Wole Balogun, Ado-Ekiti
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, on Wednesday, hinted that he might reach a pact with Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, ahead of the presidential elections in 2019.
Remarks by both parties showed that they would discuss possible alliance and make this known very soon.
While fielding questions from newsmen , on Wednesday, in Ado-Ekiti, during a visit/consultation with party members on 2019, Atiku hinted that he would discuss his ambition with Governor Fayose whom he described as ‘a force to reckon with in PDP’ saying, “He (Fayose) calls the shots and when he does so, we all take the queue.”
Responding, the governor, who also described Atiku’s ambition as ‘legitimate and a welcome developmen’t, though he was expecting the former vice president to discuss his presidential ambition with him privately as other aspirants would do, he assured that in spite of his aspiration to rule the nation, party’s interest would be placed above individual aspirations.
In the words of Governor Fayose, ” He (Atiku) has not spoken to me privately about it, and maybe he would do that in our private meeting. But his body language obviously shows he has an ambition which is legitimate.
“We will all examine everybody and we will play in a level-playing ground, as he has come, others will still come. On the issue of being Vice President, like I said in the Book of Ezekiel 37: 33, the Bible says ‘God asks that can this bone live, and the Prophet answers and say ‘Thou Knoweth’. All these questions are questions for God and he has answer for them, man has no answer.
“ You may wish anything for me, but God’s wish is supreme. I deserve to serve this country as President. I have paid my due. I am not a hidden voice. I have all it takes to lead this country, but whichever way it goes, the interest of our party comes first, it is above our individual aspiration. Whoever the party finally picks as party’s candidate will be supported by others.
Atiku, who refused to comment on former President Obasanjo’s condemnation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, said that Nigerians would evaluate OBJ’s letter to the President. He also advised the electorate not to vote the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019 presidential election, because: “APC has failed this country. That party is not the solution to our country’s challenges. ”
The former vice president, who expressed Governor Fayose’s warm reception and described the governor’s reception of him at Akure Airport as regard for him said, ” Since my return home to PDP this is the first state I am visiting for consultations with party leaders.
“This is not surprising as Fayose and I had struck a good relationship since his first tenure as governor and I was VP. He is blunt and straightforward, a sharpshooter in politics and I respect him for that this.
“But above all, he is also the chairman of our give forum, today among the governors, among the party generally he calls the shots and when he does so, we all take the queue.
“I have visited this state severally with other governors in the saddle, what I have observed has been a monumental development in terms of infrastructure in the state and the quality of life of the people, but as a politician, anywhere we were driving along the road, from Akure he was receiving cheers all through, while the road from Akure to Ekiti was bad that from Ekiti into the state is splendid.
“I have seen what you have achieved and your footprints are all over the state capital, I commend you for that and for your leadership, I believe you have quite a lot to offer for our country.
“Another unique thing the governor has done is telling me that his deputy is being supported as the party candidate in the next election, this is a very rare feat in the democratic system of our country, how many deputy governors have succeeded their governors? It means he has foresight and want a someone to continue his good works, and I hope if you have the opportunity by the grace of Hod you will continue the good works. I am coming back to campaign with you for 2018 polls”, Atiku told Fayose.
Responding to the Atiku’s remarks, Governor Fayose said: “I thank God for your life, your resilience and tolerance and patience in your walk through life. It only takes resilience to follow life, most times, you only get bouts instead of encouragement, I welcome you to the state be cause you were quite supportive when I wanted to come at first time, while others were not, you supported us.
“We only celebrate the bad things men do to us, we don’t celebrate good works, it would have been better if we celebrate good works today we don’t celebrate good works, we reward it with celebrating supplanters.”
Assuring the former vice president that his return to PDP would yield fruits, the governor continued, “I want to assure you that we only have leadership in Abuja, real party is in the states and at the local government level, we have done it before, we will do it again.
“I won the last election because it was not the people who wanted me to go away but it was Obasanjo that sent me away, that was why they noted for me overwhelmingly in 2014.
Let us keep forging ahead. Frustrations could make a man to look stupid, I was frustrated out of PDP but I return victoriously,” the governor said.
Taking a critical swipe at Buhari’s government and Obasanjo’s Tuesday outburst, Fayose said:” I am not disappointed because I never voted for Buhari and I will never stop being against him. I was not too young when Buhari came first time and we knew the hell he took us through. At his first time, he was putting people in jail and he was not in charge it was the ldiagbon that were in charge.
“We have seen Buhari. We have seen failure. Nigerians wanted a man that would whip them, and he came and gave them Bulala, and they continue to manage him.
“Now the message has come from Obasanjo, who was Buhari’s greatest promoter and navigator, telling him to go home. The end has come to the APC, our suppressors and oppressors . you can only rule a country as diverse as Nigeria if you are truly a leader.
“Currently, 45% reduction in economic situation, I can tame herdsmen effectively. Tell everyone, it you vote APC, second and final sufferings is what you are inviting.”