The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State has divided over the state caretaker chairman of the party, Paul Omotoso, purporting that Governor Kayode Fayemi has received the backing of the Ekiti state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2023 presidential race.
GLOBALGISTNG had earlier reported that the State chapter of the APC under the leadership of Paul Omotoso had asked Governor Kayode Fayemi, to run for the office of the president in the 2023 election.
The state party said the time has come for the president to come from Ekiti State, adding that “it would no longer play second fiddle in the south-west’s politics”.
This comes days after supporters of Bola Tinubu, national leader of the APC, set up a presidential campaign council for him ahead of the 2023 general election.
Paul Omotoso, the state caretaker chairman, said the party will force the governor into the presidential race because of his competence and loyalty to the ruling party.
Omotoso, who was represented by Ade Ajayi, the state publicity secretary, said this during a programme organised by Olusegun Osinkolu, a chieftain of the APC, for 1,000 members of the party in Ekiti north senatorial district, on Saturday.
He said the time has come for the president to come from Ekiti, adding that “it would no longer play second fiddle in the south-west’s politics”.
“On the 2023 presidency, the time has come for president to come from Ekiti. That is why we are pleading with you to support governor Fayemi,” he said.
“Though governor Fayemi has never said he wanted to contest, we will force him to plunge into the race, because of his competence, dedication, and loyalty to APC.”
But the Ekiti State Stakeholders Forum (ESSF) to be loyalists of the former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has faulted media reports purporting that Governor Kayode Fayemi has received the backing of the Ekiti state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2023 presidential race.
The Forum, a front line political movement in the state, said the purported endorsement, which was credited to a statement by Mr Paul Omotoso, was a personal view of Mr Ade Ajayi who represented Omotoso at an event in Ekiti at the weekend.
In a statement on Monday by Omo’ba Bamgboye Adegoroye, the Forum said Ajayi only expressed a personal view on the matter and that his views neither represented the position of Omotoso nor that of Ekiti APC.
Fayemi, who has consistently opposed zoning arrangement for the 2023 APC presidential ticket, was reported by Ajayi to have been purportedly endorsed for the race by the Ekiti APC.
The APC Ekiti chapter has yet to officially make public its position on the matter.
The statement said: “The attention of the Ekiti State Stakeholders Forum has been drawn to a statement credited to Mr. Paul Omotoso on the idea that APC Ekiti State chapter has backed Dr. John Kayode Fayemi for the 2023 Presidency.
“We want to state unequivocally that Hon. Ade Ajayi who represented Mr. Omotoso barely expressed a personal view at a social event, where the convener was absent or at best, the views of a small clique in the party.
“The leaders of APC in Ekiti State are unaware of the idea. Again, we note that Hon. Ade Ajayi’s boss does not even believe that the position should be zoned to South West as expressed on the national platform recently.”
The Forum noted that all the states in southern Nigeria deserved a shot at the Presidency if it is agreed upon by the national leadership of the party.
“Ekiti State Stakeholders Forum along with other eminent Yoruba leaders will canvass for the opportunity to produce the next President in 2023 from our zone.
“Adoption of an authentic, qualified, well known, humane and experienced Yoruba man is our goal, and we will play our part in accomplishing that task,” the Forum added.