Former governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, has said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, had paid his dues which needed to be acknowledged.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, who spoke at his Afao Ekiti residence in Ekiti State as part of activities to mark his 60th birthday, said he would not join the political enemies of the former Lagos State governor to shoot him down politically, describing Tinubu as one of the greatest builders of men in Yorubaland and Nigeria at large.
He added that contrary to insinuations in some quarters, he would not defect from the PDP as some other leaders had done.
“I am not championing the course of Tinubu, I am not in the position to do that, but there is no denying the fact that Tinubu is a prominent Yoruba leader, whether in APC or in PDP. There is no gainsaying that fact. Fayose is a prominent son of the Yoruba nation. Governors Nyesom Wike, Ifeanyi Okowa and Okezie Ikpeazu are prominent sons of southern Nigeria.
“What I am trying to say is that we can’t hide their identities and goodwill for political reasons. We can’t deny their contributions. Other leaders from the North like Ahmadu Bello made different impacts. So, Tinubu has paid his dues. I have paid my dues, Okowa has paid his dues, Wike has paid his dues. We need to acknowledge them,” he said.
Fayose, who also spoke while playing host to the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Agboola Ajayi, urged him to return to the PDP, saying; “It is important for you (Ajayi) to put the past behind, return to the PDP and join hands with other leaders in the state to rebuild the party”.
Ajayi, who in the build-up to the October’s governorship election in Ondo State, dumped the APC for the PDP and later abandoned the PDP for the Zenith Labour Party to contest the election, had been council chairman and House of Representatives member under the umbrella of PDP.
He described Ajayi as a force to reckon with in the politics of Ondo State, noting that he would thrive better politically in a mainstream and liberal political party like the PDP.
“The best option before you now is to return to the PDP and I am encouraging you to consider it because you need the party and the party too needs a strong political character like you,” Fayose said.
The former governor assured that all the raging crises between him and other leaders of the party in Ekiti State and the South West region would be resolved in the interest of the PDP.
“There is nothing to worry about. If Governor Seyi Makinde and I have issues, Nigerians should not worry themselves about that, it is not personal. There is no regional government. Every power lies in the state. Structures in Ekiti are different from structures in Oyo; structures in Oyo are different from structures in Lagos.
“I was the one who went to flag off Governor Makinde’s campaign in Ogbomoso. So, I cannot work for his failure. Whether he is backing Senator Biodun Olujimi or not, the fact remains that the struggle for the control of the party’s structures in Ekiti has come and gone.
“We won the congresses, but they are in court, if the court says it is Olujimi that is right, we would follow her and if the court says she has no case, they should join us so that we can move the party forward. Let us pursue our interest legitimately in the manners that will create peace in the region,” Fayose concluded.