Although he is yet to formally throw his hat into the race, Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has given the biggest hint of his preparedness to join the contest for the 2023 presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Paying a courtesy visit to the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Lekan Balogun on Thursday, the two-term Governor, said he came to seek the counsel, prayer and support of the revered monarch for his desire for the nation’s top job.
He stated: “Mine is not an ambition, but a call to duty to build a better Nigeria. Although our youths may want to give up on Nigeria due to a lot of justifiable reasons, I believe Nigeria is still worth fighting for. I don’t think the Yoruba want to do away with Nigeria”.
And in response, the Olubadan all but endorsed Fayemi’s presidential bid when he told his people “to consider him (Fayemi) very seriously,” and “rally round him.”
He pleaded: “I beg you in the name of God, that’s the picture of him that I have. He’s an honest person, straightforward. God is behind you. Thank you, my people”.
The Olubadan had earlier said of Fayemi, who is the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum: “The kind of person you are, your ideological orientation, your disdain for self-interest and pursuit of national interest, you have the capacity to contribute to the growth and development of the country. You have been contributing to the country; you are honest and not given to telling lies. Your pursuit of national interest is acknowledged and you spoke like a gentleman, which truly you are”.
Oba Balogun, who spoke at his Alarere-Ibadan home, had in his reception team the Oyo South Senator, Dr Kola Balogun, Baales and the President-General of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes, Prince Oluyemisi Adeaga, among other top traditional and community leaders, applauded Fayemi’s performance as two-term Governor of Ekiti State, and previously as Minister of Solid Minerals Development.
Fayemi told the audience at the Olubadan palace: “What I believe we want is peace, progress and development of the country. That’s what our fathers clamoured for. The Yoruba believe in the values of equity, justice and fairness. The Yoruba don’t want to enslave others and they don’t want to be enslaved either.
“Having supported many in the past to get to the apogee, I consider it is time to look in our direction. We have sons and daughters imbued with what it takes to give the country the desired leadership. I have been consulting and it was the consultation process that brought me before Your Imperial Majesty as the father of politicians”.
He said although a lot of Nigerian youths have given up on the country due to the problems facing it, the country was still worth fighting for.
Fayemi said he has the capacity to address the security problems facing the country and ensure national cohesion.
He then travelled to Ile-Ife to pay courtesy to the Ooni, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ọjájá II and also to Oyo town to condole with the traditional institution on the recently transition of Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III.