- Denies walking out on Tinubu, Akande
Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development and governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Kayode Fayemi, has congratulated Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Prof Olusola Eleka, on his emergence as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)â€™s flag bearer for the July 14, governorship election in the state.
Eleka on Tuesday emerged winner of the PDP governorship primary held in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.
Fayemi, a former governor of the state, said the emergence of Eleka in an orderly and peaceful primary is a welcome development.
He, however, said the APC would give the PDP flag bearer a good fight for the Oke Ayoba Government House come July 14, adding, however, that the APC still remains the preferred choice for the generality of Ekiti people.
The minister, according to a statement by his Media Office, said he is confident that whoever emerges as APC flag bearer in the partyâ€™s rescheduled primary on Friday, would be more acceptable to the Ekiti electorate.
Contrary to rumours and online posts that he worked out of a meeting convened by the South-west leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to mediate in Ekiti State governorship imbroglio, Fayemi denied the allegation, describing it as a calculated attempt to smear his image.
Fayemi was said to have allegedly exhibited the action during a trouble-shooting meeting convened by the national leader of the party, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and former Interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande to douse the crisis rocking the party over its Saturdayâ€™s botch governorship primary.
At the meeting held at the Lagos House in Abuja, Fayemi and other 32 other aspirants, including Mr. Segun Oni, were in attendance.
In a statement by his media aide, Yinka Oyebode, yesterday, Fayemi said: â€œContrary to misleading media reports and social media posts purporting that he walked out of the meeting, he only left the venue, like other attendees, at the end of the meeting.â€
The minister said there was no basis for him to storm out of the meeting which was called by the leaders to proffer way forward for the party, in the face of the rescheduled Ekiti governorship primary.
The minister however, said he could not make the second part of the meeting when it reconvened later in the evening, having earlier taken permission from the leaders to attend another meeting.
â€œIt is thus worrisome and highly embarrassing reading reports of purported â€˜walk outâ€™ on our leaders when nothing like that actually took place.
â€œWe implore well-meaning members of the society and members of our great party to disregard the misleading reports,â€ the statement added.
Fayemi and other aspirants have polarised the contestantsâ€™ camp into two, with the minister accusing others of ganging up to stop him from contesting.
Fighting back, the other camp led by former Governor Segun Oni accused Fayemi of displaying desperation by using his connections to compromise the Governor Tanko Al-Makura-led governorship primary committee and that it should be disbanded.