Wole Balogun, Ado-Ekiti
A former Governor of Sokoto State and Presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, has told the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to stop intimidating Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State with its threat to investigate him on alleged corruption and misconduct in public office.
Bafawara was reacting to the directive issued by the EFCC, on Sunday, to the Nigerian Customs Service to put Governor Fayose on watch list at all borders, speculating that the governor might flee the country in a bid to evade trial.
He spoke while meeting with PDP delegates in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, at the new governor’s office, on Monday evening.
Bafarawa urged the anti-graft agency to follow due process and adhere to the dictates of the rule of law, saying: “It is unfortunate in the way and manner the EFCC has been doing its job.
“You cannot be intimidating a sitting governor like that. Fayose cannot be a sitting governor and they be treating him like this.
“They wrote to him and he replied them that he would present himself to them on October 16, they should give him that benefit of doubt and not start running after him or putting him on watch list.
“By doing all these, they are showing themselves as the investigator, prosecutor, and the judge at the same time.
“They should stop intimidating the governor and give him a break. Let him concentrate on governance till he hands over.
“The EFCC are merely doing eye service for the government with all these ways.”
Bafarawa, who is an old horse in politics, having traversed the major political platforms in the country, urged Nigerians and particularly the delegates of the PDP to trust him and hand him the presidential ticket of the party on October 6, saying he is a highly experienced democratic who can make a huge difference in the nation.
The former national leader of the ANPP bemoaned the governance challenges in Nigeria, declaring that a huge damage has been done to the soul of the nation, promised that he would bring to bear his over 40 years experience as a politician and public office holder in several capacities, and fix Nigeria.
“I am a democrat. Never you give a medical doctor for eye to operate heart. Our mistake is that we are giving power to non democrats, we have to give it this time to experienced democrats who understands democracy.
“The damage has been done but we will do a damage control when we get there.
“I have travelled by roads to see the state of things and roads among others myself so I would know the things we need to do when I become President.
“I have the experience and understanding of how I made Sokoto and will replicate this in Nigeria.
“As a political democrat, I know what it takes to be the council chairman I have been there from the grassroot and seen it all.
“It is not easy to face Buhari unless those who know Buhari and Buhari knows me and I know him and I know how to defeat Buhari trust me by supporting me so that our party will win.
“We will ensure there is restructuring, sound education and other areas.
“With the little contribution I have put to my constituency which made them to have confidence in me I think they can vouch for me.
“I am a northerner. I come from the North west. I am a Muslim and I also bear Muhammadu. l don’t see any reason why I cannot face him.
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“I brought President Mohammadu Buhari into the circle of politics of this country. I gave him the ticket under which he contested under ANPP when I was the party’s national chairman.
“It is only God who gives power. If I have been destined to rule this country, nobody can stop me. When we talk about security it is all encompassing.
“What we are facing now is damage control and I will ensure that this damage control is done when I get there.
Speaking about his achievement as governor of Sokoto State and why he would perform if he gets the presidential seat, he said, “I produced 200 doctors, constructed more than 1000 road networks in my state. I made education to be free and produced hundreds of engineers and i paid salaries as at when due.
“I left N13 billion for my successor. I didn’t receive salary as governor.
“Assist me to push the political trunk at this stage, I will never forget you if you support me to be there. ”
While urging Ekiti State Deputy governor Kolapo Olusola not to lose hope in his ambition to be governor of the state, Bafarawa said, “What happened to you had happened to me in Sokoto State. So, I want to advise you that you will get your mandate back, don’t lose hope.
“I have seen it all. Nobody can imagine that we would lose election in Ekiti State. The performance of the governor God will pay him back by making you come back as governor.
“In politics you should expect anything. When I was governor in Sokoto, no one has been able to beat my records. I was a victim of the EFCC.
“I was detained and harassed but I scaled through. All these are passing phase. Whatever it is, just accept it from God. The achievement of your administration will not go in vain”, Bafarawa said.