2023: Only five APC presidential aspirants are serious — Fayemi

Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State

Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State has said there are more pretenders in the race for the presidential ticket of the APC than contenders.

He said out of the 23 persons currently in the race, only about five of them are serious in the quest to clinch the ticket of the ruling party.

He did not, however, name the five aspirants.

Mr Fayemi said this while soliciting the support of the delegates from Niger State during a visit to the state on Sunday.

The APC presidential primary election will hold on May 29 and 30. The party is yet to decide on the date for screening of the presidential aspirants, after postponing the exercise indefinitely.

In a statement released by the spokesperson of the Fayemi Presidential Campaign Organisation, Femi Ige, the Ekiti State governor said the level of seriousness is determined by the ability of the aspirants to move across the country.

“This is a season of visits and states keep receiving us. The list of presidential aspirants says there are 23 but only five of us are going around the country. With this, you can separate the pretenders from the contenders,” he said.

While 25 aspirants returned their nomination forms, very few of the aspirants have been moving around the country. Some of the aspirants who have been visiting states include the former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, the former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, the Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Mr Fayemi.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva and the President of Africa Development Bank, Akinwumi Adeshina, have all opted out of the race.

Speaking to the delegates, Mr Fayemi asked the delegates to take a bet on him, as he promised to remake Nigeria without unmaking it.

“I am ready for the job. I want you to take a bet on me and you will have no cause to regret. I can remake Nigeria without unmaking it. I believe in Project Nigeria and that Nigeria is worth fighting for and together we can regain the lost glory of Nigeria”, he said.

He promised to tackle the insecurity currently ravaging the country.

Niger State is one of the states currently battling banditry and has experienced multiple mass abductions in the last three years.

Last year, several students were abducted in Tegina, a community in Rafi Local Government of the state. Earlier in the year, the governor of the state, Sani Bello, raised the alarm that at least 220 people have been either killed or kidnapped in attacks on about 300 communities in Niger State this year.

Receiving Mr Fayemi in his office in Minna, Mr Bello described the Ekiti State governor as a friend of the State, noting that if he was in a position to appoint someone president, he would pick Mr Fayemi.

Mr Bello said: “You have been here at least three or four times before now. You have been a close friend to Niger state. It is not now that there is a need for support that people are coming.

“Only five or six people have been to the state but you can count on my support. If you become president, I will relax because I know I will have easy access to you. In fact, if I have my way I will appoint you as the next President after President Muhammadu Buhari.”

Mr Fayemi, who is the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, has been focusing his campaign on security and on several occasions referred to his educational background in war studies.