GOVERNOR Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has allayed the fear that the current crisis rocking his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), will affect the chances of its candidate in next year’s governorship election in the state.
Fayose, who stated this while answering questions during a live interview programme on radio and television in Ado-Ekiti, expressed optimism that the crisis would be resolved by the Supreme Court before the electioneering period in the state.
This is just as the governor said Senator Ali Modi Sheriff and his group would never be able to inherit the PDP illegally.
Fayose’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Idowu Adelusi, quoted the governor, who is also the Chairman, PDP Governors’ Forum, to have appealed to PDP members across the country not to be moved by Friday’s judgment by the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, adding that the Supreme Court would take another look at the matter.
Fayose described Sheriff’s Friday’s victory as one that would not last, saying whoever celebrated it only celebrated “nonsense.
“Sheriff and his gang are only day dreaming. On our side are the governors, members of the Board of Trustees, the National Assembly caucus, former public office holders, and party supporters in the grassroots. If they think they can inherit the party illegally, that is a pipe dream. Those planning to invade the PDP secretariat here should be warned. They must not toy with fire.
“I received a lot of calls from people over Friday’s judgment and the possibility of the development affecting our candidate here in 2018 poll. I want to assure you all that what they did in Edo and Ondo states cannot happen here. We are still under the leadership of the Senator Ahmed Markafi-led National Caretaker Committee and we are taking the matter to the Supreme Court.
“Remember that when we got a judgment from the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt declaring Sheriff’s claim to the leadership of the party illegal, null and void, Sheriff and his group were still going about parading themselves as leaders of the party. This is because they know that the judgment of the high court is not the last on the matter. So also the appellate court judgment of Friday is not the final on the issue. The Supreme Court is there and is the apex court in the country and we are taking the matter there.
“As for the chances of our candidate in next year’s poll. God is giving us an expected end and that is victory over the All Progressives Congress and their cohorts. Three things are critical to winning election: The people, the party and the candidate. Of these three, the people are the most important and those that are with us are more than those that are with our opponents.
“Already, our opponents are afraid and that is why they wanted to set Ekiti workers against me by having our allocation seized some weeks ago. We thank God that it has been released now. As for the candidate we will pick, he/she is going to be a credible person, a winner and our political base is as solid as ever,” he said.
On what would be his next line of action if the Supreme Court’s decision does not favour his group or is delayed in way that it could affect preparations for 2018 governorship poll, Fayose said people should wait until then.
“When we get to the bridge, we will cross it. When your wife is pregnant, you wait until the baby is born to know the name to give it. The essential thing is that we are not ruffled and we have the people on our side and we are also giving them our best by our service to them,” he noted.
On the suggestion in some quarters that state governors should send a team to visit President Muhammadu Buhari in London over the president’s health condition, Fayose said that would not be necessary.
“I believe the President needs enough privacy and time to rest. People should allow him to rest. Many people are going there to convince us that he is okay. He needs to rest and we don’t need eye service at this point. I have not been criticising him because he is sick when he gets back I will. And my criticisms are to put the government on its toes. His handlers are only not helping matters by saying one thing now and another thing tomorrow. The sickness could be out of fatigue or due to old age,” he said.
On the faceoff between the state government and the Federal Ministry of Finance over the seized Budget Support Fund, the governor expressed delight that the matter had been resolved.
He thanked the people and workers in the state for their support and understanding over the matter.
He said the salary of workers would be paid this week, as the Central Bank of Nigeria would credit the state government with the money soon.
The governor also stated that this year’s International Women’s Day would be celebrated with pomp and circumstance in Ekiti State because the administration would always promote women as an essential part of the society.