Governor Kayode Fayemi has cried out over an alleged plot by a presidential aspirant in the All Progressives Congress, APC to spew a negative media campaign to blackmail him on the premise that he, Fayemi would be a rival for the 2023 APC presidential ticket.
Affirming that he has not told anyone of a presidential aspiration, Dr. Fayemi alleged that the rival within the APC had commenced a plot to de-market him across the six geopolitical zones through a series of negative media publications.
Fayemi did not make any reference to the source of the blackmail ahead of the 2023 APC presidential primaries. GreenWhiteGreen GWG reports that he is among a number of high profile presidential aspirants that have been mentioned in the party. The other major aspirants who have been speculated are Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo. Others that have also been speculated are Senator Godswill Akpabio and Rotimi Amaechi.
In the statement issued on his behalf by his Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode, the Ekiti governor said:
“The plot, as uncovered, is to use some faceless political groups and political jobbers from different parts of the country to defame the Ekiti State Governor.
“Specifically, the plan is to use the faceless groups to discredit Governor Fayemi and portray him as unacceptable to the generality of the people across the six geo-political zones of the country. This plot is part of their game plan for the 2023 presidential contest.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Dr Fayemi has not told anyone that he is in the race for the Presidency of Nigeria. He has always maintained that he is on duty in Ekiti and would like to concentrate on that assignment. What he does afterwards is in the hands of God and he will cross that bridge at the appropriate time. He restated this position during his most recent interview with Arise TV on January 1, 2022.
“Some entrenched interests within the ruling All Progressives Congress, however, seem uncomfortable with the rising profile of the NGF Chairman and have resorted to cheap blackmail aimed at de-marketing him.
“We urge members of the public to disregard the potpourri of lies and cheap blackmail that could be released in the coming days, while the promoters of this smear campaign are advised to concentrate on marketing their aspiration to the good people of Nigeria without recourse to defamation or character assassination of perceived competitors.
“The Nigerian Constitution states clearly the qualifications for the position of the President of the country. Every qualified adult has the right to aspire to the number one position. Therefore, we do not believe it is proper, decent or strategic for any aspirant to think his campaign can only gather momentum when he destroys the reputation of a fellow citizen who is perceived as a possible opponent.”
Significantly, the claim by Fayemi of a plot to blackmail him ahead of the 2023 campaign came hours after President Muhammadu Buhari in a television interview alleged that he would not disclose his preference for a successor on the claim that such would be eliminated.