The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Ekiti State, Yinka Oyebode, has said a statement credited to his principal, Governor Kayode Fayemi, concerning an age limit for presidential aspirants was not said by him.
Fayemi was reported by an online media (Not The PUNCH) to have said that there is no room for presidential aspirants above 60 years of age as Nigeria moves closer to the 2023 presidential election.
Oyebode, who issued a disclaimer on social media, said the statement was made an aide to the Governor, Makinde Araoye, who was speaking in his own capacity.
According to a statement issued by Oyebode on Friday, Araoye’s view is in conflict with Fayemi’s well-known position on political participation.
The statement read, “The attention of the Governor of Ekiti State and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Dr. Kayode Fayemi has been drawn to a news report which is also being circulated across social media with the headline “No Room for Presidential Aspirant above 60 years- Fayemi” and other variants.
“An aide of the Governor, Mr. Makinde Araoye, was reported to have made the statement during a National Youth Summit and Conference organised by the Nigerian Youth Congress (NYC) in Abuja on Thursday. Mr. Araoye spoke in his personal capacity at the event, hence the purported statement is at best his personal views and not representative of Governor Fayemi’s position.
“As a matter of fact, the view is in conflict with Governor Fayemi’s well-known position on political participation. He is one of the leaders of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), that is not fixated on the zoning of presidential and other elective positions.
“Dr. Fayemi is on record to have stated repeatedly and unequivocally that nobody should be discriminated against by virtue of age, where they come from, religious affiliation or cultural background. He believes the electorate, rather than any artificial impediment, should determine who gets their mandate as President, Governor or other elective positions.
“Therefore, Mr. Araoye, who at the onset of his presentation at the event clarified that he was speaking in his personal capacity, couldn’t be speaking the mind of Governor Fayemi.
“Accordingly, members of the public are hereby urged to disregard the statement which was inadvertently credited to Governor Fayemi. Dr. Fayemi, as a leader and public office holder, believes in fairness and equity. He is a firm believer in constitutionalism and constitutional provisions regarding elections and aspiration to public offices in the country.
“Above all, Dr. Fayemi does not believe that age is necessarily a factor for performance in public office, and as a leader, he comports himself in a manner befitting the office he holds and does not engage in frivolous and divisive talk.”