The immediate past governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has said the reported silent moves by President Goodluck Jonathan to woo former Vice President Atiku Abubakar back to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is a failed mission.
Fayemi said the ploy is to cause division in the camp of the All Progressives Congress and dim the chances of its presidential candidate, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) ahead of the March 28 presidential election.
The ex-governor also said the removal of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, could only be done in accordance with the 1999 Constitution.
Fayemi, who spoke as a guest on Sunrise Daily, a breakfast programme on Channels Television, Thursday, was reacting to the declaration of support by some groups under the Turaki Vanguard for the candidature of President Jonathan
The ex-governor, who is the Director of Policy, Research and Documentation of the APC Presidential Campaign Organisation, said Atiku remained a committed leader of the party and would work for the victory of Buhari.
He said, “Anybody can just pick some people on the street and call them members of Turaki Group. Though, I am aware of the surreptitious plans to divide us, but wooing Atiku back to the PDP will not certainly work because he is committed to this project.
“So, Atiku is still in the APC and he has come out boldly to denounce this group. It was a fact that he offered himself to be President but the delegate acted otherwise by voting for Maj. Gen Buhari.
“I don’t foresee that he will walk away from the APC on the basis of this because there is nothing on ground to make him do that. He has remained consistent for Buhari and he is committed to the APC”.
Reacting to the clamour for the sack of Jega by some political parties and interests group, of lately the Oodua Peoples Congress and Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, Fayemi said the entire Nigerian populace would query President Jonathan if he bowed to pressure to remove the INEC chairman from office at this critical time, adding that such an attempt could bring suspicion that would do the country no good.
On the mock accreditation conducted by INEC in 12 states of the federation to test-run the workability of the smart card readers, Fayemi advised the INEC to block all loopholes based on the reservations expressed by some critical stakeholders for the outcome of the elections to be acceptable.
He, however, expressed optimism that the card reader would turn out to be a blessing in view of the success recorded in Lagos, which he said was known to be densely populated.
Fayemi added, “Our party is not that worried about this card reader thing, but we are only concerned about the non-delivery of Permanent Voter Cards to some region.
“Like in Ogun State, I heard Governor Ibikunle Amosun complaining that about 250,000 PVCs are yet to be delivered. This is a peculiar case.
“But it was available in some areas like Ekiti, but people decided not to collect. Though that had been taken to be cases of multiple registrations.
“So, in the area of collection, INEC cannot be blamed because people may decide not to vote”, Fayemi stated.