Ayodele Fayose, a former governor of Ekiti State, has described as heresy or loose talk the claim that he has pledged to support the presidential ambition of the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Instead, Fayose, who said he might consider joining the 2023 presidential race, boasted that should the People Democratic Party pick him as presidential candidate and Tinubu gets the APC ticket, he would trounce the former Lagos governor at the polls.
Fayose added that Nigerians would be doomed if they fail to replace the APC with the PDP in Aso Rock come 2023.
The ex-governor spoke in an exclusive interview with Saturday PUNCH.
Responding to a question on his alleged pledge to back Tinubu’s presidential ambition, Fayose said, “I have said it over and over, Asiwaju remains a Yoruba leader; I remain a Yoruba leader. We are in different levels of leadership. But if I am being misquoted for the fact that I said Asiwaju is a Yoruba leader, I am saying I am a Yoruba leader, but Asiwaju in his own Yoruba leadership is in the APC; Ayo Fayose in his own leadership is in PDP.
“Who has told you that I don’t want to be President? Who has told you that if the PDP picks me that I will not defeat Asiwaju? Who has told you? You don’t know maybe I will still contest. If I come out and they zone it to the South-West and they say it’s Fayose, if they pick Asiwaju, I will defeat him!”
Further rubbishing the claim that he had pledged his support for Tinubu’s ambition, Fayose wondered what he stood to gain from Tinubu’s presidency as a member of the opposition party.
He added, “I have never seen the quote. It is impossible. How do I claim to be the husband of a woman in another man’s house? It is all heresies. Loose talks! Listen, PDP government is far better than the APC government in Nigeria. Would he (Tinubu) leave the APC people and come to give me appointments or will he make me vice president, such that I work for the APC? It is not possible. Tinubu is for the APC, I am for the PDP. All these insinuations are just to call the dog a bad name so as to hang it.”
On his claim that the PDP is Nigeria’s brightest choice in 2023, Fayose said, “If the PDP does not win the 2023 election, then Nigerians are doomed. From what I have seen since 2015, Nigerians are doomed. The kind of leadership that Nigeria has witnessed – insecurity, the economy.
“Don’t forget that the impact of these things is more felt by the masses. It is the people that are at the receiving end. The cost of diesel today is about N400 per litre; during President Goodluck Jonathan’s (PDP) time, it was N140, N145. Whatever we are saying, it is either Nigerians want to remain in perpetual poverty or they save themselves. It is about Nigerians themselves.”