Ayodele Fayose, a former Ekiti State Governor, has clarified that he does not harbour enmity against his colleague, Segun Oni.
In an interview with Punch, Fayose claimed that despite the disparity in the party affiliation, he had always honoured and taken care of Oni, also a former governor of the state.
He, however, implied that Oni had always worked against him particularly with the way Oni supported the incumbent, Kayode Fayemi in the 2010 elections.
According to Fayose, Oni once paid him a visit at the Government House but he was not happy with the car Oni brought.
He said he had gone ahead to purchase another car for Oni but the latter, who was an aspirant in the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the time, not only rejected the car but implied he was giving him a Greek Gift.
He said: “For me, and I want Segun Oni to deny this: When I was governor, he was in the APC; every last Sunday, myself and my Chief of Staff, who was his friend, took money to go and take care of Segun Oni.
“We are talking about what transpired not because we want to celebrate such. Secondly, the portraits of people who had been governors are always on the wall, but because there was a judgment that said Engineer Segun Oni was never a governor, his portrait was dropped.
“My first assignment when I returned as governor in 2014, despite all he did to me, was to hang the portrait back. That shows that I have nothing against him. I visited him so many times when I was in the office.
“There was a time he visited me. I was not happy about the car he brought, I went to buy another car for him, but rather than accept the car because he was contesting, he said I should go and pay the salaries of workers and that I should not bring a Greek gift to him. I was a PDP governor; he was an aspirant in the APC then.”
When asked why the incumbent, Fayemi is the one benefitting from the rancour between him and Oni, Fayose said: “I don’t know anything about that. That does not add up because Fayemi and Oni’s election in 2010 was as a result of the fact that Oni did not want me. I made every possible effort. The party made efforts for us to work together, he did not want it. If you want to put me in prison, should I continue to work for you? I have to protect myself.
"In the 2018 governorship election, Engineer Oni was inconsequential in that election, with due respect to him. In fact, I did not hear his name throughout; he was contesting against Fayemi. Fayemi was supported by federal might, that was public knowledge.”
Reacting to allegations that he was willing to compromise the June 18 governorship election for an APC candidate, Fayose noted that it was not true.
He said, “You know we are politicians; we like to say things to destroy one another. I have served this state twice, if anybody should concede to anybody, it should be Fayemi conceding to me.
“It would not be a healthy election! What does Fayemi want to offer me? Even when I was supposed to be cowed as a sitting governor in the face of the federal might, I was never cowed; I faced the whole of them.
“Against the present APC government in Nigeria, I was and I am a major voice; nobody can take that away from me. What is in Ekiti that I will want to compromise?
“Is it the resources or what? What will Fayemi buy my conscience with or what will I buy Fayemi’s conscience with? If you are saying somebody is popular, there is no denying that they all know that I am on the ground.”
Fayose further reiterated that his preferred candidate for the June 18 election, Bisi Kolawole is more than popular as he boasted that he will win the election.
He said: “More than popular. He was a member of the House of Assembly under Oni and Fayemi. I heard Governor Oni describe Kolawole as a stabilising factor at that time.
“Beyond that, when you want to campaign, one of the first set of the people you will choose for your campaign is the Director-General of the campaign; the DG of a campaign must be a man of means, of knowledge, known and who has what it takes.
“Our candidate was the DG of Adeyeye Campaign even against me in 2014. Back to back, he became the DG of my candidate too in 2018. Why is everybody choosing him? Why are they not choosing somebody else within the space of two elections?
“My candidate became the chairman of PDP in an election which produced the same delegates that produced the governorship candidate. You must ignore these cheap blackmails.
“They are wagging for nothing. Bisi Kolawole, by the grace of God, was a member of the highest body of the party in Nigeria as a BOT member. So, what other CV do you want?
"He has functioned in virtually all sectors. Politics, to some, it is if you cannot beat them, you join them, to some, if you cannot join them, you start destroying them. So, they are only trying to destroy him."