From Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
For the purposes of equity and fairplay, a group of stakeholders in Ekiti State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have advised President Muhammadu Buhari to pick Dr. Kayode Fayemi’s successor in the Federal Executive Council (FEC) from Ekiti South senatorial district.
The group, Ekiti South Solidarity Forum, said the step would be an apt and suitable option to pacify the people of the zone to be able to vote for the candidate of the party in the July 14 governorship election, having lost the ticket to someone from Ekiti North.
Fayemi, who had picked the party’s governorship ticket will soon resign from the cabinet in line with the stipulation of the 1999 Constitution.
The group told President Buhari that available records showed that (Buhari) got the largest votes in Ekiti from the zone during the 2015 presidential election that enabled the party to control the central government.
In a statement by its Coordinator, Dr. Ayo Omodara, in Ado Ekiti on Saturday, the group said the issue of zoning virulently canvassed by aspirants from the district had gained traction and had gone into the psyche of the people, adding that ceding the ministerial slot to
the zone would go a long way in assuaging the bruises suffered by the district with the outcome of the party’s primary.
The group said in clear terms that they had it on good authority as insiders that Fayemi’s running mate would emerge from Ekiti Central and that it will only be apposite to pick the minister from the South, to engender political balancing and give the people sense of
The group said the zone remains the only district that had not produced the governor since 1999, when each of the other zones had enjoyed such opportunities twice, saying the APC had the opportunity to correct the political imbalance in the last primary but the move didn’t actualise.
It said losing the governorship ticket had brought about serious disenchantment to the ranks of electorate from the district, comprising six local governments, saying this could be a veritable opportunity for their spirits to be lifted with that thinking that their future is bright in APC.
The group told the president that politicians of APC extraction from the district had resolved to zealously rally support for Fayemi in the coming election on the strength of their avowed and
unflinching belief in party supremacy.
It stated: “Mr. President, we quite appreciate your neutrality in the just concluded primary. We have seen presidents in this country who
were imposing governors in various states from Abuja, but your excellency, your own was different.
“You have always been playing the role of father figure to all aspirants. And we did not suspect that you made any move, either
overtly or covertly to aid the emergence of Dr. Fayemi in that primary and that was profoundly commendable.
“And we understand that President Buhari is a peace-loving father, who could have listened and conceded to the idea that the governorship
candidate should be picked from the South but for the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and APC constitution
and Guidelines which didn’t allow such.
“But we are glad that the president has no constitutional encumbrances in who he appoints as a minister and we appeal that he uses this opportunity to put soothing balm on the bruises suffered by the zone with the loss of the gubernatorial ticket by picking Dr. Fayemi’s
successor in FEC from Ekiti South senatorial district.
“The zone comprises six local governments with enormous numerical strength in terms of voting that will be suicidal to be underestimated
in the equation that could facilitate the APC winning Ekiti State.
“We believe that Mr. President acceding to this request will fast-track and reenact the friendship with the people of the zone, who have
always been supporting the progressive party.”