The executive governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, has debunked a statement credited to him that he was against presidential aspirants above 60years.
Recall that some Nigerian print and electronic media published a story with Blueprint Newspaper of March 26, 2021 edition in particular running with the headline “No Room for Presidential Aspirant above 60 years- Fayemi”.
While political pundits believed the statement was directed at the 68-year-old former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the chairman of the Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF) has distanced himself from the statement purportedly made by one of his aides, Makinde Araoye, during an event organised by the Nigerian Youth Congress (NYC) in Abuja recently.
In a disclaimer signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Yinka Oyebode, and made available to Freelanews, the governor stated that Araoye made the statement in his own personal capacity and in no way represented his stance on the matter.
“The attention of the Governor of Ekiti State and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Dr. Kayode Fayemi has been drawn to a news report in the Blueprint Newspaper of March 26, 2021 edition, which is also being circulated across social media with the headline “No Room for Presidential Aspirant above 60 years- Fayemi” and other variants.
“An aide of the Governor, Mr. Makinde Araoye, was reported to have made the statement during a National Youth Summit and Conference organised by the Nigerian Youth Congress (NYC) in Abuja on Thursday. Mr. Araoye spoke in his personal capacity at the event, hence the purported statement is at best his personal views and not representative of Governor Fayemi’s position.
“As a matter of fact, the view is in conflict with Governor Fayemi’s well known position on political participation. He is one of the leaders of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), that is not fixated about zoning of presidential and other elective positions,” Oyebode clarified.
The CPS reminded that Fayemi has always maintained that political ambitions and aspirations shouldn’t be discriminated against on any ground.
“Dr. Fayemi is on record to have stated repeatedly and unequivocally that nobody should be discriminated against by virtue of age, where they come from, religious affiliation or cultural background. He believes the electorate, rather than any artificial impediment, should determine who gets their mandate as President, Governor or other elective positions.
“Therefore, Mr. Araoye, who at the onset of his presentation at the event clarified that he was speaking in his personal capacity, couldn’t be speaking the mind of Governor Fayemi.”
He, however, advised the publis to disregard the statement alleged to have been made by the Ekiti State governor, stressing that his principal is a lover of peace and equity.
“Accordingly, members of the public are hereby urged to disregard the statement which was inadvertently credited to Governor Fayemi. Dr. Fayemi, as a leader and public office holder, believes in fairness and equity. He is a firm believer in constitutionalism and constitutional provisions regarding elections and aspiration to public offices in the country.
“Above all, Dr. Fayemi does not believe that age is necessarily a factor for performance in public office, and as a leader, he comports himself in a manner befitting the office he holds and does not engage in frivolous and divisive talk,” he concluded.