Governor, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State has denied reports suggesting that he is unwanted at the Aso Villa after his Tuesday visit.
He also accused the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Babafemi Ojudu, of being behind the report, an allegation Mr Ojudu strongly denies.
Earlier on Wednesday, some media platforms, especially The Nation, reported that the governor was denied access to President Muhammadu Buhari when he visited with the controversial ‘acting Chairman’ of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Victor Gaidom.
The reports linked the development to the leadership crisis that has thrown the ruling APC into disarray.
But reacting to the reports Wednesday, the Chief Press Secretary to Mr Fayemi, Yinka Oyebode, stated that Governor Fayemi had no plan nor reason to see President Buhari on Tuesday afternoon.
“The Governor, had earlier seen Mr President at noon in company of three of his colleagues – Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Governor Simon Lalong (Plateau) and Governor Badaru Abubakar (Jigawa). Also present at that meeting were the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari and Honourable Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami,” Mr Oyebode said.
“Governor Fayemi was in the villa later in the afternoon to see the COS and State Chief of Protocol (SCOP). ”
He added that Mr Fayemi was never denied opportunity to see President Buhari as he did not ask to see the President and neither did he go with Mr Giadom.
The statement then accused Mr Ojudu of being behind the report.
“The falsehood, we gathered reliably, was fabricated by a senior aide of the Presidency and a former Senator, Babafemi Ojudu, and planted in The Nation Newspaper, after it was rejected by some State House Correspondents, who rebuffed the former Senator for the misleading and malicious story,” Mr Oyebode continued.
“It is on record that Senator Ojudu, in his desperate bid to rubbish Governor Fayemi, had told his close associates that he would battle Governor Fayemi, who is also the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) with falsehood and cheap blackmail in his nefarious attempt to destabilize APC in Ekiti State.”
Mr Ojudu denied the allegation when contacted by PREMIUM TIMES.
“I knew nothing about his visit to the villa and the report in the newspapers until my attention was called to it,” Mr Ojudu said. “I was shocked to be drawn into a matter I know nothing about.
“It is true that we have some disagreement over Ekiti politics. But it is unfair of him to peddle falsehood against me.”
Messrs Fayemi and Ojudu have been at loggerheads since 2018, this paper reliably gathered.
The rift between the former political allies started during the March 26, 2018 governorship where Mr Fayemi emerged as the APC candidate.
Mr Fayemi, who was Minister of Mines and Steel Development then, joined the contest few weeks to the party’s primary and altered the political permutations. This did not go well with Mr Ojudu.
The strained relationship with the governor has however pitched Mr Ojudu against some stakeholders in the party, including some party executives in his local government, Ado-Ekiti.
Recall that the presidential aide’s house in Ado-Ekiti was reportedly invaded by some party members on Monday.
Although Mr Ojudu said it was an attack, party sources on the side of Mr Fayemi told PREMIUM TIMES that the persons involved were ward executives who angrily returned some foodstuffs Mr Ojudu donated to them in March.
The state Commissioner of Police, Amba Asuquo, told our correspondent that he was not aware of any attack on Mr Ojudu’s residence.