Buhari is not God, so I must criticize him—–Fayose

Gov Fayose
Gov Fayose

The Ekiti State House of Assembly declared him as a leader of the opposition. Journalists who were present at the declaration later stormed the governor’s residence in Afao Ekiti for his comment on the declaration. Excerpts…

There are views being expressed in certain quarters that your  emergence as the lone voice for the opposition in the country is in preparation for a bigger post, maybe president or vice president of the country in the future

Cuts-in, which country?

What’s your reaction to this?

I am not interested in anything, even this one, this one that I am serving, it is the will of God for me, there is nothing to vie for, Yoruba is not by morals, by morals, it can’t be the turn of
Yoruba if truly we are into rotation and for me, am not vying for anything, am not equally going to the senate. Senate is what most governors will rush to, am not going. I won’t contest for senate. So anybody expressing anything for me maybe it is preparation of one
thing or the other, that person is wasting his time because am not going to beg for any office.

I have gotten to this position because God wants me there and am not going to be part of any promotion to position me. No. I still have three  years ahead of me, who knows what will happen in three year’s time? Who knows what will happen in two year’s time? Who knows where Nigeria in itself would be? So we should all strive for the survival of this country first and forget about positioning yourself. Great leaders don’t talk about their political placement; they talk about country’s placement, where the country would be at the appropriate time. But on the issue of what I stand for and what I say, I have no apologies and  with all due respect, I have been like this from time immemorial and I  have no apologies because this country belongs to all of us. This weekend I will be 55, a lot of people died when they were 10 years old, some died when they were 20, some when they were 30, 40 but am 55, if I die today my children will still entertain guests at my burial, you understand, they will equally leverage on my achievements for consolation, so if at 55, Eemm, Eemm, Gowon was president of this country at 28 or 29, Obasanjo was president of Nigeria at 37, today am
still battling with the office of a governor and those people we are  talking about are still talking in the public after being 80 or 90 years of age.

So for me at 55, this is the only time I can help Nigeria, we are in  opposition, am I supposed to be celebrating the government in power? For what? I will tell them the truth. Opposition helps government of the day, helps Nigerians, to keep them on track, opposition helps to
check dictatorship, opposition helps to check oppression, my being here as governor, my voice today will remain by the grace of God, am  not like somebody going underground, for reasons of harassment, it is only shameful that the government of the day is after shadows, you want to be in power, you are in power, you have charged virtually all PDP governors to court, are we saying no APC governor is corrupt in this country? But for me am not going into that, am not going to descend into that arena.

For everything I say, I say it in good conscience, when I was  criticising the president before he became president of Nigeria, they thought I will be quiet after, Noo. Tomorrow if I find him wanting, I will tell him. The president is not God, he’s only leader of our  country for a period of time. The likes of Obasanjo were looming larger than life at that time, where are they now? They are at Ota, they are begging for relevance now, they go to the villa every day to
beg for ministerial nominees. I was watching him in the papers,  whether he was prostrating for Buhari or he was exchanging compliments  I don’t know. I can’t explain it. At certain times, you must know when to switch off, you must know when to turn off and you must know when to go to bed.

For me, whether they call me leader of opposition or not leader of  opposition or call me Ayo Fayose, am not even chairman of PDP governors’ forum and am not desperate for anything but you can’t take away my voice. You can throw away my word but you can’t throw me away. I remain resolute; I stand by the common man of this country. Tomorrow, Nigerians will appreciate me, it is in turbulent times we know the strength of character of a man, in turbulent times like this,  and it is shame on PDP leaders decamping because of relevance. They should keep their relevance, whatever we do will live after us, good or bad.

We as journalists nurse a silent voice, talking to you in Afao  while whole battalions of PDP are in Abuja, we are worried, is there a moral behind it?

Moral behind what?

Why are you not in Abuja?

The whole state, the executive, Exco, they are in Abuja, am  here for reasons I have to attend to, again this weekend is my birthday, secondly am expecting a lot of visitors tomorrow and above it all I am putting three days before my birthday for prayers and this I
have made up my mind I want to do before this birthday, so what is  important is not being in Abuja, we can’t all be there, the impact, the role I have played without those public gathering has made greater  impact even more than that gathering with all due respect to them.

I appreciate what they are doing and I am in support. I am in support of what they are doing and I am in tune with them. So my state chairman  is there and other leaders of the party are there in Abuja, so my  being here is that I am observing three days wait on God, prayers here in my home town ahead of my birthday, that’s all.

The House of Assembly,  passed a vote of confidence on you as a governor of the state, what’s your reaction as regards what they have done?

You see, like I have said to you, every position you take in life remains your opinion, if that’s their opinion about me, I appreciate it and that’s who I am. I have no apologies, it’s like I
said that to you, Nigeria belongs to all of us, whatever we need to  
say we have to say, am in opposition, am not in the ruling party and  my duty is to keep the government in focus, in check. Make sure they  don’t slide into dictatorship, and above it all, whether you call me
leader of opposition or you don’t call me leader of opposition, my words will continue and will continue to be for the good and benefit of average Nigerians that can’t come to the press like this. So,  whether they call me leader of opposition or they don’t call me leader  of opposition, I am not bothered but I appreciate that, I appreciate  them and I thank them for giving me such recognition and that goes to  show that the whole state, the House of Assembly representing the 26 constituencies by extension the whole state is behind me. They support  every action that I have been taking. I will continue to take, that is what they are trying to tell you and that they should look back that  Fayose is solid at home, that’s the meaning.


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