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2023: Fayemi rejects claims of betrayal over competition with Tinubu

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Fayemi Kayode

The Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, on Thursday, scoffed at the idea of betrayals by South-West presidential aspirants of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) against the backdrop of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s well-known ambition.

Fayemi made his stance known during an interview on AriseTV monitored by Ripples Nigeria.

Last week, Tinubu had opined that he is the only one in the race for the party’s presidential ticket.

Tinubu said he was not bothered by the number of those aspiring for the APC sole ticket, ahead of the party’s primaries.

The APC leader, who stated this during a visit to the Niger State Governor, Alh Abubakar Sani Bello, in Minna, Niger State, said he was the only contestant among all that knows how to bring Nigeria out of its current predicaments.

In response to Tinubu’s utterance amidst reports of betrayals amongst Yoruba leaders, Fayemi clarified that the APC National Leader is a Democrat who seeks the development of the country.

Fayemi further alluded to another statement by Tinubu, whereby the latter said, “the more, the merrier” regarding the number of presidential aspirants on the APC platform.

The Ekiti State Governor further noted, “The statement you quoted from Asiwaju is similar to what I said in Minna about five aspirants. That is the nature of competition.

“Asiwaju is a Democrat and we have both been in the trenches regarding the development of the country. He won’t feel any betrayal about the competition. I have also heard him say, the more the merrier.”

Read also: Fayemi questions APC reward system, says it favours only moneybags

Regarding the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the amended Electoral Act, Section 84 (8) allowing the participation of statutory delegates, Fayemi aligned with the President due to the need to scrutinise the law in order to avoid future reoccurrence.

He said, “I am a stickler for the rule of law and I believe we should adhere to the extent of the Electoral Law so we avoid litigations and court processes after the polls. There were a number of contentious issues within the Act and President Buhari mandated that options should be provided regarding primaries and that was done.

“On the removal either deliberately or by mistake of statutory delegates, I think the President is right to have requested his Attorney General to look at the position of law with respect to the timing. What this means is that we have an Electoral Act that has not been legally scrutinised and I believe it is good for the President’s team to look at it carefully since it is still within the 30-day ultimatum in order to foster smoother subsequent elections.

“We may still end up with a direct primary since the mode has not been decided in the APC. The President will be acting appropriately if he didn’t sign it.”

Presidential assent to the bill will widen the Electoral College for party primaries and the delay in signing the bill has caused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to shift their primaries and conventions a couple of times.

Statutory delegates are party members who are currently serving public office holders, ward councillors, local government chairmen and their vices and political party chairmen in all the 774 LGAs.

Others are; current and former presidents, governors, deputy governors, as well as members of the National and state House of Assembly.

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