GOVERNOR Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, in this encounter, bares his mind on the setting up of a military panel headed by Maj-Gen Adeniyi Oyebade to look into the roles of the military in the June 21 governorship election in Ekiti among other burning national issues. Excerpts:
His take on the Military panel
After I won the election, there was this effort to stop the swearing in that generated a lot of controversy. There was one story of photo-chromic military rigging and all that.
After Dr Kayode Fayemi conceded, the All Progressives Congress, APC, still went ahead to challenge it up to the Supreme Court and we still won. The Supreme Court dealt properly with the issue of impeachment and it did not raise issues of whether the elections were won or not. It talked about the issue of certificate that was raised in 2002 and it equally raised the issue of non qualification as a result of impeachment. The court dealt with it all and it was a landmark judgement already reported in all law journals. So, ordinarily, I think this should put paid to all these stories.
An online newspaper generated a report of a conversation and I came out to say that I was part of the conversation, I was the complainant in that conversation. Why set up a military committee to look into the Ekiti and Osun elections that were adjudged to be free and fair? The Americans and international observers made it very clear that they recommend the way the Ekiti elections were run for subsequent elections.
To my surprise, I heard they set up a panel to look into activities of some military men during the elections in Ekiti and Osun, that is their choice. To fulfil all righteousness, I sent my Attorney-General and Commissioner for Information to give them information that they may not have. For instance, they might not be privy to the observers’ report. If the international community says the elections were free and fair, that the military did well, the military will be on their own if they indict their personnel because of politics.
I have been very critical of this government and I will continue to be critical of any government in Nigeria because democracy is about opposition and the government in power. I have no regrets and I am not sorry about my actions. I did not start after Buhari’s election, I started before the elections.
I actually told Nigerians not to vote for him (Buhari), I made advertorials and I am still not sorry for that, I still maintain my stand because I envisaged this disobedience of court orders and dictatorship. Forget about those who rule Nigeria but we must be governed by the rule of law.
Those who promoted Buhari to be president, at one time or the other later in this country, will regret, and most of them are already regretting and suffering in silence because when you promote a lion and you don’t remember to tame its claws and jaws, one day you will end up in its stomach.
What they are doing now is that they went to Kaduna, after all submissions, they now want to say the military rigged Ekiti election. So, I want to remind them, they are on the verge of destroying democracy in Nigeria. Call it fighting corruption but they are on the verge of destroying democracy in Nigeria.
On Kogi election: The Kogi experience is still very fresh. It doesn’t matter which party I belong to but Nigerians, their votes, and their views must be respected; a man did not participate in an election and he is the beneficiary of that election.
If a man is dead he should not enjoy democracy and votes from an election. Automatically, election came, processes followed and a winner must be announced; Wada was supposed to be announced. Now that you have equally chosen not to announce Wada I don’t know how you brought somebody else who did not participate in the elections. I must commend Faleke. I am not saying he is the winner but we must commend him for standing out in the midst of this darkness.
God uses a man for a purpose in a given time. Faleke is being used for a purpose in this period of this democracy. Look at what happened in Bayelsa where the military were engaging the electorate physically. It is all over the social media. We will continue to remember Buhari for his antecedents and his current attitude which undermines our democracy. I am telling him again, the consequences of dictatorship is the fall of the dictator. It is either he threads softly and remember the same Nigerians who gave him the opportunity after several attempts.
Arms deal: Again, I want to talk about the N2.1bn arms deal. I agree with them; we should all fight corruption.
Continuing with propaganda
All I am saying is that the security votes under the National Security Adviser (NSA) is part of the prerogative of the President at a given time to stabilise the country. President Buhari must be bold enough to go beyond Jonathan’s tenure and let us look at all the NSA’s in office in the last 16 years.
He should go a little further, the Halliburton is there why is he shying away from going there? I am telling you corruption is even higher under Buhari than ever before. We cannot continue with this propaganda and I want to say that Buhari should make public in the last 16 years, finance under the NSA.
Ekiti mandate: Ekiti people gave me free mandate to govern them. I am the first person in Ekiti to be governor twice. I am the first Nigerian and Nigerian politician to defeat two incumbent governors at two different attempts. I have records when they talk they say I wore particular type of cloth what is their business. The people that I govern are very happy with me whether I wear tattered clothes. They are hypocrites, they do something else in dark corners and another one in the open.
They made attempt to make my swearing in impossible but the people rose against them, the went to ensure I was impeached but the people rose against them, they made attempt to the Supreme Court to stop me they were stopped; they are at it again, they want to use military panel.
Would you say that the role of the military for example in Ekiti was perfect or otherwise?
I am not in a position to judge Ekiti election, but we have judgment, opinions about Ekiti election. The international community, the Americans phoned to congratulate me personally and they wrote, it is on their website where they recommended Ekiti election for all elections in Nigeria, the conduct, the handling by the military. They recommended it for the 2015 elections.
You expressed your view about what transpired at the military panel, a decision which you said was going to be pursued up to the Supreme Court and you tried to predict what is likely to happen to your victory at the polls, tell us who are the people behind this plot?
APC, the President himself. That military panel was selected for this hatchet job. The same military handled the election in Ekiti and Osun. PDP won in Ekiti but APC won in Osun, heavens did not fall. They have a target, but we are waiting for them.
Now that you are perceived as the face of the opposition, are you not worried about your safety?
My brother, forget that one! This year I am 55, I will be 56 next year. If I die today, I have five sons; they will do a big party. People will console them that your father lived an exemplary life, he was governor twice.
Military panel for hatchet job
They will still move on and enjoy my wealth. Those things we fear most happen to us eventually. I am not a coward, life is not about how many years you live but what you stand to represent. Within or outside Ekiti, I don’t use siren.
I don’t carry policeman or DSS about, I don’t need them. If you come you are only wasting your time because I have nothing to hide, there is even no money for anybody to steal.
I stood to fight all through the eight years and as God would have it look, I left October 16, 2006, I came back October 16, 2014. That is instructive that God is with me. The very day the Buhari-administration faces me, his government will come down.
Any government that confronts me will come down, it will not stand the test of time. Why would you muscle everybody because we are opposed to you. I am in PDP and will never go to any other party. I am Ayo Fayose, I was governor without a godfather, I was there for three and half years before Obasanjo took me out. I am back now but Obasanjo is an expired man today, and I am still making impacts. He is expired, he goes to Aso Rock to go and beg every week, prostrating. How many times did Buhari visited him when he was president in Aso Rock? Buhari did not step Aso Rock throughout not even in Council of State meeting.