Fayemi Hints at Governorship Run, May Quit Buhari’s Cabinet in May

  • To proceed on one-month terminal leave
  • Declares intention April 14
  • Launches book on reflections in office

    Shola Oyeyipo

Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, saturday, after a stakeholders’ meeting in Isan Ekiti, hinted at a possible governorship run in Ekiti State just as he is said to have concluded plans to quit President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet sometime in May in readiness for the governorship election billed to hold in July 14.
Fayemi, who is billed to make an official declaration on his ambition, April 14, ahead of the April 15 proposed kick-off date for campaigns by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is to proceed on terminal leave in the next few weeks after which he would resign from cabinet.

The minister, sources hinted, is also preparing for a public presentation of his new book, which is a reflection on leadership lessons and legacies since his 2014 exit from the Ekiti Government House through the presidential campaigns that brought his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) to power as well as his period as the Minister of Mines and Steel Development.

Although, it is no longer in the realm of conjecture that Fayemi is interested in reclaiming the state back into the APC fold, the speculations however grew stronger in the last few months.

But while Fayemi too has refused to categorically confirm or deny the fact that he would join the race over time, his footprints have been all over the state preparatory to this period.

It is therefore, the belief of many in the state that his decision to join the race might be the game changer for the APC, much as many others also believed that he should be given the right of first refusal in his party, where no fewer than 30 aspirants have already indicated interest in the Ekiti governorship.

According to sources, before arriving at this resolve, Fayemi is said to have already informed and secured the permission of his principal, President Buhari, while all his leaders in the South-west are believed to have been fully briefed on his decision to run.

It is against this backdrop that Fayemi, according to THISDAY sources, may quit Buhari’s cabinet in May to enable him concentrate fully on the May 5 primaries even though the party constitution and Nigeria’s do not require this.
Also, as part of preparation for his exit from the cabinet is the proposed book launch on his reflections on leadership lessons and legacies sometime in May. His exit is to be preceded by a month-long terminal leave, being a civil service standard requirement.

Many observers of the Ekiti politics hold the view that the reason incumbent Governor Ayodele Fayose set up a panel to try Fayemi was because he “knows he (Fayemi) is the only person, who can muster the capacities – material, institutional and political to rout PDP and bring him to book for atrocities committed against the state.”

Fayemi has been in the cabinet since November 2015 after chairing the convention that ushered in Buhari as the APC candidate. He went on to head the Research, Policy and Strategy Directorate of the presidential campaigns and consequently emerged Mines and Steel Development Minister after the elections.

In his capacity as minister, he is believed to have laid a robust foundation for the sector, which has witnessed consistent growth according to the National Bureau of Statistics, thus helping the country to buck the recession trend.
He has, however, had a controversial engagement with the House of Representatives over the future of Ajaokuta Steel Plant.