Ekiti State governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, on Sunday met with select journalists on the state of the nation. Segun James, who was present at the briefing, writes that the South-west governor is leaving no stone unturned in his opposition to the President Muhammadu Buhari administration(PDP), Dr. Tope Aluko, seemed to have put the past behind them. This is as the two held a peace talk to end their feud of over a year
Nobody divides opinion in the present Nigerian polity like Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State. The tempestuous governor is a media delight any day or put more precisely, Fayose is bound to generate controversy that could shake the nation for weeks. And so, Fayose and his estranged ally, the state secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Tope Aluko, seemed to have put the past behind them. This is as the two held a peace talk to end their feud of over a year.
Fayose, who is deeply patriotic about issues relating to the country had early spoken on various national issues, and as expected, took the federal government to the cleaners on governance and the unending travels of President Muhammadu Buhari around the world.
Moving away from this, Fayose quickly addressed the purported Ali Modu Sheriff/Ayo Fayose 2019 joint presidential ticket, which appears to be trending and causing some uproar in some quarters.
“It is interesting when people make this kind of projection. That they were projecting you for presidency shows you are relevant. That you are doing well for whatever it is worth. But this is only an act to discredit my stance on governance and politics in Nigeria. The second time opportunity given me by the Ekiti people is like that of a man, who has something in his mouth that he is chewing and he is still looking inside the pot of soup. I am not a character like that.
“Anybody flying the kite of Ali Modu Sheriff and Fayose is a deceit of the highest order. Let me make it clear, even the senate, I am not going. I am not going to contest for the senate. Besides, nobody contests for the position of the vice-president anyway, and in the event that Ali Modu Sheriff wants to contest for president in 2019, I Fayose will not support him.
“I am a man known for my words. My reason is this, you can’t be striving to be the national chairman and in the middle of the game you change the goal post. That cannot be possible. So if Sheriff wants to contest for the post of President of Nigeria, I will not and I will never support him. We must operate with principle.
“This is orchestrated to give people the impression that I have the ambition and that is why I am doing all these. No, it is beyond that. I am the most senior governor in Nigeria today. I served under Obasanjo, served under Jonathan and now under Buhari, they have to tackle me. I still have more than two and a half years in the saddle as governor of Ekiti State before this purported dream to become vice-president. Please tell them that they should not arrange me. Time will sort all things out. Who knows who will be available or alive in 2019? It is an exercise in futility,” he said.
Surprisingly, Fayose has the best of regards for former Lagos State governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and this much he said at the session.
“I was the first to criticise the president. But forget about party politics, Tinubu is a leader in Yorubaland, a leader in Nigeria. Call it whatever you like, he is a man you cannot wish away. If Tinubu will now write officially to complain about the fuel situation, then you know there is danger ahead.
“As I speak, the economy of Nigeria is in comatose. We are in serious trouble. If Tinubu can criticise Kachikwu, you know it is not Kachikwu he is criticising but the president. After all, the president is the minister for petroleum and Kachikwu cannot do anything beyond the president.
“I was happy when the president was praising Asiwaju Tinubu during his birthday because he had taken the man for granted in the past. I know that the man would have dealt with him. Thank God people like us are talking and he knows the consequence. That is why he panicked and started praising him that he is the hero of democracy. Did he just know that? When they were flying him from one state to the other and when he came to Lagos to meet a massive crowd of people welcoming him, did he realise that?
On Goodluck Jonathan, he said “Although Jonathan conducted an election that consumed him, he is a rare human being. He is a model. He is like the man, who gave up his ghost for others to live. But since he left, we have had cases of rerun inside rerun and inconclusive elections inside inconclusive elections.
“I was the first to criticise the INEC chairman because he is the president’s friend. Even if you want to put your friend in such position, it should not be anyone known to be so close to you,” he said.
Fayose however left his most fervent criticism for the president. Hear him: “People projecting Buhari for 2019 should stop. Buhari does not have the capacity now and he will not have it in seven years’ time to govern this country. Nigerians will not vote for an octogenarian anymore.
“When a president governs a nation, he must have ability. He must be mentally alert and must have what it takes. But currently as it stands, the president is challenged by age, challenged by exposure and he is challenged by his inability to coordinate Nigerians because of his age. It is not his fault that he has contested four times, but unfortunately, he has been overtaken by time.
“When you look at the rate the president travels out of the country, you see that the president wants to catch and have a gleam of everything before time catches up with him. When someone feels that I have been denied of this opportunity that is when you find situation like this.
“I remember when the president was campaigning and contesting, he said what does the president need a fleet of nine presidential aircraft for? One expects that he would have sold them by now, but he is now enjoying it. The first lady is now enjoying it. The vice president is now enjoying it.
“Like I said I am the longest serving Nigerian governor. I have experience, so, I know what most governors don’t know. This thing is not about grammar; they are earned. You cannot speak body language to the body of a dictator. I have served with people who are vindictive, people who are average, who are calm and we are still serving in this one, where we have found ourselves.
“As it is now, our president cannot rule with the constitution. He must rule by decree because he wants everybody to go to jail without due process. The current president is a dictator but we will not allow him. A government that does not allow room for opposition will destroy the country over time. We want a Nigeria that we will all have voice. That is why I am surprises when some people say Buhari 2019. That is criminal.
“How do we face another seven years without fuel, light and water? I am surprised that people are still asking for that kind of change. The president left his own people looking for ordinary light to be looking for nuclear energy. Who do they want to kill? We don’t need any nuclear energy. The president should stay home to govern and find solution to our problems,” he said.