a mole who was sent to destroy our party”.
The Acting Chairman, Olaleye, said the party will try its best to be transparent in the primary, warning members against hurling insults on SWC members.
“We are in a sensitive time and we need ourselves. No one can win election alone, so I beg of you to be not use your write ups on our platforms to destroy our party.
“Let us be united and know that we have only one enemy which is Fayose.
“Our Minister has been supportive to the party. We are proud of him for using his Ministerial position to help Ekiti and APC members”, she said.