Ekiti State governor and chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said on Sunday that insinuation that he had been using his position to advance his rumoured presidential ambition in 2023 was nothing but falsehood.
Fayemi, who spoke with journalists in Lagos, said he was not interested in the 2023 presidential election as his focus was to provide good governance for the people of Ekiti who elected him for a four-year mandate which will lapse in 2022.
On his visits to governors across the states, he said his position as NGF chairman required him to meet with governors who are having issues either in their states or at the federal level as well as to commission projects, if invited to do so.
He gave the examples of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State who invited him to commission some projects to mark his first year in office in his second term and Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum, who survived three attacks from Boko Haram insurgents.
Fayemi also added that the position of chairman of the NGF mandated the occupant to relate with all governors across the country irrespective of their political divide.
“On those saying my visits to other governors is about 2023 presidential ambition, are they saying I should stop being chairman of the Governors’ Forum because I’m afraid that whatever I do will be perceived as a 2023 agenda? I will be failing in my duty.
“You don’t think I should have gone to Borno when I have a colleague that was attacked three times by insurgents?
“We have been telling him to take things easy, that he can still protect his people without necessarily throwing himself in harm’s way.
He is our colleague and we owe it a duty to provide necessary support and solidarity. That was why we went there.
“Governors naturally invite the chairman of the Governors’ Forum to commission their projects.
“When I went to Rivers, I met with Wike for two things. He was having problems with the Muslim community in Rivers over a land that was supposed to be used for a Mosque.
“Two, he was having the first anniversary of his return and I went to commission some projects for him”.
“Ditto Jigawa that I went to a few weeks ago. That’s just standard practice. It has nothing to do with any ambition. 2023 will take care of itself.”