Fayemi: I Didn’t Pledge Support for Tinubu’s Presidential Aspiration

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  • Says meeting with APC leader about national devt

Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi yesterday disclosed that he did not pledge support for the presidential aspiration of the National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu.

Rather, Fayemi claimed that his recent meeting with the former governor offered avenue to ruminate on the progress of the federation and not about their wrapped 2023 presidential ambitions reported in the media.

He made this clarification in a statement his Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode issued yesterday, debunking claims in some quarters that 2023 presidency formed the crux of his discussion with Tinubu,

On Thursday, most national newspapers reported that Fayemi held a close-door meeting with Tinubu, over the forthcoming APC governorship primary in Ekiti State and 2023 Presidential election.

Fayemi, in a statement yesterday, accused rumour peddlers of surreptitiously scrambling for relevance by weaving, not half truths, but blatant lies into the Tinubu-Fayemi meeting, saying it signposted Fayemi surrendering his undeclared ambition to Asiwaju Tinubu’s declared one.

Specifically, the statement noted that they had been dishing out barefaced and unsubstantiated lies that Fayemi at the closed door meeting debunked the raging rumour of his 2023 presidential ambition and pledged support for the national leader of the APC

Fayemi said the story by the spin doctors stands logic in the head and stands not only disclaimed but condemned, saying it should have been sourced from the rumour mill, or as a beer parlour gist. At its best, it is a mere conjecture.

It said: “If and when Dr Fayemi chooses to declare his interest in running for the 2023 presidential ticket, he would not be embarking on an ego trip that would warrant going into unhealthy contest with Asiwaju Tinubu or anyone else.

“Fayemi sees Tinubu as his leader in politics and reserves respect for him as a national leader of his party. Neither will he run the race with the intention of using it to negotiate with anyone. Rather he will run because he is convinced it is desirable for him to do so.

“Perhaps the spin doctors are unmindful of the fact that Fayemi currently remains focused on finishing strong and well the assignment in his hand as two-term governor of Ekiti State.

“They also fail to realise that there is still a sitting president equally focused on finishing well his second term in office. Neither Fayemi nor Buhari would like to be distracted by such inanity at this juncture.”

The statement clarified that both Tinubu and Fayemi held a family meeting of minds, saying it was disingenuous of the spin-doctors who were nowhere near the venue of the meeting to begin to guess discussions at the meeting.

In a democratic setting like Nigeria with so many issues begging for attention, the statement explained that discussion would go on daily among political leaders at various levels.

It said: “Political leadership plays an indispensable role in foisting great responsibilities on people, thus both formal and informal discourses cannot be wished away.

“Creating a fictional social media frenzy out of such meeting where issues of national discourse are discussed would thus amount to an ill wind that blows no one any good.

“Tinubu is a former two-term Governor of Lagos State and national leader of the APC while Fayemi, also a chieftain of the party, is the governor of Ekiti State and current Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum.

“Meeting between the two leaders, dates as far back as their days in exile, when they were both involved in the struggle to wrest the country away from military jackboots, and has since been a regular occurrence both within and outside the country’s political space.

“So, there should not be any big deal in seeing them meet, except someone has opted to create a mischief out of it,” the statement said.

It said the details of their meeting “remain undisclosed. Seeing the two of them who are being rumoured as potential presidential aspirants from the southwest together may naturally give way to speculations that the 2023 presidential election could form part of their discussions.

“This may have been further fuelled by the fact that Asiwaju Tinubu said he had informed President Muhammadu Buhari that he would be coveting the presidential seat in 2023. Fayemi on the other hand; has yet to give any visible sign in that direction.

“However, both Asiwaju Tinubu’s declared ambition and Fayemi’s undeclared ambition have now been taken up and given verve by some spin doctors, particularly those who believe such could rev up their relevance in the eyes of either of the political leaders.