National leader of the Pan Yoruba group, Afenifere, Senator Ayo Fasanmi, says the group will back Ekiti governor, Kayode Fayemi, for 2023 presidency.
He spoke in Ado-Ekiti on Thursday at a colloquium marking the posthumous birthday of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
Fasanmi, who advised Yoruba people to support a candidate who shares the visions of Awolowo, publicly endorsed Fayemi as a possible candidate for the 2023 presidency.
“Fayemi embodies the visions that Awolowo strived to actualise for Nigerians”, Nation quoted him as saying.
In his paper titled, ‘New engagements by progressives’, elder statesman and historian, Prof. Banji Akintoye hailed the huge investment of Awolowo on education.
He noted: “The progressives idea is the only way to make the people prosper”, adding that Fayemi has the right ideas which are similar to Awo’s.”
Akintoye urged Fayemi to rise to the task ahead; stressing that Ekiti people must not let themselves “be intimidated by what exists but push for what is right”.
“Decent people of Ekiti should take the lead and help reposition the nation. I want to say that in 2023, we Ekiti want to aspire for what we have never aspired for.
“We want to produce the next president of Nigeria. We know that it takes the Ekiti character to rebuild Nigeria. Kayode (Fayemi) has the right ideas. He knows what to do in the management of our affairs.
“We must have the tenacity to push for what we think is right. We should not let ourselves be intimidated by what exists,” he said.
Akintoye described Awolowo as a very “influential leader with “constructive ideas about how to move Nigeria along the path of progress, success, prosperity and even power”.
“The economic and social details of progressivism are also well-known.
“They include programmes such as free primary and secondary education for all, high quality medical service, free medical service to weaker categories of citizens, gainful employment for all, job skills programmes to qualify every person for employment, good quality transportation, communication, water supply, and electricity supply, integrated rural development to take the benefits of modern life and modern resources to farming and to rural communities”, he added.
Speaking, Fayemi said it was high time Nigerians raised the standard of growth above that which was laid by Awolowo.
“We have competence; we have human resources and everything that can help us survive as a nation. That was what Chief Awolowo represents.
“Today, in Nigeria, we have not seen any statesman like Awolowo. That’s why any little thing we do, we make reference to him. He is the standard by which we judge development.
“It is time that we raised the standard now. We carry the burden of the successor generation and we must deliver to our people,” the governor said.