Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State has expressed confidence that he would defeat President Muhammadu Buhari in a free and fair presidential election, citing his record of having defeated two incumbent governors in separate governorship elections in Ekiti State.
Mr. Fayose made his assertions Thursday in Abuja at his official declaration to contest the 2019 presidential election as a candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). PDP party officials were conspicuously absent from the governor’s declaration of his desire to dethrone Mr. Buhari whose close aides have reportedly started organizing his reelection bid.
Governor Fayose vowed to wrest power from the incumbent President under a free and fair election, adding that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had deceived Nigerians for more than two years. He said it was imperative to put an end to the APC’s deceptive government by 2019.
Mr. Fayose promised to steer Nigeria’s economic fortune back to a height of glory and ensure diversification of the country’s economy through agriculture, adequate power supply and creation of jobs for youths.
“Our country is faced with myriads of problems, our economy that was the fastest growing in Africa when our party was in power has gone comatose with the present managers who are completely clueless,” Mr. Fayose stated.
He remarked that Nigeria had never been more divided along ethnic and religious lines as it is now under the present Buhari administration.
“Most worrisome is the fact that our country is now more divided than ever before with the unity of the country being threatened due to nepotism, religious bigotry, and favoritism of the present government,” said the Ekiti State Governor.
Regarding the PDP’s position that it has zoned the presidency to the North, Mr. Fayose maintained that no one had come out to express interest, adding that the PDP should not wait or beg anyone to fly its presidential flag. He said he was also confident of defeating other aspirants in the party, pointing to the Biblical David’s defeat of Goliath.
“I challenged the North to come out with their candidates. I want to challenge all of them to the field. What are you afraid of? Come out. I [have thrown] my hat in the ring. Let them come and face me,” said the Ekiti Governor.
Mr. Fayose said he had no regrets for publicly declaring his support for his Deputy Governor to become the Governor of Ekiti in 2018. He said that there was nothing stopping anybody to aspire to the highest position in the land if such person was performing.