The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, on Wednesday said that he would resign from the federal cabinet “in a week.”
Fayemi, who is the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Ekiti State, spoke to State House Correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, shortly after he was formally presented to President Muhammadu Buhari.
When asked when he will resign his appointment as a minister, Fayemi initially claimed that there was still a lot of work to be done.
He referred the reporters to Section 182 of the Constitution, which he said allowed him to be in office till at least 30 days to the election.
“There is still a lot of work to do. The Constitution, again, is very clear. What the Constitution says in Section 182 is that I must leave the cabinet at least 30 days before the general election,” Fayemi said.
When further asked how to describe him since he has emerged a candidate and he is still a minister, Fayemi replied, “Well, I am the candidate of our party and I am also a minister of the Federal Republic, at least for the next one week. So, for the next one week, I am the Minister of Mines and Steel.”
Fayemi, who is a former governor of Ekiti State, said he had crossed a critical hurdle by way of the party primary in his quest to return to the Ekiti State Government House.
Admitting that there was still a major work to do, the governorship candidate expressed delight that those who contested the party ticket with him have seen the work as a collective rescue mission.
He said that he had reached out to other aspirants and that they have agreed to be a part of the candidate advisory council for the election.
With all the cooperation, he said, the APC will win the governorship election.
Fayemi dismissed the statement credited to Governor Ayodele Fayose that he (Fayemi) would be defeated with a wide margin for the second time.
“As far as I am aware, Fayose is not on this ballot. We will deal with the candidate on this ballot and the track record that we have in Ekiti is what will sell us,” he said.
The minister also clarified the apology he recently rendered to the people of the state.
He said, “You should understand the context of the apology. Don’t just take the apology on its own.
“What I said was that clearly, there were people in Ekiti even though they are (in the) minority, who were not happy with some of the policies and programmes of our government while we were in office and to such people, I render an apology.
“But for me, the rescue mission in Ekiti is a job that has to be done. What do you want? You want continuity of lack of salary, continuity of poverty, continuity of want, continuity of directionlessness or you want to return to a past of buoyancy, human development, accountability and transparency in government? That is the clear dividing line and people can see that.”
Fayemi again faulted the report of a probe panel instituted by the state which banned him from holding public office in the state, describing Fayose as a “comedian.”
“I don’t want to dwell on the probe panel, but the law of the land is clear. It is only a court of competent jurisdiction that can convict anyone — any Nigerian — for any malfeasance.
“You cannot sit in your house, cook up a probe panel, a kangaroo tribunal and you say you have indicted someone and that person is guilty and should be banned from public office.
“That is just a joke; but then, the man we are taking about is an Alawada (comedian) like we say in Yorubaland. So, that is not surprising,” Fayemi said.
The chairman of the party’s primary committee, Tanko Al-Makura, said he was in the Presidential Villa to present Fayemi to Buhari for his blessing, “according to the party’s tradition once a candidate emerges for an election.”
He said having done that and also having briefed the party’s national leadership, the APC was ready to go forward and campaign for Fayemi’s election, in line with the guidelines of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Al-Makura, who is the governor of Nassarawa State, expressed optimism that APC will win the election.
He said, “APC is very, very ready if what I saw in Ekiti is anything to go by.
“I think we can consider this election as a forgone conclusion, given the support, the solidarity shown by other aspirants after the declaration. This gave us an inkling that Fayemi is going to be supported by all the aspirants.
“If you look at the quality, the comportment, the maturity of the delegates who have unanimously voted Fayemi, you will know that out there, the people they control are also people that represent the interest of Ekiti State.
“Should the election hold today, I can assure you that with what we have seen, we are comfortable that Fayemi will emerge the governor of Ekiti State.”