Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has said his efforts to build bridges across party lines and geopolitical zones have nothing to do with any presidential ambition in 2023.
Fayemi, in a statement yesterday in Ado Ekiti by his Senior Special Assistant on Public Communications, Mr. Segun Dipe, cautioned against alleged misrepresentation of his efforts.
He added that he was not working clandestinely towards building structures to prosecute his rumoured presidential ambition in 2023.
The statement described such insinuation as a fallacy and a misrepresentation of Fayemi’s personality and conduct.
It said the proponents of such rumour must have been studying Fayemi from afar and must have misread his relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari, thus taking his reconciliatory efforts for an ambition-driven one.
The statement explained that although Fayemi is eminently qualified and a sellable personality from the South-west, he would rather prefer his intention to be understood as playing a crucial role of bridge-building among state governors, whose forum he chairs at present, and not of any subterranean moves towards 2023.
“Fayemi is a sitting governor and he chairs the Nigeria Governors’ Forum. He enjoys these roles and he is playing them to the best of his ability. His objective is that of engaging in processes such as negotiation, mediation, conciliation, and arbitration in order to move a seemingly violent conflict into non-violent dialogue, where differences are settled through conflict transformation processes or through the work of representative political institutions,” it stated.
The statement said if Fayemi was seen as commanding respect among his colleagues across parties, it was because of his commitment to promoting peace among them.
“He is interested in what is happening in every part of the country and, like he himself once stated, anything that affects the peace of any state governed by a member of the NGF would surely affect the solidarity of the forum,” it added.
The statement said Fayemi was not a stranger to bridge-building and peacemaking, adding: “As a Doctor of War Studies with specialisation in civil-military relations, he once worked as a director of the Centre for Democracy and Development, peace-building and human security in Africa. He is also a Fellow of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the African Centre for Strategic Studies, National Defense University, Fort Mcnair, Washington DC, U.S.A, among other roles that are synonymous with ensuring that there is peace in the society.
“People like Fayemi bring people together. You find them in all kinds of places and in all kinds of circumstances. They are very lovable people who wish the very best for other people. Despite that his action as a peacemaker and reconciliator means a lot to other people, the governor is a modest person and he is focused on other people’s happiness.
“As a bridge builder, Fayemi is never pushy; he just wants everyone around him to find peace and achieve happiness. The governor no doubt knows a lot of people and doesn’t fail to bring everybody together; he listens carefully and is sincerely interested in how everyone is doing.
“Like any other bridge-builder in the world, Fayemi likes to help to connect people, he is quick at recognising what someone else needs and his mind starts searching for ways to help the other person move ahead.”