Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, has said he is the candidate of choice to lead the collective efforts of members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), to help complete the next phase of the continuing quest for national greatness of the country.
Fayemi who is a presidential aspirant on the platform of the APC, in a statement titled, “My Pact with the All Progressives Congress (APC)”, said the party is best placed to carry forward the unfinished agenda of national renewal to which members are committed as a united body of compatriots coming from all parts of Nigeria.
According to him, in making himself available to serve as the standard bearer for political campaign to be re-elected as the party of government in all three tiers of federal system, he is fired up by an unalloyed commitment to the founding ideals and principles that underpinned the formation of the party.
He said, “I come before you as a party member who has had experience at the federal and state levels both as a two-time governor and as a federal minister. I am proud to be counted among those in civil society who organised to demand an end to prolonged military rule in our country. I have been engaged since the 1990s in supporting efforts at building strong pan-Nigerian agendas and platforms that can drive the forward march of our beloved country. As a loyal party person, I have been actively involved in planning and operationalising many of our political campaigns, starting from the first and, undoubtedly, most acclaimed presidential primary that we held in 2014. And I have taken a cue from our elders in the party to promote a much greater civility in our political processes. As a two-term chair of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, it has been my privilege and honour to promote healthy inter-governmental relations for the advancement of our democracy and cross-party collaborations that foster national unity.
“As I reach out to you to solicit your support for my candidature, I want to make a solemn pledge to you from the outset that my campaign will be devoid of attacks on any persons and focused on programmes and initiatives that will uplift our party and country. I commit to traverse the length and breadth of our country and meet our members with the mindset of an unrepentant believer in a united Nigeria and the passion of a fighter for justice, equity, and inclusivity.
“Campaigns are competitions aimed at wooing voters to the cause of a candidate, not wars that are prosecuted as a zero-sum game. You can count on me to operate my campaign on the basis of basic decency and a healthy respect for the rights of other candidates even where I have cause to disagree with them on policy, strategy, and/or their electability.”
The Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), while assuring members of the party that he is not into the contest to be elected as preferred candidate for the presidency of the country with any prior sense of entitlement or privilege over them, he stated that he came in humility and with a passion that is built on his conviction that if members unite behind a collective national agenda for greatness they will together soar high into the heavens.
He maintained that they can expect from him that he will not make any empty promises to them, noting that with his head on his shoulders and accompanied by fellow travellers in the ranks of the party he will offer suggestions on how to take the nation to greater heights drawing on his knowledge of the inner workings of government while simultaneously listening eagerly to them to learn from their own equally valid experiences.
He said as party members they must commit themselves to being loyal and disciplined cadres who work together with a unity of purpose, stating that these are principles and policies that he subscribes to and cherish.
“I am also acutely aware of the need for us to continue to nurture internal party democracy operationalised within boundaries of civil contestation and responsible dissent to which we must all subscribe. In this connection, I will work with our elected officials from the ward to the national level to ensure that our members are actively socialised into our vision, principles, programmes, and policies. Mechanisms for strengthening the resource base and rewards system of the party will be put in place so that elected officials, employees, volunteers, and members who service our various structures are able to carry out their work with predictability, integrity, and consistency.
“Invigorating our elected party structures will also involve a much closer attention to our programmes and policies. To this end, I am committed to ensuring that every year, our party convenes a policy conference to review the progress we have made in carrying out our programmes and recalibrating our objectives and strategy in accordance with changing circumstances. The project of an APC party school will also enjoy a breadth of life under my watch and used effectively for the induction and training of our officials, as well as leadership grooming and mentorship”, he said.
He added that as a foundation member and one of the many actors who worked tirelessly to help create the APC out of a coalition of like-minded parties and interests united by a progressive and forward-looking commitment to national unity and transformation, noting that he is immeasurably proud of the zeal with which cadres of the party embraced the party’s agenda for change and renewal.
Fayemi stated further that the party were fortunate to be blessed from the outset with a leadership group who left no stone unturned to ensure that the party went into election as a united force that could be trusted by Nigerians and which had to be reckoned with by competitors.
According to him, “We owe these leaders an enormous debt of gratitude, knowing that history will remember them as a group of people who sacrificed enormously to help consolidate democratic governance in the biggest black nation on earth. I salute each and everyone of them today, including our father figure, His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari and other key leaders such as their Excellencies Chief Bisi Akande, Chief Tony Momoh of blessed memory, and Dr. Ogbonaya Onu. I also pay tribute to the various members of the National Working Committee and National Executive Committee, past and present, for their dedication and diligence.”