Prime Business Africa reports that Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and Ekiti State Governor, Olukayode Fayemi will reveal his intentions on running for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria well after the Easter and Ramadan seasons are over.
Fayemi disclosed this in an exclusive telephone conversation with Prime Business Africa on Tuesday night, following speculations now trailing his continued intention to run for the office in 2023, especially on the back of recent declarations by former Lagos State Governor Ahmed Bola Tinubu and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, all from his South-West region.
‘‘I have received a lot of phone calls from the media in the last few days asking whether I would be running for the office of the President in 2023. But I would tell you, my brother, that I would make my intentions known at the appropriate time, obviously not in this spiritually critical season of Lent and Ramadan,’’ the Ekiti State governor told Prime Business Africa when reached on telephone to clear the air regarding his true position on the matter.
According to Governor Fayemi, ‘‘This is the Lenten season for Christians, a period they regard so highly; and, with all sense of humility, those who are close to me know that I’m deeply spiritual. For our Muslim brothers, this is also the crucial Ramadan period.
‘’Yes, it is obvious that this is also an important political season, but I really would consider myself as being overly insensitive to God and to Nigerians if I would ignore the sensibilities of our two major Faiths (Islam and Christianity), whose adherents are in deep spiritual reflection, by making such a political declaration during such an important spiritual season.’’
‘’However, let me say that I choose to respond to your inquiry this time, because I have followed Business and politics contents on Prime Business Africa for some months now and there is no doubt that you guys are doing a great job in such an authoritative and credible manner. I therefore believe that this clarification is well understood by you.’’
Asked to comment on declarations by former Lagos State Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Governor Fayemi declined specific comments, saying: ‘‘I have no comments on that, my brother; it’s about choices. I will speak to Nigerians once the seasons of Lent and Ramadan are over. For now, let’s continue to work and pray for our families and our great country, Nigeria. In a few weeks’ time, the spiritual season would be over.’’
Although he has not made any public declaration to that effect, Governor Fayemi has been mentioned in various quarters as having strong interest in running for the office of the President in the 2023 general elections, especially as his ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) zoned the slot to the South without specifically micro-zoning to any of the component regions in the South.
A Local Government Chairman in Ekiti State and Publicity Secretary of the Afenifere Renewal Group, Mr Michael Ogungbemi, four weeks ago declared that Fayemi as NGF Chairman and former minister has the requisite qualifications and competence to lead Nigeria to greater heights if elected President.
He described Fayemi as one of the few eggheads within the APC in the Southwest, who can be trusted with power, having demonstrated capacity thrice as state governor, federal minister and laeder of all Nigerian governors in different political parties.
Mr Ogungbemi, who is the Chairman of Ajoni Local Council Development Area, said that Gov. Fayemi had garnered enough of cognate experience in politics to lead Nigerians on the path of development, prosperity and enviable heights for all-round transformation that would benefit every citizen, regardless of status.
But Fayemi, in a chat with Prime Business Africa on Tuesday night failed to specifically say whether his date with the Nigerian public regarding an official statement on the 2023 Presidency would be a declaration to run or decision not to run.
‘‘Let’s wait until after this spiritual season; Nigerians will hear from me, but first things first,’’ Fayemi concluded.