By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has formally declared his intention to run for president in 2023, on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Fayemi made his declaration at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, on Wednesday.
Fayemi, who is the Chairman of Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), said he did not arrive at the decision to become president easily, promising to ensure youth empowerment when he becomes the president.
He promised to adopt a wholistic approach in fighting insecurity, provide jobs for teeming youths, broad reforms through diversification and productivity, and expansion of revenue mobilisation.
The die is now cast. I embark on this journey with a determination to play my part to the end,” he said.
The governor also promised to tackle the national question by embarking on restructuring and institutionalise holistic approach so that government and its services are brought closer to the people.
Describing himself as a symbol of hope, Fayemi said Nigeria has an opportunity to make choices that will foster peace, unity and national prosperity.
“Compatriots, it is in the spirit of this abiding faith in our country and the promise of its unfinished greatness that I stand before you today, in total humility and with all sense of responsibility, to solemnly declare to all within our party and Nigerians at large, my decision to accept my name to be put forward for consideration by the APC leadership and membership as the party’s standard bearer in the upcoming contest for a successor to President Muhammadu Buhari.
“This is not a decision, which I have taken lightly. Indeed, to arrive at this point, I carried out a long and deep self-introspection with the help of my wife, Bisi, and other family members, my friends, and my political associates and professional colleagues.
“I have also traversed the length and breadth of our country to consult and explore with our esteemed elder statesmen and women, traditional rulers, a cross section of party leaders and rank and file members, and various non-partisan leaders of thought and opinion,” Fayemi said.
He urged Nigerians to shun debilitating pessimism and convert the current challenges into an opportunity for fundamental national reset and a major leap forward in national affairs.
“Programmatically, as the standard bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC), I will be leading the implementation of a holistic and integrated response to the multifaceted security crises confronting us. To this end, the retooling of our armed forces, intelligence agencies, and border guards will be pursued in tandem with an overhaul of our policing system and the phasing in of bold universal social policies that will enable us decisively tackle poverty and upgrade human capital and security. In this perspective, the deliberate expansion of employment opportunities, youth empowerment, amongt others,” he said.
Two documentaries focusing on Fayemi’s profile as a journalist, pro-democracy crusader, politician, and administrator were shown to the audience.
The event was attended by Senator Lawan Shuaibu; Senator Ibikunle Amosun; Ekiti State Deputy Governor; Bisi Egbeyemi; Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Funminiyi Afuye; former Senate President, Ahmed Ebute; Ekiti State APC governorship candidate, Biodun Oyebanji; his running mate; Monisade Afuye, former deputy governor of Ekiti, Modupe Adelabu; and former Oyo State Deputy Governor, Barr. Iyiola Oladokun; Onisan of Isan- Ekiti, Oba Gabriel Adejuwon; Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Adejugbe Aladesanmi; and Prof. Banji Aluko.
Speaking, Senator Shuaibu hailed Fayemi’s entry into the race, describing him as a serious-minded person who is not given to frivolity.
“He is a man of high integrity, an activist, administrator, bridge builder, a pan-Nigeruan and representative of the young intelligentsia. Nigeria is for Fayemi and Fayemi is for Nigeria,” Shuaibu said.