• I’ll defeat Buhari, boasts Ekiti gov as he joins race
From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The Board of Trustees (BoT) of the People Democratic Party (PDP), has poured cold water on Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose’s Abuja bid to seek its presidential ticket in the 2019 election.
A member of the PDP BoT, Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo, conveyed the message to Fayose, yesterday, when he told the governor, pointblank, he cannot contest in the party’s primary poll for the 2019 presidential election.
Nwodo stated this yesterday, in Abuja, shortly after Fayose’s formal declaration of intent to contest for the party’s ticket in 2019.
Nwodo said PDP’s ideology forbade Fayose and other members from the South from contesting in the presidential race in 2019.
He said that the ideology would be followed to the letter, in spite Fayose’s declaration.
“Fayose cannot run and I will tell you my reason…Now, we did not only zone the presidency to the North, we have re-emphasised at every opportunity we had that the zoning will take place. So, the party will not collect Expression of Interest money from anybody else who is not from the North and will not issue him a nomination form to contest. No, we will not do that,’’ said Nwodo.
Earlier, Fayose had, in a letter to PDP leaders, insisted that his ambition to be president was without prejudice to the party’s position, and added that it was in the interest of the party and Nigeria.
Elsewhere, his formal declaration ceremony in Abuja, Fayose vowed to defeat President Muhammadu Buhari at the poll.”
Fayose reiterated he would defeat Buhari in a free and fair contest.
He said despite the party’s decision to zone the its 2019 presidential ticket to the North, the Nigerian constitution guarantees his right to contest for the position.
Pushing his position, the Ekiti state governor said the PDP needs someone like him, who has a knack for defeating incumbent to fly its flag in the 2019 presidential contest.
“Our party must not lose sight that Nigerians at this period are desirous of a president with demonstrated capacity to change their fortunes. Furthermore, we must be mindful of the fact that our party needs a candidate like me, with a penchant for defeating incumbents.
“Twice, I defeated incumbents to become the governor of Ekiti state and I am confident that with your support, as my party leaders and supporters, I will defeat the incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari, in a free and fair election…
“My name is Ayo Peter (Peter, the rock) Fayose. I will defeat this Goliath for you,” he declared.
“(Late President Umaru Musa) Yar ‘Adua was sitting quietly in his house when (former President Olusegun) Obasanjo sent me to go and tell him he wants him to succeed him. The man said no but God said yes.
“ Today, for the doubting Thomases, I want to be president of Nigeria. I know I have haters; they will not die. They will watch me enter Aso Rock. I am here to tell you that the hour of the Lord has come for Nigeria. I have not lost any battle.”
Furthermore, Fayose challenged PDP presidential aspirants in the North to openly declare their ambition, if truly they want the party’s ticket zoned to them.
… Gov tells EFCC, ‘you can’t intimidate me’
• Anti-graft commission arrests Finance commissioner, accountant general
From Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, was in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, declaring intent to contest the 2019 presidential election on the platform of the Peoples Democractic Party (PDP) when agents of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), arrested his Commissioner for Finance, Chief Toyin Ojo and the Accountant General, Mrs. Yemisi Owolabi back home.
Ojo and Owolabi were picked up at the premises of the Finance ministry in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital “because they refused to honour invitations, to explain how the Paris Club debt refund to the state was expended.”
It was gathered that they were subsequently whisked to Abuja.
In a swift response, the state government described Ojo and Owolabi’s arrests as further demonstration of the anti-corruption agency’s irresponsibility. The governor said the EFCC cannot intimidate the state.
“The EFCC is obviously living up to its status as the attack-dog of the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration, but, Ekiti state government, under governor Fayose cannot be intimidated.”
Fayose’s Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said in a statement yesterday that “it was obvious that the hawks around President Muhammadu Buhari are afraid of Fayose’s declaration to contest the presidential election in 2019, hence, the usual panicky measure of arresting government officials in Ekiti, on the day of his declaration, with a view to embark on another round of media trial against the governor and his administration.”
“It is funny that the EFCC, in a bid to carry out its usual hatchet job against governor Fayose, failed to take into cognisance the subsisting court order, which forbids any official of the Ekiti State government from being arrested by the EFCC. Up till today, the court order has not been appealed and it subsists.”
The government challenged the EFCC to tell Nigerians what has been done to the loads of petitions written against the immediate past APC administration of former governor Kayode Fayemi, asking: “What has the EFCC done to those involved in the grass-cutting scam and the $43 million Ikoyi scam?”
“It is so funny and laughable that these characters in the APC administration cannot even disappoint for once by
“Like we have said before, the game plan of those who want power in Ekiti State by force as well as those who do not want anyone to speak against President Buhari, that they see as a god, is to stifle Ekiti State and make it impossible for the administration to carry out its responsibilities.
“However, the EFCC and its collaborators should know that we have threaded this path before and we, in the government of Ekiti State won’t be intimidated by the irresponsibility of a federal government anti-corruption agency that has come to see itself as instrument of harassing, oppressing, intimidating and coercing perceived opposition figures.
“On this one, let us tell these agents of the devil in the EFCC and those they are working for that as usual, they have taken on a wrong customer. This is because the more they run after Governor Fayose, the more they hit their heads on the Rock of Ages and get themselves fatally injured.”