by Paul Osas
The leadership of the All Progressive Congress have given reasons for their conspicuous absence at Governor Kayode Fayemi’s official declaration for re-election as governor of Ekiti. The party said the governor could not be presented with the party’s flag at the time because he had not yet won the party’s congress.
On the day Fayemi declared for reelection, party stalwarts like Bola Tinubu, the APC leader and Bisi Akande, the party’s national chairman were absent. Their absence led to reports from some quarters that the party was not pleased with the governor and was tacitly supporting the candidacy of Opeyemi Bamidele, the Labour Party candidate.
However the APC through its national publicity secretary, Lai Mohammed, explained the rationale behind their decision to stay away.
“There is no division among party leaders over Fayemi and Bamidele. What happened was that the party issued a timetable for congress. Fayemi also had his timetable to flag-off. We told him (Fayemi) that he can’t flag off without being elected at the primary even if he would be the only aspirant. He possibly thought we would have finished with the congresses. We said he could go on with the campaign but not flaf-off since he said the time was short for him to cancel the scheduled declaration. So the party flag could not be handed over to him. Even if he is the only candidate, we want primary conducted because we don’t want a situation where someone would come and say that there was no primary and the flag was handed over to him,” he said.
Mohammed further said “we were not at the declaration because we had a crucial meeting in Abuja. Given the sacrifice Asiwaju has made for the party, he can’t do anything against the interest of the party. There is nothing like crisis. The flag-off would still take place and everybody will be there”
Governor Fayemi, who has since won the party’s ticket at the primaries stated that “there is no iota of truth in the story that APC leaders were not supporting him,” and added that “it doesn’t exist except in the imagination of those peddling it.”