A former Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Femi Bamisile, has said that although it is within the democratic rights of the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi, to join the governorship race in the state, he (Fayemi) should not have done so as a statesman.
Mr Bamisile, who is also vying for the ticket of the All Progressives Congress(APC) said the former governor was moving away from a position of certainty to ”an uncertain ground.”
The politician, who was fielding questions from journalists in Ado Ekiti on Thursday, noted that the ticket of the APC should have been zoned to the southern senatorial district of the state, having never produced a governor.
“For me, he (Fayemi) is exercising his constitutional right anyway. Yes, people are saying that he should not have entered the race as a statesman, but the truth is, he has to probe his conscience to do what he did. But if I were in his shoes, I won’t have left certainty for uncertainty,” Mr Bamisile said.
“For me I am going to this race to earn respect for myself. I am not really bothered about anybody contesting with me because I know it is not going to be a one horse race.
“I won’t be the only one contesting this election. I have not really bothered about the character of the persons contesting with me. I am focusing on the delegates. If you don’t forget, I have been in the race for about three and half years. I have been campaigning from house to house sensitising and galvanising support for the party.”
He appealed to delegates to shun financial inducements and vote the candidate who would be widely accepted by the people.
“I have always been an open-minded person when it comes to the issue of zoning. Even when I know that there is no constitutional backing for it but people from the South have been marginalised since the creation of our state. But as it is now, the issue has gone beyond zoning. We don’t have control over that, I won’t lie to you,” he said.
“We can only appeal to the conscience of the delegates. If the delegates now want to sell their conscience for money, at the expense of winning the general election, they should know that the biggest spender may not be the best candidate. What we should look at now is how to dislodge the monster that we have as governor.
“Fayose as much as we hate him, is grounded in Ekiti State politics. So, we need someone who is acceptable, who knows the nooks and crannies of the state to actually take over the leadership of the party.”
Mr Fayemi, while declaring his intention to run for the ticket last week, said he had an ”unfinished business as governor of Ekiti State.” He is among the about 37 persons who are vying for the APC ticket.
He had also expressed concerns that other aspirants were not comfortable with his ambition, fearing this might hinder their chances of emerging the candidate of the party.