The national leadership of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has endorsed the candidacy of Governor Kayode Fayemi for the 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State.
The ACN national leaders also told a House of Representatives member from the state, Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele, to shelve his purported governorship ambition and support Fayemi’s second term bid to consolidate on the achievements recorded so far by the ACN-led government in the state.
This formed the kernel of an all-inclusive stakeholders meeting held in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday, which was attended by the party’s national and state leaders.
In attendance at the meeting were Governor Kayode Fayemi, his deputy, Prof Modupe Adelabu; ACN National Chairman, Chief Adebisi Akande, the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former Ekiti State Governor, Otunba Nyi Adebayo, National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, former Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Dele Alake, Senators Babafemi Ojudu, (Ekiti Central); Tony Adeniyi (Ekiti South) and Olu Adetunmbi (Ekiti North), and other national and state officers of the party. The meeting took place at the Lady Jibowu Hall, Government House, Ado-Ekiti.
The meeting which stressed the importance of unity among members of the party, also reaffirmed an earlier endorsement of the governor by the state party leaders in December last year, as Asiwaju Tinubu stated that the party was satisfied with the quality of work being done by the Governor in the state, adding that the party would support him for a second term.
Tinubu urged the AC N Chairman in Ekiti State, Chief Olajide Awe, to officially convey the position of national leadership backing Fayemi’s candidacy to Bamidele who was absent at Wednesday’s meeting. He also urged Bamidele to drop his governorship ambition, stressing the importance of party loyalty and supremacy of the party.
The former Lagos State Governor appealed to leaders and members of the party in Ekiti to sink their differences and unite behind Fayemi whom he said has performed wonders in his almost three years in office.
Tinubu equally warned party leaders in the state against fuelling division in the party saying “there is no song of rebellion as Kayode (Fayemi) will be governor for second term.”
Turning to Fayemi, Tinubu said: “You are not a disappointment to us. We are satisfied with your good performance. We will support you till the end”.
Reminiscing on how Fayemi emerged as the candidate in the 2007 election, Tinubu recalled that Bamidele was one of the people who suggested Fayemi’s candidacy based on his antecedents and track record as a committed progressive and pro-democracy activist.
Tinubu said: “Opeyemi (Bamidele) said we should field Kayode Fayemi as our candidate and we asked from Awe and the executive about the issue. We consulted widely, Niyi (Adebayo) was also involved.
“We thank God we fought the battle on the election field, we fought the battle all the way to the courts and God eventually answered our prayer but we should know how to manage our success.
“The man (Fayemi) many people never thought could perform has performed, some people claimed that he was a foreigner who did not know Ekiti, some even claimed that he did not understand the Yoruba language but he has lived up to expectation and has performed excellently.
“If your child performs well, you encourage him to perform better, our case is not like what happened in Edo State in the past when somebody said if a child fails, he should be allowed to repeat. Our own child has passed excellently and he must be promoted. He must continue.
“Although we are still coming back for the official endorsement of Fayemi as our candidate and by then, we are going to roll out the drums and celebrate in a big way”.
Former governor of the state, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, said party leaders in the state will have a discussion with Bamidele on the position of the party. He stressed the need for members to abide by the decision of the party.
“We will call him and talk to him. What Ope has done is not bad. He aspires and it is not bad to aspire but he will have to abide by the decision of party leaders”, Adebayo explained.
Fayemi, who spoke to reporters after the meeting, described the visit of the party leaders as ‘routine’, noting that they also came to prepare the party members for the election of next year.
The governor noted that the ACN national leadership is satisfied with the work being done by his administration and also underscored the amount of work still left to be done and the importance of continuity.
Fayemi said it is gratifying that the national leaders are backing him based on the level of work done but added that the confidence reposed in him has become a burden for him to continue to live up to expectation.
Last modified: July 3, 2013