Governor of Ekiti State and chairman of the Governorship Forum of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Ayodele Fayose, has said one of his greatest wishes on his 57th birthday was to have woken up, in the morning, to receive congratulatory message from President Mohammadu Buhari or read such message in the media.
Governor Fayose spoke to journalists in Ado-Ekiti at his office, saying:”My wishes on my 57th birthday as Ayo Fayose are many but one of them which will interest you is that I wish President Buhari’s congratulatory call would have woken me up today as one of the governor in the country, as a father of the nation and as a leading opposition figures in the country. A fearless youngman who believes that things should be done rightly, to show himself as a father of all, preaching that we must extend love to everybody not only. Those in his political party.
“The president would have made a difference if he had extended such gesture to others beyond his political party. Such a congratulatory message should have been conveyed through his minister of information. I would have loved to either wake up receiving a congratulatory call from him or read it in the papers. But since it is not coming, it is not a big deal to me and I take no offence on it.
“I am not Buhari’s enemy. Opposition is the strength of democracy, it ensures that the electorates get value for their votes. Those who criticise your government are not. Your enemies, they are catalysts to your growth as a government.”
Fayose who said he was celebrating his birthday with artisans, Okada riders, market women and men. And other masses on the streets, said: “For somebody like me, loved by Nigerians, especially the ordinary man on the streets who cheer me anytime they see me on the streets.
“My birthday will be celebrated with the common man on the streets. All the gifts I have received from family, friends and associates will be shared to men and women on the streets of my state. This was what I did last year.
“I remain a factor no one can ignore in this country. Apart from the fact that I am a leading opposition, Nigerians respect my voice, they believe that I don’t compromise the truth no matter whose ox is gored.”
He also responded to questions why there is no consensus candidate in South West for the chairmanship post of his party and insinuation that the South South may hijack the position, he said: “Nobody can say some zone would hijack it because there is no election yet. You don’t know where the election would go. 24 hours is a long time in election. What is important is that a credible candidate emerges as PDP chairman and the fact that we must as members conclude this convention as one party.
“You also remember that all our candidates have signed and agreed to remain one regardless of the outcome of the convention, that show unity among us. The chairmanship is zoned to the south.”
Responding also, to the views that his presidential ambition may rob the zone of the party’s chairmanship slot, Fayose said:” How can only one man’s ambition rob others their own chance? That is just cheap blackmail. You see when I wanted to be governor, there was nothing that could stop me because I was determined. The aspirants for PDP chairmanship who have come from the South-West were determined, if not, they wouldn’t have come out. Let us say that expressly that we don’t know tommorow, 24 hours is a long time in politics.