The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi, on Friday spoke on his ambition to return as governor of the state, saying his declaration has created unease within the ranks of All Progressives Congress in the state.
Speaking on Adaba 88.9 FM, where he answered questions on his intention to run, the former governor said there had been a campaign to discourage him from joining the race.
“There has been a propaganda machine by the sitting governor of Ekiti State, and I must say, even some members of my own party, who probably felt if the former governor joined the race, it will upset the apple cat,” he said.
“They think it will undermine their chances of selling themselves, which is not necessarily the case.”
There are over 35 aspirants jostling for the ticket of the APC in Ekiti State ahead of the governorship campaign, the list which also includes another former governor, Segun Oni.
Mr Fayemi, who will be staging a rally on Saturday to mark his public declaration to run in the governorship race, also admitted making some mistakes when he was governor of the state, between 2010 and 2014.
The minister who had formally notified the leadership of APC and governors on Thursday, noted that the tour he made of the 16 local government areas of Ekiti State, afforded him the opportunity to explain his return bid to the people.
“My reception during the tour of the local governments was beyond my expectation,” he said.
“The tour afforded me the opportunity to remind the people what we used to do and what we used to have.
“I told them that I was not infallible as governor, I made my own mistakes, but I have also learnt my lessons in the course of my being out of office in the last four years.”
On his indictment by the Ekiti State Panel of Inquiry, Mr. Fayemi said the “white paper” which indicted him, was “a tissue paper.”
He said the indictment and the 10-year ban by the panel, amounted to nothing, as it had no effect in the face of the law.
Mr Fayemi said the conclusions of the panel in missing funds were false and that it was biased and failed to ask the right questions.
“You talked about a 10 year ban based on a certain white paper that the state governor came out with. With the greatest respect to his office, that white paper is tissue paper,” he said.
“It has no relevance anywhere. The law is clear. If you are sure of your facts and you have come out with a judicial panel of inquiry, it is a settled matter; the Supreme Court has ruled on this, this Constitution of Nigeria has been altered on this: it is only a court of record that can ban one from holding public office.”
He also said there was a dire need to restore Ekiti State to its pride of place by enthroning a responsible government in the coming election.
He said he was offering himself to the people in order to ensure that the people returned to the path of development from which the present government veered off.
“When I served as governor, I delivered on every aspect of my mandate,” he said.
“Take the pain to read my inaugural speech on October 16, 2010. On every level, I had what I called an eight-point agenda. And that eight-point agenda focused on a wide range of developmental initiatives; on education, on health care, on industrial development and modernising agriculture on gender equality.
“When I was leaving as governor in 2014, Ekiti has the lowest HIV prevalence in the country; the lowest maternal and child mortality. I can sit here in the studio and tell you all what I did as governor.”
At the national level, the minister said the Buhari-led federal government had done well in ensuring that the country was rescued from the brink of collapse.