- President Muhammadu Buhari has said that 2014 election that brought Governor Fayose to power was characterised by fraud
- He called on the leaders of the APC to prevent the repeat of the incident during July 14 election in the state
- The president said it was time for the APC to restore the lost values and return the state to the comity of states
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the last governorship governor that produced Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti state was characterised by “hanky-panky,” describing it as an unfortunate saga.
The Punch reports that he, therefore, called on the leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to do everything possible to ensure that they did not allow any subversion of the will of the people again.
NAIJ.com gathered that Buhari said this while hosting the members of the APC southwest caucus to a dinner at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
All aspirants that contested the party ticket in Ekiti state with the winner, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, were also present at the dinner.
Buhari said it was not in his character to interfere in the internal workings of the APC because it was the responsibility of the party to conduct primaries for elective positions.
He said now that the party had completed that assignment and a candidate had emerged, the job of party leaders was to build a united front that could propel the party to victory in the election that he described as all important.
Buhari said: “This is crucial because I remember the hanky-panky that attended the last gubernatorial election in Ekiti state in 2014. I recall the firsthand account I received from some of the dramatis personae in that unfortunate saga.
“We must do everything to ensure that we do not allow any subversion of the will of the people this time round.
“Now that the primary is over and we have a candidate, all hands must be on deck to achieve a positive result.”
Buhari expressed delight that Fayemi had started reaching out to his co-contestants with a view to working together.
He appealed to all the aspirants to see the election as a collective mission to rescue Ekiti and promote development, adding that it was important for the APC to win the July 14 election because it would serve as a pointer to subsequent elections in the country.
The president said forthrightness, candour and integrity that hitherto characterised the people of the state appeared to have been lost in the state currently being governed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He said it was time for the APC to restore those lost values and return the state to the comity of states.
Buhari added, “I know Ekiti fairly well and Ekiti people are well known for their forthrightness, candour and integrity. All of these values seem to have been lost and we must restore these values and return Ekiti to its pride of place in the comity of states.
“As we approach the 2019 elections, the return of Ekiti into the fold of progressive states is important as the election of July 2014 is going to be a key pointer to subsequent elections.
“On my part, let me reassure you that you can count on my support. But charity must begin at home. I urge Ekiti leaders and the leaders from the southwest to take this assignment seriously so that the APC can laugh last in the July election.
"It is only then that we will all be beneficiaries of victory. Let us return to the field to work hard and deliver victory to our great party.”
A former interim national chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande, told State House correspondents at the end of the meeting that all party chiefs in the southwest would work for Fayemi’s success.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; a national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and the national chairman of APC, John Odigie-Oyegun, were present at the dinner.
Governors at the meeting included Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo) and the Nasarawa state Governor, Tanko Al-Makura, who was the chairman of the APC Ekiti gubernatorial primary committee.
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Some members of the National Assembly, ministers and stakeholders from the zone also attended the dinner.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had previously reported that President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, May 16, met with the Ekiti state governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and minister of mines and steel development, Kayode Fayemi.
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