Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu has allayed the fears in some quarters that Ekiti State may move to the fold of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2022. The presidential aide has also established that his disagreement with the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi was not personal but political.
Speaking after his revalidation of as member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) at his Ereguru unit, Ward 8 in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, on Friday, Ojudu told party supporters, including journalists that the party remained a party to beat in the 2022 governorship election in Ekiti State.
Ojudu said the ongoing registration exercise would help to ascertain true members of the party.
“This exercise is a good idea. Revalidation will tell us that our people still have an interest in us. It has assisted us to mobilize our members. It has assisted in telling us that our members still have interest in our party across the country.
Those who are not progressives are interested in us and want to join the party, just because we are progressives,” he said.
While pointing out that the influence of APC is still very strong in the state, he noted he denied having any crisis with his onetime close ally, Governor Fayemi, saying, “all I have with the governor is just political differences and not crisis.”
Speaking further he revealed that genuine progressive politicians within the fold of the All Progressives Congress (APC) would explore all legitimate means to block the emergence of a puppet of and rubber stamp to Governor Kayode Fayemi to emerge governor in 2022.
The Frontline journalist turned politicians maintained APC would also leave no stone unturned to assure emergence of a committed democrat succeed Fayemi in 2022.
Ojudu said, though it was too early for him to declare interest in the coveted seat, he restated unequivocally that no one would be allowed to impose anyone that would be largely perceived as a ‘house boy’ as governor of the state.
His words: “I can assure you that there will be no imposition. Anybody who is a member of our party would be free to contest the primary. We will allow a democratic process to take place. But we don’t want somebody who is a stranger or a houseboy in our party to be imposed as governor.”
On the reported wrangling between him and the governor, Ojudu said, “Let me tell you this, I don’t have any crisis with governor Fayemi, but I have differences with him still. In political situations, differences are allowed, groups are allowed.
"I may not belong to Fayemi’s group, but I am a member of the party, he too is also a member. I cannot chase him away from the party, neither can he chase me away from the party. Every member of our party is qualified to do the revalidation.”
On the qualities of someone expected to succeed Fayemi in 2022 from the APC, the presidential aide clarified “I want Ekiti State to be governed well so that people can go to their farms peacefully. Ekiti should not be poor and all we need is the tenacity of purpose and good leadership. We did not need anybody who will come here to graze like herds and run away.
“We need people who are committed to service. Look at what late Lateef Jakande did in four years in Lagos. He never stepped out of Lagos for one day. We need selfless leaders, not a houseboy or house girl who will always distance himself from the people he is serving. We need those who can identify with his people.
He said people like former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani Kayode, was not needed in APC despite that the registration was meant to mobilise members for the party.
“For me, the members of our party have spoken. They have expressed their displeasure that anybody who could boldly abuse the president and insult the Vice President, denigrate our party and a section of Nigeria is not welcome in our party. That is my position and that of the generality of our party members.
“If Fani-Kayode has decided to come, he has seen the sign that he is not welcome in the party. Though we need people in our party, but it should be those who have character that one can be proud of,” Ojudu said