The embattled Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has declared the plan by the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government to wrest the state from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the governorship election coming up in 2018 was the cause of his current travails with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Fayose said the Ekiti electorate would still queue behind their favoured candidate again in the (2018) election just as they did in the last (2014) election, which saw him winning across all the 16 councils of the state.
EFCC is investigating Fayose over his alleged complicity in the N4.7 billion arms scam from which he was accused of having received N1.3billion to prosecute the 2014 election.
He warned President Muhammadu Buhari not to use EFCC to settle political scores, noting that so far, the Federal Government had shown that what is sauce for the goose had not been sauce for the gander.
His words: “Somebody from Ekiti gave President Buhari N1.5billion for his campaign, but today, he is being seen as a saint. When you want to campaign or do marriage, people will give you money and my own can’t be an exemption. I am not afraid of incarceration or death. APC’s problem is 2018 and as the God liveth, they are going nowhere. We will stand up and defend our state.”
The governor spoke at Ojumose in Ado-Ekiti, the capital, venue of a well-attended rally convened by the newly formed Council of Ekiti State Private (Informal) Sector Unions, comprising 40 trade groups including artisans, drivers, Okada riders, mechanics, tailors, barbers and hair-dressers among others
The crowd, which gathered at the Ojumose junction, expressed solidarity with the governor in his current travails with the anti-graft agency.
The rally was a direct reaction to the alleged APC-propped anti-Fayose protest held last Thursday, commending the Federal Government for its anti-corruption war and for freezing Fayose’s accounts.
However, speaking further, Fayose said: “They said I collected a sum of N1.3 billion from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki to fund my election. Some even said I collected it through Mr Musiliu Obanikoro. Let me put it on records that I do not know if either Col Dasuki or Obanikoro have come out openly to indict me, because he (Obanikoro) has not returned from abroad.
“They said similar things in 2006. It was all about second term then, because they didn’t want me to contest for a second term. They said the N1.3billion project which I initiated was a scam, but God brought me back. The APC and their EFCC conspirators took me before a judge and I got justice.”
“When God says yes, nobody can say no. God has given me uncommon favour over my enemies. I am presently using the mandate of God and Ekiti people and they are ready to defend the mandate and that is why you proudly came out today to express support for me.
“Nigerians have never had it so bad like this. People are suffering and hungry and President Buhari says he is fighting corruption. How can the Federal Government increase fuel from N86 to N145? The price of kerosene is now over N200. No act of intimidation and harassment will shut my mouth. I will continue to talk about national issues.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the new union, who is also the state chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Mr Clement Adekola, while addressing the crowd, revealed their membership strength was over 80,000.