Ekiti: I’m not Fayemi’s anointed candidate – Ex-SSG, Oyebanji
The immediate past secretary to the government of Ekiti and governorship aspirant, Abiodun Oyebanji, has denied insinuations that he is the anointed candidate of Governor Kayode Fayemi, in the next year’s governorship election in the state.
Speaking after purchasing the All Progressives Congress (APC) expression of interest and nomination form in Abuja, yesterday, he equally debunked existence of a faction in the state chapter of the party.
“The governor of Ekiti is the leader of the party in the state. The governor has no preferred candidate among the aspirants.
“A candidate will emerge at primary. I am not his anointed, everyone that is running belongs to APC and he is our leader and I am sure everyone enjoys his support,” he said.
On what he has done to unite the factions in Ekiti, he said: “I am not aware of any faction in the state APC. Politics is a game of ideas and there are million views on how things should go.
“The APC is one family and as long as those characters you mentioned are still in the APC, we are one big family and even in families, there are always disagreement, so it is not a big deal. So, I am not aware of any division in Ekiti APC.
“We had our congresses, it went well and everyone participated. The party has also put in place a level playing field for everyone who might be interested in contesting to come and pick forms. So, there is no faction in APC in Ekiti State. We are one,” he insisted.
He equally reacted to the controversial direct or indirect mode of primary, he said: “Whatever the party brings up, we are ready for that. It is not in our place to choose for the party. We are members of the party, we will follow whatever the party chooses.”
On what he will do to develop the state, he said: “We have a five-pillar agenda that we are running. We have a state development master-plan that is crafted. Whatever we are going to do must find a space within those two documents and also in Ekiti State, we have a tradition of always consulting with the people to ask for their needs.
“So, our approach to governance is going to be the bottom up approach that Governor Fayemi started. We will consult with them, we will ask for their needs and their preferences and those ones must find a space within the state development documents and policy that is being developed.
“In furtherance to the directive of Mr. Governor that those who want to contest should resign, I resigned my appointment on Tuesday, and I am here to pick my form. I am grateful to God. I am gracious to the governor for the opportunity he gave to me to serve.
“I am a product of grace. God has been good to me. Ekiti is 25 years today. To the glory of God, I have put in 11 years in the service of Ekiti State at the executive level. I started as an senior special adviser, then special adviser and then chief of staff to the present governor.
“Under Governor Fayemi, I was commissioner for integration and inter-government affairs, head office of transformation strategy and delivery, commissioner for project and economic planning in his first time in office. And when he came back again, I had the opportunity to serve as the secretary to the government.
“At the executive level, there are two positions I am yet to hold, they are the governor and the deputy governor. And during the agitation for the creation of Ekiti State, as a young man of 26 years old, I was secretary to the committee that fought for the creation of Ekiti State.
“I have perfect understanding of the sentiment of our people. I know their needs, I know their situation. I was part of the team that crafted the blueprint for Ekiti State and I have learnt under the feet of great men. I have worked with two governors at very close levels. I have seen them take very tough decisions and I have seen them navigate the various curves in administration.
“I believe I am well positioned and experienced to lead Ekiti State. Especially to continue the good work of Governor Fayemi. I am part and parcel of his vision, the five pillars and the five pillars is work in progress and I intend to wrap up from where he ends. My prayer is that he finishes well,” he said.
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