The outgoing Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi yesterday held a closed-door meeting with governor-elect, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, where they discussed strategies to ensure a smooth transition process.
In a brief chat before going into the meeting, Fayemi said: “They said my congratulatory message to the governor-elect is unAfrican or un-Nigerian. I don’t think it was so because that was what I was expected to do as a democrat.
“As an elected officer, I have no choice than to respect the wishes of the people. Our democracy is fragile and we have to do whatever we can as leaders to strengthen and deepen it the more.
“Ekiti is also unique. We all have ties dated back to centuries, so we are not disagreeable in any way.” He pledged to continue to identify with any action that would promote African or Nigerian development.
Commenting on the crisis and violence that dogged the campaigns by the two leading parties, Fayemi attributed the situation to the fact that the two of them were playing politics.
“All is power struggle. We wanted to take from the same basket. But today, we have taken it with equanimity. So, I congratulate the governor-elect because what we are doing today is a lesson for us that in whatever we do as leaders, we have to consider the overall interests of Ekiti people.
“Today, Ekiti is victorious. We have shown the world that politics can be played with decorum and restraint. But I have to continue to deliver the dividends of democracy to our people until October 16, so we have to plead with our supporters to exercise restraint, ” Fayemi advised.
Fayemi appealed to the governor-elect to advise his supporters to exercise restraint, so that the love existing among political leaders in the state could be sustained.
Speaking earlier, Fayose said his visit to the governor was borne out of the genuine intention to promote love and unity among Ekiti leaders.
He praised the governor for conceding defeat to him, saying the art of sportsmanship by Fayemi would forever remain in history of the state.
Fayose said: “I am here today to further promote peace and reconciliation among Ekiti leaders. No more politics of bitterness because Ekiti is one.
“The time is ripe for all leaders to think of how Ekiti can develop rather than promoting division that will set us back. In this election, there is no victor, no vanquished. It was a victory for all Ekiti natives.”
The meeting, which held at the Governor’s Office in Ado – Ekiti, was attended by some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains in the state for the purposes of setting up a committee for the smooth transition of power on October 16.
Among them were minister designate, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, PDP state Chairman, Mr. Makanjuola Ogundipe, state Secretary, Dr. Tope Aluko, Owoseni Ajayi and others.