Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose has said Former President Goodluck Jonathan should not have contested the last presidential election describing it as a ‘miscalculation’ but he however inisted that he stand with Jonathan. He was speaking with Premium Times;
“You see, time will take care of that. In the first place, we lost the election because we did not pick our candidate from the north, not because Jonathan as a person was bad. It was just a political miscalculation. The fact is that my former president, I chose my word, my former president, Goodluck Jonathan, tried his best. But if I were him, I would not have contested at all, you understand. Because it is two ways: if he did not contest and the PDP lost out, he will still be an honourable man, and if he had given that opportunity to the north, those who defected from the PDP would not have defected. But that is story. Jonathan did his best and I will still continue to support him. You know I was not there when they took the decision about him becoming the flag-bearer, but it doesn’t matter. We can’t all put our mouth inside the soil. Somebody must remain with somebody. I will remain with Jonathan even if I am the only man standing. A man is not measured by the amount of food you have and the amount of properties you own. Sometimes sickness is good, it reshapes your life. Sometimes poverty is good, it helps your life. Sometimes failure makes you to reorder your life. It is not the end of your life.”
On his relationship with ex-Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, Fayose said;
“I say it as it is. The military in Nigeria should subject themselves to democratic rules. When Obasanjo was there he was behaving the same way Buhari is behaving today. It was under Obasanjo that the EFCC would lock people up because the president has power to order arrest, because the president appoints the IGP, the DG of SSS and others. He has power of coercion. The fact remains that the constitution allows me the right even in the face of accusation to enjoy my liberty. Obasanjo is not a democrat. Today, former Governor (Bola) Tinubu of Lagos would recall what Obasanjo did. It doesn’t matter what our political alignments are today, history cannot be taken away. So my position has not changed and it will never change.
“…let me ask you a question. When Obasanjo was there for eight years, Buhari didn’t go there? Everyday Obasanjo goes to kiss the ground in Aso Rock. Everyday Obasanjo has something to go and tell him there. There are some places elders would have a bit of shame. They would know that sometimes we should not go to this place. Even if you look at the pictures taken of his visit you see him bending down. When he was in government he was busy abusing this Buhari. Obasanjo was busy insulting Awolowo. One of the things Obasanjo wants to lay claim to in life is that he is the longest serving Nigerian president. When you add his military rule to his civilian regime, you understand. So, Obasanjo doesn’t like anybody to excel or exceed his record. That’s the truth. Obasanjo, who now seems to be the father of gangsterism or whatever he seems to be today, is the same man that we used to talk about every other day. Today he is there. The most painful aspect of it is for Obasanjo to be coming out and be claiming he is a very honest man. Where did he get the money that was given to the National Assembly that time? Where did he get the money? Each senator and member of the House of Representatives collected N50 million each. How about that $2billion Halliburton money? They jailed some people in America because of Halliburton. Obasanjo knows everything about Halliburton. Let us put Halliburton to trial and see what happens. That is why I told you that this fight must not be selective. If truly we want to fight corruption, let us fight corruption head on. And the fact remains that men will judge, God will judge again.
“…let Obasanjo declare his assets. Let us go to Obasanjo’s declaration when he came in 1999 and his declaration in 2007. Who is fooling who? Buhari now declared mud house and herds of cattle. When he is going now he will go and build one house in Daura with salary. That time the mud house will now become ancient mud houses. The cattle will now become limo Mercedes bullet proof. I beg my brother! Those people who are stealing cow, should stop fighting people stealing rats.”
On Crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP;
“Let me explain something to you. When you have an accident, God forbid, you don’t gather momentum immediately. Life is physical, it is normal. What the PDP is going through now is a deliberate effort to destabilize the opposition by the APC and we know that. These are issues for time. Not even more of what the opposition is doing, but the implosion of the party that is the problem. The PDP is a situation that calls for major repairs and correction, but the fact remains that it is just about seven months ago and from all indications the federal government-led APC is muzzling the PDP. I want to tell you that it is not enough; time will tell. If you told somebody that APC would come and take power in Nigeria so soon, you would say it is a lie. So let us keep our fingers crossed and watch Nigeria.”
On allegations by the APC that he siphoned money to Dubai;
“I will not comment. I cannot be talking to fools. When you say Fayose took N720million you must be able to say to which account. If it is by Ghana must go bag, you must show the picture of how that Ghana must go bag is being carried. If you say I am building a house in Dubai, you must show papers of ownership. Ekiti earns about the least in Nigeria, there is no money to steal here. If you tell me that I am enjoying, yes I enjoy o, I eat correct pepper soup, sometimes, once in a while, I need to drink cold Gulder, I drink Gulder. I cannot tell you lies, all those small, small enjoyment, you cannot take it from me. Because when you are feeding others, you have to feed yourself.
“Whatever little, little benefit that is supposed to come to me, my brother it is my own. But for me to take N10 or N20million from what cannot pay salaries …you see they run their mouth, they just want to say something because I am an issue for them. What is N720million? They said I took N220million to Dubai. Is it by the boot of the plane or we carried it in our luggage? What was their security doing, that they did not see us? They should be able to align …because when you launder money there must be a source and there must be a head. They have alleged I took money from the country. They should tell me where the money was taken to…
“…They say Fayose is a thief, Fayose is a thief, Fayose is fighting, Fayose is mad but each time I come I defeat them. You see, an allegation is meaningless. You must prove. Every allegation I raised against president Buhari, I raised them with facts and figures. When I was talking about fuel regulation, you cannot take the subsidy and be regulating again. Those are issues. When I say you are infringing on human rights, I give instances of people who are incarcerated and people who are involved against our constitution. When you accuse me you must bring the proofs. As I am today, they will be monitoring me. They will be checking all my accounts. If they had found something now they will put it on the table. Me too, I know that they are watching me. I know that they are very wicked people. I know the kind of character they are made of. Today I am their headache. I am careful. The wealth I don’t need I don’t ask for it. What a man has does not necessarily translate to a good end for him.”
On the report of the military inquest into the role of soldiers in the Ekiti;
“Let me explain to you. My own is that I have gone through an election. I have won an election. There is a place the law says you can ventilate your displeasure. They have gone to the lower court, the appeal court and the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has given judgment in my favour. They have become functus officio. They cannot approbate and reprobate on the matter anymore. The election matters are Suris Generics. They operate within the ambit of time. The military was represented by a lawyer and the police was represented by a lawyer. This one is an afterthought. They said during my election the military…during Jonathan’s election, how did I win? During the National Assembly election, how did I win all the seats?
“Two weeks after house of assembly election, I won everything, 26-26. Is it the military again? When the concubine of your mother is more powerful than your father, you call him daddy. You welcome him and take his bag. Let them take my bag and accept this Ekiti matter. This Bayelsa election we just finished, 14 people died, how many people died in Ekiti? If you see my prediction about Nigeria under Buhari, I said every effort to forcefully take the south-south states will result to a huge loss of lives. My brother, they should leave me alone. They should face governance. God has given me this place. No amount of powers that will take this place from me because the gift of God is without repentance. How can only me defeat three governors, Segun Oni, Adebayo and Fayemi. I defeated them and they are still complaining.”
On current economic difficulty and inability of some state sto pay salary;
“Let us be realistic, over time this economy ought to have been diversified over 20-30 years ago. The economy was not diversified. There is no miracle but we need prayers, even in 2016. Even the president says it’s going to be tough. In my state for instance, if you don’t pay salaries as you ought to pay, where will you get taxes that you want to raise? And when people don’t make money, you cannot squeeze water out of a dry cloth. You can only try your best while it lasts. It is a time of recession. I am not going to sit here and paint the picture that everything will be fine, but everything will be fine in the long run.”
Will he cut jobs or salary as the economy bites?
” I can’t cut anybody’s job. Me, Ayo Fayose, I can’t sack any worker. Immediately they started the story of retrenchment, I told them count me out. You see, when you are owing me as a worker, it is different from taking my means of livelihood. When you are owing the worker at the bad times, he will have the hope that when money comes he would be paid. But if you had sacked him, you have killed him, you have taken away his life.
” I will continue to dialogue with them.
” I won’t cut anything. I will continue to dialogue with them. You see, you can’t make decisions for the people alone. This governance we are talking about, government is not the only factor. There are other variables. When things are not going the way you expect, you must engage the people.”
On his future aspirations, will he want to be president?;
“For which country? Nigeria. Well, I don’t have such an ambition but I know I am going higher. Mark my words, I have said 20 things that will happen in Nigeria and more than seven have come to pass. Check the records.”