Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose has challenged presidential aspirants from the North where his party , the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) zoned the presidency, to declare their ambitions to rule the country without any further delay or fear of any intimidation.
Fayose who stated this Thursday while declaring his ambition to run for the nation’s presidency, said: “Tell them, those of them from the North, to come out and declare if they are men. We don’t want boys any more; we don’t want packaged presidents any more.
The governor further said: “Most importantly, despite that the party has zoned the presidency to the North, it may interest you that no one has come out in this manner to show interest and our party should not wait or beg anyone to fly its flag. Do we now say that if no one comes out from the North, the party won’t have a candidate?
“Nobody should be intimidated and nobody should be afraid. Why will you be afraid to come out to be president in Nigeria. I have thrown my hat in the ring because nobody has had the courage to come out from the north where it is zoned to. The party primary is only one year away yet none of them has declared. Nobody will come to your farm to hand over the presidency to you”, he said.
Going down memory lane, the chairman of PDP Governors Forum recalled that between 1999 and 2003, despite that our party zoned the presidency to the South, some aspirants from the North “contested the ticket”which he said contributed to deepen democracy in the country.
Some of the northern PDP stalwarts believed to have presidential ambition are former Governor of Jigawa state, Malam Sule Lamido, former governor Kano state, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, current governor of Gombe state, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo, amongst others.
Fayose who claimed he has not lost any battle before in his political career stated that he is reputed for defeating incumbents having defeated two incumbents in Ekiti state, stressing that he is the only man that can defeat President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
The Ekiti state governor promised to revive the economy and return the country to the path of progress as it was before the All Progressives Congress (APC) took over the reins of government in the country.
According to Fayose, his government “will ensure diversification of the economy through agriculture, adequate supply of power and massive industrialization, thereby creating employment for our youths.”
“With me as your President, you can be rest assured of a government that will be responsive to your needs. You are guaranteed a federal government that will relate with all Nigerians not on the basis of ethnicity, religion, political affiliations and the percentage of votes but on equity and justice as citizens of one nation, one people, and one destiny.
“I do not stand before Nigerians today to present myself as one with the answers to all our national questions. Rather, I present myself as one with the required knowledge, understanding, competence and, above all, the political will to coordinate the human and material resources that we have in abundance to achieve national greatness.
“Having served successfully as governor twice in a state with very meager resources, I have by this garnered enough experience over time to prepare me well enough for the task of leading our country.
“By the grace of God, I am the longest-serving governor in Nigeria today, having served under three Presidents – Obasanjo, Jonathan, and now Buhari.
“Therefore, I can say expressly that I am well equipped in terms of knowledge, experience as well as physical and mental capacities to hit the ground running as soon as I assume office as President of Nigeria in 2019.
“In the area of security, which they leveraged on to come to power, despite claims by the government that Boko Haram was technically defeated; Nigerians are being killed by the insurgents while villages are being attacked in the North-East. Also, herdsmen are killing Nigerians and destroying farmlands with reckless abandon while kidnapping is now on the rise.
“Our justice system will be such that judges will not be molested and the common people of this country will see our courts as truly their last hope while our security system will make all Nigerians feel safe living in their own country.
Our fight against corruption will not be selective but total,” Fayose assured.
Earlier, the former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi- Fani Kayode, Former Deputy Governor of Osun, Senator Iyiola Omisore, Ekiti state PDP chairman Gboyega Oguntuase amongst others lauded the attributes of the presidential aspirant, describing him as a “courageous and voice of the voiceless.”