The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Public Communications to Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State which doubles as Chairman of Nigeria Governor’s Forum, Mr. Segun Dipe, has denied the rumour making rounds that his principal was stealthily working towards building strong structures to prosecute his presidential ambition in 2023.
He described such insinuation as a fallacy and a misrepresentation of Fayemi’s personality and conduct.
The governor’s aide said the proponents of such rumour must have been studying Fayemi from afar and must have misread his relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari, thus taking his reconciliatory efforts for an ambition-driven one.
In a statement in Ado-Ekiti, on Wednesday, Dipe said Fayemi is eminently qualified and a sellable personality from the South West, he would rather prefer his intention to be understood as playing a crucial role of bridge-building among the state governors whose forum he chairs at present, and not of any subterranean move towards 2023.
“Fayemi is a sitting governor and he chairs the Nigeria Governors’ Forum. He enjoys these roles and he is playing them to the best of his ability. His objective is that of engaging in processes such as negotiation, mediation, conciliation, and arbitration in order to move a seemingly violent conflict into non-violent dialogue, where differences are settled through conflict transformation processes or through the work of representative political institutions.”
Dipe said, if Fayemi is seen as commanding respect among his colleagues across parties, it is because he desires and preaches peace among them.
“He is interested in what is happening in every part of the country and, like he himself once stated, anything that affects the peace of any state governed by a member of the NGF would surely affect the solidarity of the forum.”
According to Dipe, Fayemi is not a stranger to bridge-building and peacemaking. As a Doctor of War Studies with specialisation in civil-military relations, he once worked as a director of the Centre for Democracy and Development, peace-building and human security in Africa. He is also a Fellow of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the African Centre for Strategic Studies, National Defense University, Fort Mcnair, Washington DC, U.S.A, among other roles that are synonymous with ensuring that there is peace in the society.
“People like Fayemi bring people together. You find them in all kinds of places and in all kinds of circumstances. They are very lovable people who wish the very best for other people. Despite that his action as a peacemaker and reconciliator means a lot to other people, the Governor is a modest person and he is focused on other people’s happiness.
“As a bridge builder, Fayemi is never pushy; he just wants everyone around him to find peace and achieve happiness. The governor no doubt knows a lot of people and doesn’t fail to bring everybody together; he listens carefully and is sincerely interested in how everyone is doing.
“Like any other bridge-builder in the world, Fayemi likes to help to connect people, he is quick at recognising what someone else needs and his mind starts searching for ways to help the other person move ahead.” Dipe said.