I won’t join ruling party, Fayose insists
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, has told his Ekiti State counterpart, Governor Ayodele Fayose, to jettison any thought of joining the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) since the party is not in the mood to accommodate his likes in its fold, at least for now.
Fayose who is one of the most virulent critics of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, had said that he may be forced to use another platform to prosecute his succession battle during the 2018 governorship poll, to avoid the crisis in his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
However, Fayose, yesterday clarified his intention to seek another political platform, stressing that under no circumstance would he join the APC.
“We are still studying the situation. We have to play the game left, right and centre and whoever we are going to use and the platform, you will all be part of the process because party politics is about the people,” Fayose said.
Meanwhile, Lalong advised Fayose not to think of defecting to APC as the party is currently making sweeping gains in the South-west without him.
The Plateau governor advised his Ekiti counterpart to remain with the PDP until the APC completes its victory run in the state in 2018.
Apparently responding to Governor Fayose who made headlines that he may be dumping his party, the PDP, Lalong said he was eagerly waiting for the elections to come up in the state, promising that the APC will replicate the successes the party recorded in Edo and Ondo States.
Lalong said: “the one I am waiting for is Ekiti. I understand that after Ondo, the man has been saying he wants to come to APC, we are saying he should remain in PDP till after the election.
“We just came back from Ondo and we were again recruited yesterday to go to Rivers again and conduct another election. Our own is to ask for your usual and continued support.
“Before now, some people were looking down on APC, but now people with ambitions for 2019 are withdrawing from the PDP and coming to the APC. We are going to Rivers State and we will win the elections there. After there, we are moving to Anambra and that one is a done deal,” he said.
Lalong used the opportunity to debunk reports that governors from the zone are planning to defect to a new mega party, stressing that the North-central was the only Zone that elected APC in all the states, saying that the zone deserves a larger chunk of Presidential appointments in appreciation of the commitment of the zone.
“As far as I know, if there is any zone that is supposed to serve as a model in this movement, it is the North Central. We should get the highest percentage that should go to any zone with the highest vote.
“We shall remain very faithful to the APC. I hear some people saying that there are plans to form a mega party but I want to state that for the North Central governors, no body is thinking of any mega party. If they come to you, tell them that you are for APC,” he added.
Explaining his intentions, Fayose said he remains constant and unshaken with the PDP, the platform he had used to win the governorship polls twice but noted that he may not use PDP platform to present a candidate for the 2018 poll.
Fayose’s comment might be informed by the polarization of the party into Ahmed Makarfi and Ali Modu Sheriff’s factions, which led to the abysmal performance of the party’s candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, in the just concluded governorship poll in Ondo State.
Speaking at the palace of Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe, while being conferred with the honour of ‘Outstanding Achiever of Our Time’ by Ado Progressive Union, Fayose said he will never dump the PDP for APC under any guise. “I will never dump PDP for APC. I remain strong and unshaken for the PDP. I can’t jump the boat, even if I want to jump, I won’t jump into the red sea.
“Why should I leave the PDP and join a party of hunger like APC? Ekiti is different from Ondo. By the grace of God, there will be a repeat of history here in 2018, I shall repeat the 16-0 that I gave them in 2014.
“I operate like the biblical Elisha because those with us are greater than theirs. The God of Israel that conquered Philistines shall be on our side,” he said.