Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State has accused Babafemi Ojudu, Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on political matters, of sponsoring a fabricated report to blackmail him.

The Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) in a statement on Wednesday, June 24, 2020, said Ojodu had vowed to rubbish his image with falsehood and cheap blackmail.

Fayemi issued this statement to react to a report in a national newspaper that he visited President Buhari to convince the president to support Victor Giadom, who has been laying claim to being the acting National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress.

The report, in which Fayemi was described as one of anti-Oshiomhole forces also stated that the governor wanted Giadom to see Buhari get endorsement for the emergency National Executive Council (NEC) he summoned, but the duo could not see the president.

Shortly after the report was published on Wednesday, President Buhari announced his support for Giadom, saying he’s the authentic head of the ruling party.

President Muhammadu Buhari announced his support for Victor Giadom on Wednesday, June 24, 2020. [Presidency] President Muhammadu Buhari announced his support for Victor Giadom on Wednesday, June 24, 2020. [Presidency]

Reacting to the report allegedly sponsored by Ojodu, Fayemi’s spokesperson, Yinka Oyebode urged Nigerians to disregard it, saying it is a misleading publication.

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Oyebode said Fayemi had no plan nor reason to see Mr. President as ‘maliciously’ presented in the report.

The statement reads, “The attention of the general public is being drawn to a misleading publication with the headline ‘Fayemi’s failed mission to Villa with Giadom’, published in the online edition of the Nation Newspaper on Wednesday, June 24th, 2020.

“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.

“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.

“For the purpose of clarity, it is important to state that the Nation’s report was clearly a misleading one designed to cast aspersion on the person of Governor Fayemi and create an impression that the NGF Chairman is an unwanted visitor at the Villa. The largely unsubstantiated report was filled with bile, childish and unexplainable fury that signified nothing, just like a tale fit only for the tabloids.

“In setting the record straight, we hereby state unequivocally that Governor Fayemi had no plan nor reason to see Mr. President on Tuesday late afternoon as maliciously presented in the Nation’s report. The Governor had earlier seen Mr. President at noon in the 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 was the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, and Honourable Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

“Governor Fayemi was in the villa later in the afternoon to see the COS and State Chief of Protocol (SCOP). The Ekiti State Governor was never denied any opportunity to see President Buhari as he did not ask to see the President and neither did he go with Chief Giadom.

“Governor Fayemi’s position on the APC crisis has been to consistently subsume his views in the position of the Progressives Governors Forum as expressed by the Chairman. He has not spoken on the party crisis in any public forum but continues to urge all members and lovers of the party to exercise restraint and support the leader of the party, President Muhammadu Buhari and other leaders desirous of resolution to give peace a chance.”