FREEPRESS – Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State on Wednesday declared his intention to run for the presidency in the 2019 presidential election, claiming that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has failed Nigerians.
Addressing a pro-Fayose rally to signal his continuity agenda in the governorship election due in the state by next year, he declared that the Peoples Democractic Party, PDP, will take over the Aso Rock Presidential Villa from the All Progressives Congress, APC, in 2019.
Fayose started the rally from his campaign office named Oshoko political institute right inside the Government House. He was joined by artisans, civil servants, Okada riders, drivers, mechanics, market women, students, youths, old and young and even the crippled and others with several disabilities in marching through Ado-Ekiti, the capital.
The grassroots mobilisation, tagged: Oshoko Mass Movement, OMM, had began a mass recruitment of 10,000 Ekiti people from each of the the 15 local government areas of the state.
A standby music band which was part of the rally provided melodious songs in appreciation to the public as the crowd marched through the city.
The governor explained: “We are holding this rally to show the opposition that the people of Ekiti are on our side. The era of rigging and money bag politics is gone. We have defeated them in June 2014 but they said it was the military that won the election
“The seat of power in Aso-Rock, will change from APC to PDP in 2019. Today we are celebrating the victory of light over darkness in June 21, 2014. On that day, the power of the people prevails over those of them in power. You spoke in one voice and had me elected to turn around your fortunes. Today, you are living witnesses to the difference in our government.”
Taking a critical swipe at the Buhari-led administration of the APC, he described the Federal Government as anti-Ekiti, accusing it of budgeting no project for the state in the 2017 appropriation law.
He asserted that the people of the state will revolt against the APC during the 2018 governorship poll because of its poor performance in government and ruling party’s insensitivity to the plights of Ekiti populace.
Fayose also accused the government of sweeping the panel set up to try many of the APC’s cronies, under the carpet. He was specifically referring to the one constituted to probe the suspended Secretary to the Federal Government, Mr Babachir David Lawal over allegation of mult-imillion contract relating to the welfare of the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in the Northeast.
His words, “Today, I am here to appreciate all of you and remind you that they said that the 16-0 of 2014 of was photochromic and later militarized election. This time, they are the owners of INEC, Army, Police, Civil Defense, DSS and others; we should make it expressly clear that despite these machineries in their hands, we can defeat them like we did in 2014, if not more.”
He assured that he will leave no stone unturned in making Ekiti a better place for all, adding that; “Also, by the grace of God, I will not leave this state a debtor of salary.”
The governor urged Nigerians as well as the international community to pay greater attention to Ekiti State in regard to activities before, during and after the 2018 governorship election, saying; “The 2018 election in Ekiti is one election that everyone should be interested. The whole world should monitor events before, during and after the election and let whoever that will win the election win in a free and fair atmosphere.”
He said; “Currently, I am in court to seek redress for the coup-de-tat of 2006 by the declaration of State of Emergency by the civilian junta of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. It is my belief that the court that granted me the relief that the impeachment was a nullity will equally restore justice by establishing the fact that I deserve another tenure.
“Nevertheless, whether the continuity is by Ayo Fayose or any member of his political family, it is still continuity, which I have asked you to support.”
Continuing with his berating of the APC, Fayose said: “Those who trade in lies and propaganda daily are in control of the federal government and as at today, is there anything that they have done for us here in Ekiti? The answer is No!
“We have a representative in the federal executive council and we have someone who is working with the Acting President. But they are self-seekers who do not believe in the Ekiti project. They were the people, who during their four years reign here plunged our state into debt and destroyed the economy of the State. They made our State to be indebted till year 2036 by their maladministration.
“Two Years in office, they cannot point to a single benefit derived from their government by Ekiti State.
“We are therefore saying never again to these looters, financial devourers and enemies of our State who only believe in themselves and not in the progress of our State.”
He said Nigerians should note that since he took over the mantle of leadership of Ekiti state, no politically motivated attack or violence had been witnessed and no life had been lost to political violence in Ekiti state.
According to him, “I wish to state that as we approach the 2018 election, this continuity that seeks will not be at the expense of the blood of any Ekiti person.
“If I have my way, I will call for an election today for Nigerians and the international community to see that anytime, any day, APC will be roundly defeated here,” he said further.”
Going down memory lane, the governor said; “Today marks the third year anniversary as my election. You will recall that I was recalled by what can be likened to a civilian coup-de-tat on October 16, 2006. But on this day, June 21, 2014, you overwhelmingly re-elected me as your governor.
“Despite the fact the incumbent governor then, Dr Kayode Fayemi accepted defeat and congratulated me for winning the election, he later reneged, having been prevailed upon and deceived by a few who obviously could not comprehend their loss of power in the State.
“However, the sacred mandate of the people of Ekiti could not be snatched in spite of the strategy of the wicked who attempted what has never been done in the political history of Nigeria by trying to prevent me from being sworn-in.
“To the glory of God, I was sworn-in and again, in their dubious manner, they attempted to take the mandate through the backdoor by plotting my impeachment even when I had not spent one month in office.
“I thank Ekiti people for resisting another civilian coup in the State even at the risk of their lives.
“Today, despite the way and manner they wrecked the economy of the State; we have been able to chart a new path for the development of our state. This can be seen in the physical developments witnessed in the State since we assumed office.
“Ekiti people can all see the flyover bridge ongoing in Ado-Ekiti, the dualised Awedele-Basiri road, Onala-Opopogbooro-Afao road, the dualised roads in most of the Local Government areas, the ongoing OjaOba Market in Ado Ekiti, the ongoing Adebayo-Ori Apata-Nova road, the Ado-Ikere road, most federal roads that have been rehabilitated especially the Ita Awure-Erio-Aramoko-Igede-Iyin-Ado road and the transformation of the Ewi’s palace among others.
“Today, Ekiti State has regained its lost glory in Education by coming first in the NECO.
“We want to assure you that we will leave no stone unturned to make Ekiti a better place for all. Also, by the grace of God, I will not leave this state a debtor of salary.
“They thought by now that this government would have failed. But by your support, we have gotten this far, by His grace.
“I want to appeal to all of you to take a cue from what is happening in a number state where they have made succession possible, which has translated to meaningful developments.
“If you recalled, I told you that I will come back despite the circumstances of my removal then. With your support, I returned to office, making me the first Ekiti person to win election as governor and defeat incumbents twice.
“Like I said to you, if we all stay together, in another four years after my tenure; we will make Ekiti better than it is now.”
Fayose ended his remark by calling for a restructuring of the country, stressing that; “No peace without justice and the agitation across the country will continue unless there is justice, equity and fairness.”