Nigerians Will Determine My Presidency, Not PDP – Fayose
Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose says only Nigerians can determine if he will become president.
In this interview with Channels Television’s political correspondent, Seun Okinbaloye, the governor also reacted to the arrest of the Commissioner of Finance and the Accountant General of Ekiti State by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Read excerpts from the interview below;
The EFCC is probing your utilisation of the bailout funds. What have you done with the bailout funds?
Well, let me thank you for the introduction and I want to tell you that this is an opportunity to reply my critics; I want to take them one after the other before I go straight to your question. Don’t forget the man that spoke for the party was the man that I did not support for the gubernatorial election of Ekiti because I picked my deputy. So that is coming from a corrupt mind and a selfish individual.
So, may I say expressly as well, like I said the first person that spoke and on Barrister Femi Falana, it’s better to ignore him. It is now that we now realise he’s a member of the EFCC, he’s an official of the EFCC speaking for them. He’s equally from Ekiti because they all desire a professor to be there; he contested against me in 2003, he lost, he’s been a hardened enemy. So, I leave him to his stories.
Let me say again that those who will wait for me will wait in vain. I need to remind them again that he and others conspired against me in 2006; to God be the glory I am seated here as governor of Ekiti State. You are talking about immunity; may I say to you expressly that there are other governors without immunity but did not say anything because probably they have nothing to say.
I have something to do in Nigeria, I speak for the common people and I will continue to speak for them. I don’t care whatever you have against me, wait for your time. And don’t be in a hurry and don’t run your mouth; allow time to take its course.
For eight years I was in EFCC – you charge me to court (and) I defeated you. The Lord gave me victory over you and whatever you are putting together, the Lord will give me victory over you, I can’t be bothered about that.
The EFCC is busy acting against the rule of law. For us to fight corruption, allegation is not enough, stories are not enough; to fight corruption, you must allow for due process, you must respect the rule of law, you must respect court judgements. Arresting my accountant general and commissioner for finance, as fact, today is shameful, why did it coincide my declaration. You are so intolerant of opposition, I cannot be perturbed by that.
You should appreciate that there are states, even my predecessor has been alleged, documents filed into the EFCC and nobody has called him for one day. I can’t be bothered by your strategies, I can’t be bothered by your conspiracy, it is a matter of time and may I say to you expressly that if your strategy like you just said that anybody that is fingered in corruption, fingering anybody in corruption does not make that person corrupt.
The fact that if that is your strategy in 2019, you will equally fail because anybody charged to court is assumed innocent until the court says otherwise. Don’t come and tell us stories, you know what the issues are, you know what the problems are.
If you go straight to the issue of the bailout funds, what exactly did you use the bailout funds for?
May I say to you expressly sir, that your story is incorrect. The bailout funds, Ekiti got the least. Ekiti got a bailout of N4.7b; the state wage bill is 2.6, the local government is 2.4 which automatically amounts that the bailout, even if it’s used strictly and only for salaries, cannot pay salaries of both state and local government for one month.
May I say to you again very carefully, I don’t appropriate money in Ekiti, I give the receipt of our allocations to the labour leaders. I have a standing committee of the labour leaders that share money in Ekiti, I gave that right to them. So if you are chasing the shadow, you are only chasing shadow.
How many months’ salaries are you owing Governor Fayose?
Can you wait one second? The labour leaders came out and said to them, “our governor did not divert the bailout funds, our governor gave us the bailout fund to appropriate”. So, coming on the television because you have gone to arrest people because I declared today, you are wasting your time.
We are owing four months in Ekiti and may I say to you expressly, the last administration left Ekiti in very bad debt and they are deducting N1.2b from our allocation and this will remain until the year 2036. The last administration took a loan, a bond of N25b and they took commercial loans of about N38b and the CBN restructured that money and it’s expected to last until the year 2036.
When the foundations are faulty, what will the righteous do? And I want to say to you expressly that I don’t have issues with my workers, we are on the same page and it is not enough to come to the television and be blabbing.
You came out today and you are running against your party’s wishes, how do you hope to sail through without your party’s support, none of the leaders of the National Working Committee was there?
May I say to you they are not expected to be there, they are supposed to be the umpires, they are not supposed to be there, they are supposed to watch everybody play the game because they will be the final habitat. So, let me say to you very expressly that it is not the national working committee that will determine, it is the people of Nigeria.
There are two legs to life – some are afraid of incarceration, some are afraid of death – I am not afraid of any. In America, when they want to campaign, they campaign in upward period of two years, they sell themselves; you want to tell us to have a president that will come out three months to the election and come and tell us you want to be president of Nigeria?