Atiku, Fayose meet in Ekiti, knock Buhari

Kamarudeen Ogundele, Ado Ekiti

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A former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, and Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, met behind closed doors in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday.

The two are eyeing the presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2019 elections.

They went into a private meeting after addressing party leaders, members of the State House of Assembly and the State Executive Council.

Details of the meeting were not disclosed to journalists.

But there are insinuations that Atiku is considering Fayose as his running mate. The governor, who maintained that his presidential ambition remained intact, said only “God knows tomorrow.”

At separate interviews, the duo said former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s statement on President Muhammadu Buhari had confirmed that the All Progressives Congress-led government had failed.

Atiku said, “I won’t comment on the letter but it is a confirmation that the APC has failed this country. That party is not the solution to our country’s challenges.”

He hinted that he would discuss his ambition with the governor whom he described as a force to reckon with in the PDP.

The former VP, who appreciated Fayose’s warm reception at the Akure Airport, said, “He (Fayose) calls the shots and when he does so, we all take the cue.

“This is not surprising as Fayose and I had struck a good relationship since his first tenure as governor and I was the VP.  He is blunt and straightforward, a sharpshooter in politics and I respect him for that.

“But above all, he is also the chairman of our Governors’ Forum. Today among the governors, among the party generally, he calls the shots and when he does so, we all take the cue.”

Fayose said the party’s interest would be placed above individual aspiration in choosing a candidate for the 2019 elections.

The governors added, “He (Atiku) has not spoken to me privately about it, and maybe he would do that in our private meeting. But his body language obviously shows he has an ambition which is legitimate.

“We will all examine everybody and we will create a level playing field. As he has come, others will still come.

“On the issue of being Vice-President, like I said, in the Book of Ezekiel 37: 33, the Bible says ‘God asks that can this bone live?, and the Prophet answers and says Thou knoweth. All these questions are questions for God and He has answers for them, man has no answer. You may wish anything for me, but God’s wish is supreme.

“I deserve to serve this country as President. I have paid my due. I am not a hidden voice. I have all it takes to lead this country, but whichever way it goes, the interest of our party comes first; it is above our individual aspirations. Whoever the party finally picks as the party’s candidate will be supported by others.”

Fayose said he was not disappointed about Obasanjo’s outburst against Buhari’s government.

“I am not disappointed because I never voted for Buhari and I will never stop being against him. I was not too young when Buhari came first time and we knew the hell he took us through.

“At his first time, he was putting people in jail and he was not in charge it was (Brig. Gen. Tunde) ldiagbon that was in charge. The man is dark in the mind,” he stated.

The governor lamented that the economy had collapsed by 45 per cent and the President had failed to tame the Fulani herdsmen.

“Now the message has come from Obasanjo, who was Buhari’s  greatest promoter and  navigator, telling him to go home.

“The end has come to the APC, our suppressors and oppressors.  You can only rule a country as diverse as Nigeria if you are truly a leader,” Fayose added.

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