Following his declaration for the 2023 presidency, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State says his presidential ambition is not a betrayal of his political associate, Bola Tinubu.
The presidential aspirant of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) said this when he featured on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ programme on Wednesday, May 4, 2022.
Fayemi who declared his intention to run for the office of the President earlier on Wednesday is now in the race with Tinubu who announced his interest in January.
The governor said, “Running for office is not an ambition; I’ve always maintained that it is service, it is sacrifice, it is duty.”
Speaking on his relationship with Tinubu, Fayemi said there has been a cordial relationship between him and the former governor of Lagos State since he met him in 1994.
He said his aspiration is not a political contest adding that he has the greatest respect for Tinubu.
He said, “I’ve had a very good relationship with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu whom I met in exile in 1994 when he came out after the annulment of the election and the establishment of NADECO (National Democratic Coalition)…We maintained a very cordial relationship ever since then.
“So, when I was asked by Governor Niyi Adebayo, the current Minister of Trade and Investment, to come and run for office in Ekiti, Asiwaju supported me; he was out there for me because of his knowledge of my involvement in the pro-democracy movement and we’ve worked together on a number of issues.
“This is not a personal contest; this is about Nigeria, the future of our children. It is about competing visions of what that future holds for Nigerians.
“I have the greatest respect for Asiwaju and I will continue to do that but I do believe that I have a strong vision on how to reposition Nigeria and build on the legacies of the current President.”
On whether his presidential aspiration betrayed Tinubu, Fayemi said, “The Asiwaju that I know is a democrat; he believes that politics is a marketplace of ideas and people should test their own convictions. His (Tinubu’s) courage of conviction is not in doubt and I do not think he will want to stamp on the convictions of others in terms of how Nigerians should go.
“I don’t believe that we should see that as a basis for demonizing anyone and I know that the Asiwaju that I know, that I have interacted with would not subscribe to that. I don’t believe that he will use terminologies like betrayal.
“This is not an inheritance; it is about Nigeria — Nigeria is the commonwealth of all Nigerians. It is not a traditional title that we are seeking, the office we are seeking is to make an improvement for all Nigerians.”
Recall that Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, who is believed to have benefitted from Tinubu’s political leadership also declared his intention to run for president last month.