Fayemi accepted the offer to present himself for re-election before a mammoth crowd at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium, Ado-Ekiti, the state capital where the 20th anniversary of the June 12, 1993 presidential election was marked amidst pomp and pageantry.
Various interest groups in the state including chieftains and members of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), women bodies, labour unions, youth organizations, students, artisans, market men and women have been calling on Fayemi to run for a second term, since December last year when the first endorsement was made by a former Governor of the State, Otunba Niyi Adebayo together with leaders of the party at a stakeholders’ meeting in Iyin-Ekiti.
The calls have been predicated on good record of performance of the Fayemi administration since inception on October 16, 2010.
At the June 12 rally, representatives of local government and interest groups that put up colourful parade also presented letters conveying their request for the Governor to run for another term of four years to the state ACN Chairman, High Chief Olajide Awe, who in turn delivered the letters to Fayemi.
Fayemi was joined on the podium by his deputy, Prof. Dupe Adelabu, his wife. Erelu Bisi Fayemi, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Dr. Adewale Omirin, the Chief of Staff, Mr Yemi Adaramodu, and members of the State Executive Council and Assembly.
Music stars, Abass Akande Obesere and Tony Tetuila were on the band stand to thrill the crowd.
The Governor who had at various fora stated that he would at the appropriate time declare his intention to contest the 2014 election, on Wednesday laid to rest speculations around his ambition; saying that he would run for another term to consolidate the “good works” which his administration had embarked on since 2010.
Dr. Fayemi who asked the excited crowd if it was their wish for him to remain at the Oke Bareke Government House come 2014 got re-assuring echoes of affirmative answer that he would continue to enjoy the support given him at the April 2007 and May 2009 elections which made him Governor.
He pledged to serve Ekiti people more and ensure that the legacies laid down by his administration are not destroyed by “interlopers who held the state down for three and half years before they were flushed out of the Government House by Providence and strong will of electorate in the state”.
The Governor said he draws strength from the massive encouragement from the people of the state whose lives have been touched through massive construction of roads, social security scheme for the aged, free health services, education and human development, job creation, tourism, women empowerment, among others.
He also promised to sustain the good name and reputation now enjoyed by Ekiti in the comity of states in Nigeria and in the international community, “Since you have pledged support for continuity, I am also ready to continue the good works. Without being immodest, I feel the good works should continue. Let me say that democracy must be consolidated by continuity especially when the people say that you are doing well.
“I will officially declare my intention when our national leaders are here but for now, let me say that I will contest based on your calls and the earlier adoption at Iyin Ekiti home of our leader, Otunba Niyi Adebayo”, Fayemi said.
Governor Fayemi urged his supporters who were carrying various banners and posters with the Governor’s picture and the inscription “2014 JKF: The good work continues” and “4+4= 8” among others, to return to their constituencies and mobilize for the success of his re-election.
Meanwhile, hundreds of members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) including the Chairman of the party in Ekiti South Senatorial district, Chief Ayo Peters, have defected to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) on grounds that they were impressed by the various transformational programmes implemented by the Dr. Kayode Fayemi-led administration.
Chief Peters and Mrs Bose Balogun another stalwart of PDP in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area of the State said their defection to ACN was borne out of the rapid infrastructural development which the State has witnessed within the last 32 months of the administration in the State.
Mrs Balogun stressed that she was particularly impressed that her child benefited from the “laptop per student” programme of the administration despite that she belonged to the opposition party while the social security scheme for the elderly citizens have also influenced her decision to dump the PDP.
Speaking on the annulled June 12 election, Dr Fayemi lamented that Nigerians have almost forgotten the atmosphere of terror that suffocated the nation during the Military era of dictatorship; saying that unless history lessons are taught to upcoming generations, they might not know of the great sacrifices that were invested through June 12 to the freedom that the nation enjoys today.
He said June 12 was remarkable because it was a game changer and a paradigm shift that broke the mould clearly and decisively on such a scale that it became necessary to revise assumptions and stereotypes about the electorate.