Ayo Fayose, governor of Ekiti state, says former president Goodluck Jonathan should not have participated in the 2015 presidential election…adding that the coast is getting cleared for PDP victory in 2019 due to Buhari’s failure.
Though Fayose was one of the main supporters of the ex-president in the build up to the election, the governor said those who sang to Jonathan to run did not allow him get back home, after the defeat, before saying they had retired from politics.
He said the elders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) must take the back seat for condemning the party to a presidential loss in 2015.
He was speaking on Politics Today, a programme on Channels TV.
“I am an ardent supporter of former President Goodluck Jonathan, I love him, I would continue to defend his cause, I would continue to stand up for him, because he did well,” he said.
“In my opinion, the only thing Jonathan did that I keep saying, that I hardly want to say, is that if I were him I wouldn’t have contested.
“The people that went to tell Jonathan, that convinced him to run, making him to understand that at 58, when he would be done, how would a young man be 58 and say I’m done with presidency, they were the first set of people who said we have retired from politics.
“They didn’t even allow him to get home, before they said that. All leaders are coming out today to say they want to rebuild. Rebuild what? What you destroyed? You don’t have capacity to do it.”
OKUPE, GEORGE WANT TO BE PDP CHAIR
“Chief Bode George is interested in the chairmanship of the party. I have a lot of respect for Chief Bode George, he’s our leader. But when we come to the nitty gritty, we must find out the motive.
“Chief Bode George told me personally that he wanted to be chairman of the party. I told him no, ‘I won’t support you’. With all due respect to the elderly people in this party; they must take the back stage. People are tired of seeing the same old faces.
“I have been hearing Ahmadu Ali since 1976, when we sang Ali must go. Chief Bode George was governor of Ondo state almost 40 years ago. They are our leaders, we love them, but they should take the back stage.”
For Doyin Okupe, who served Jonathan as senior special assistant on public affairs, Fayose said he has nothing to tell Nigerians about “rebranding or rebuilding” since he lost with the former president.
He said he wanted Bode Olajumoke to contest for the chairmanship of the opposition party, but he declined.
SHERIFF FOR PRESIDENT? WILL HE STEAL IT?
When asked if he would support Sheriff for president, Fayose said: “I take exception to that. How would he come out and say he wants to be president? Where? Don’t ask me questions based on packaging of opposition saying Fayose wants to be vice president.
“If I want to be vice president of Nigeria, I would show interest legitimately. I’m a young man, it’s quite deserving, even people mentioning my name gladdens my heart.
“But let me tell you if Ali Modu Sheriff comes out to do anything on the contrary, in boldness, I will come out and talk against him. I’m a very blunt person. Sheriff should follow our rules.
“Then you’re talking of presidency, would he go and steal it? You want to be the referee; you want to change goal post? No, it’s not going to work. Expressly, I would not be part of anything. How would it do it?
“Mentioning my name that I want to be vice president is cheap blackmail.”
When asked further if he is serious about not being vice-president, he replied: “If an opportunity comes, I won’t run away o.
“You don’t contest for the office of the vice president, you’re chosen. You don’t show interest for it, my deputy didn’t show me interest, I picked him. Atiku didn’t contest, Obasanjo picked him.
PDP WILL WIN IN 2019 BECAUSE OF ‘APC’S FAILURE’
“Let me explain something to you; it is not what the opposition did before 2015, that made them win, it is what the party in power failed to do.
“When the party in government fails to provide fuel; queues are back, trimming their promises. The exchange, average men can no longer do things, businesses are dead. You can’t import anymore.
“You can’t pay fees of your children, light is becoming unbearable, herdsmen are killing people on a daily basis. Things are not working for Nigerians now. We are at the lowest ebb of our lives.
“I was a young man of 24 when Buhari was head of state, the same attitude between 1984 and 1985 is what is happening today. The reason why they took government from him at that time is still playing out today.”
He lauded Buhari for his fight against insurgency, but said the insurgents are now being replaced by herdsmen.
He also advised governors not to borrow a debt that they would not offset before leaving office.
He said he is owing four month salaries because of loans which Kayode Fayemi, his predecessor, took.
“At the economic summit that we went to do, it would amaze you that some governors who ran their state aground are principal lecturers there,” he said.
“What do you want people like us to say? I’m owing four-month salaries. The last month allocation I got, I got N817 million. In the last six months, I have gotten allocation between 1.3, 1.2, 1.1, N1 billion, and this one I got N817 million.
“My wage bill is N2.6 billion. I would have been able to pay, and this is without indicting anybody, they are deducting about N1.5 billion from my allocation every month as a result of debts owed by my predecessor.
“It would remain there until year 2036. I left Ekiti as governor with N10.4 billion, I joined to recapitalise Wema (Bank), as Ekiti had shares in Wema. All those were sold out, nothing left and I came back to meet debts.
“One of the steps forward is that governors should not borrow beyond their tenure, otherwise most of their successors will have issues.”