Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State was his ebullient self recently
in Lagos while chatting with selected journalists where he bare his
mind on issues bothering on his ambition to seek for the position of
the presidency in 2019 among other issues. SEGUN ADIO was there.
Some members of your party the PDP seem not be favourably disposed to your quest to jettison the party’s agreement that the presidency should go to the North in 2019. What’s your take on this?
Issues and event will consume them; I mean those you are referring to
as not favourably disposed to my ambition. I have gone through a lot
in this country. I have been well groomed, I am matured and firebrand
enough to face challenges of tomorrow. Things don’t happen by
accident. At a time the party (PDP) almost fell apart. How many of
them did we see at the time? How many of them spoke at the time. If
they zone it to the North, so because I am not a northerner, then I
don’t have a, Constitution does not t me to contest. Forget that.
Now that they are planning to zone the chairmanship of the party to
the south west. Would that not jeopardise your chances?
What are you saying? Have you not seen n this country where a zone has
two key offices. We know where the Speaker is from. There was
something before then even. During Tambuwal speakership, the post was
zone to the south west but because we lost it, a zone got the two top
appointments in the land. Forget about that (zoning atrrangement). It
is the Presidency that orders thjings. When I become President in
2019, I will reorder those things. Nothing can stop me from
contesting. Even if they pick the party’s chairman from my family;
even of they pick my son as party chairman, I will contest.
What is your view on restructuring?
Yes those agitations for restructuring are good for the system. We are
in a marriage and the marriage is having issues. We still have to sit
down to talk about that marriage going forward. The Igbo are the most
marginalised region in the country and they are saying re-order things
but people are playing politics with the issue. If anybody say I am
wrong about the treatment being meted out to the Igbo let him come
out and challenge me. Things are not moving well in this country.
There is too much ethnicity and nepotism.
Look at a situation where a junior minister comes from one part of the
country and a senior minister comes from another part and the junior
minister saying he could not take instructions from the senior
minister. What kind of country are we running?
So, events have transformed so many things. See the way I have
transformed education. A man that is not a professor, who is not a
medical doctor, but has been able to transform education. I met
education at number 34, but today Ekiti is number one. This year again
we sustained it which shows we are doing something differently and
rightly. People are not interested in your certificate, but your
experience. You want to get a job abroad they will not ask for your
certificate. They will ask for the experience you have. So, it is not
the noise, it is who you are.
Some will say Fayose in talking because of his immunity but I ask ‘do
the others not have immunity’? The issue is that when you want to deal
with issues in this country you deal with them in objectivity as a
When a leader is not doing the right thing you must be courageous
enough to tell him. Of the 36 governors in this country, only one
governor is talking. Part of governance and part of readership is to
keep the people in power on their toes. Why must be people be afraid
to tell you if you are not doing the right thing.
Once I cannot talk again, then I rather leave politics and go back
home to meet my family. Why should I be afraid to tell the truth? You
say I am leader, so why should you talk badly at me. If you talk badly
about me, I will give it back to you straight off. I am not a
pretender of any sort and I am not going to come and beg for a favour
that I don’t need. I am closer to 60 now, so what do I want? But for
those of them that are clinging, goodluck to them.
What would you say specifically your motivation to do all the things
that you are doing?
Let me tell you, my motivation is God and the people; the suffering
masses in my state and the country at large. I am passionate about
them. I am concerned about their plight as ordinary people. That is
why I always disagree with some of my governor colleagues when they do
not say the right thing or when I feel they are not doing enough for
We are all elected to serve our people; provide for their basic needs,
but we are not seeing that in many places. That is the truth. Many
believe in clinging to Aso Rock and boot-licking them there. I am not
cut for that.
For instance, I have not gone out of this country in two years. You
hear some people say they are going to London to go and bring
investors. I ask how many investors have come into the country since
people have been going there. When you get to London now you begin to
roam the streets looking at buildings, going to malls and shopping.
If I go to my hometown now a lot of people will come and see me and
play with me. That alone makes them happy. If I go to London now how
many people will come and see me inside cold? We (governors/leaders)
tell Nigerians we are going abroad to draw investors, but we are only
I have been to America only twice in my life. Since I became governor,
I have not been anywhere except maybe once or twice. The issues are
very clear. You will go to America and tell the people that you want
to go and bring investors, but the truth is that you are going there
on your personal note.
I don’t condemn anybody from traveling, but there must be a
reasonable justification from going out for one nor two months as
some people used to do. Your assignment is your people. Stay with
them and not go form months looking for investors. Investors that you
can get on the internet and do all your talking with them on the
internet. Why do you have to go and stay there for weeks and leaving
your people behind?
For me, it is Ekiti first before anything else. You hear many people
go overseas to go draw foreign investors and when you get those states
you don’t see anything there and that is why I have enemies because
they know they cannot take the state from me. They know it is
impossible. Most of them have no relationship with their people; they
want their votes, but they cannot touch them. They are too far from
the people that has the power to elect or remove them. They only go to
their people when time for election is approaching. That is not