Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi, who resigned as a cabinet member to focus on the Ekiti governorship election Wednesday described himself as an unrepentant Buhari boy.
Fayemi, specially thanked Buhari for not rejecting his plan to return “to rescue Ekiti”, and declared that he had no apologies for being labelled a “Buhari boy” by some politicians and the media.
Fayemi made the statement at the FEC during a valedictory session held for him, describing himself as an accidental miner.
He said he was a novice in the sector when he was appointed over three years ago, but has acquired so much experience along the line and improved the sector in Nigeria that he could qualify for a certificate in geology.
The former Minister assured his colleagues that if he gets elected, Ekiti’s gain will not be a national loss because it would be another opportunity to expand his service to the fatherland.
“Goodbye, we will come for the inauguration,” Buhari told Fayemi as he shakes his hand to bid him farewell.
“I hope you will get the Ekiti back for the party. The only time I saw the INEC chair was to insist that voters Education should be emphasized, so that ordinary Nigerians will believe that Nigeria is beginning to respect them and that their PVC is their status. And then couple with the card readers, God willing we are here with the help of technology. Because, previous elections and I am in the position to say so having lost three times and got to Supreme Court, I know if not for technology, we will be doing the same thing. A lot of constituencies were bought, votes were allocated and results were announced and people were told to go to court if they don’t agree with it. Now, for someone who is looking for the next meal, how is he going to get the money to give to SAN, to demand for justice for his marginalization.
“I very reluctantly allowed Fayemi to go to his state because of his constructive contributions. As I sat here, I watched every minister that spoke and about his contributions, this revealed not only intellect but when he is given the necessary time to contribute to important memoranda, he made contributions. Which shows commitment to the progressive of this government and the country.
“By chance he was given the portfolio of solid minerals and steel development and you know that sector was virtually abandoned. During the colonial days, they took what they wanted from us – tin, columbite and the rest were the priorities until they struck oil somewhere, it was simply priority of investment shifted offshore.
“When he went in, he began to deal with both Nigerians and foreigners that are exploiting the lack of commitment of those who are responsible of that sector before he went there. If you recall the number of children and women that suffered from the effect of mining in Zamfara State and other parts of the country and the people responsible, knowing that Nigeria will dump as decently as possible.
“He only briefed me occasionally but he was packing them out of the country, with the cooperation of some his colleagues he will come here and let me know.
“So, we certainly wish you the best of luck but it will take me sometimes to get a substantive minister and more so with the 2019 prospects that I have already indicated. But we need a very very strong minister, strong in intellect and courage, so as to make sure that both the Nigerian and foreign collaborators of taking away our resources can be checked effectively.”