Former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose has made it clear that though he is still a member of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) but has decided to support President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who emerged from the All Progressives Congress (APC), which has been in power at the centre since 2015.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after a private audience with the President at Aso Rock Presidential villa, Abuja Fayose said: “let me tell you, I will never join the APC, but I don’t have to be a party man to support good product.
“Whosoever is in this saddle in Nigeria, we must stand by him. We must give our best and I want to tell you that people like me, others like Governor Wike, Governor Makinde and other wonderful Nigerians, have made up our minds that it is better to stand with a man of vision and to stand with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for the betterment of our country.”
Fayose said that the steps so far taken by President Tinubu can readily give us the direction of his government.
“Elections have come and gone, without prejudice to the courts.
“But it’s no more time for campaign or selling a political party, it is time to govern Nigeria for the benefit of children yet unborn and those of us that are still here and to equally let you know that I had a very wonderful time with the President.
“You will see him very alert and very clearly in the direction he wants to take the country, but he can’t do it alone, he needs all of us.”
On whether he is still a member of the PDP and whether he would accept appointment from President Tinubu, Fayose said: “let me say again, unequivocally, I have said it in several fora, I will never be a member of the APC. I am a PDP man. If anything takes me out of the PDP or if I don’t do partisan politics again, I will be the husband of my wife at home.
“It is not a matter of party. Nigeria is bigger than all political parties and all interest groups. I want to tell you again, you don’t have to take an appointment to make a difference.
“Nigeria is about 200 million population. We all can’t be on appointment, whosoever makes it, either in the APC or in the attempt to have a government of national unity, it’s all about service.
“May I say to you expressly, I am not a desperate person at all, but I don’t shy away and I will never shy away to give direction wherever I am. I am with this government, without apologies.
“Majority in the past can tell you, even when I was a sitting governor in Ekiti, I’ve always spoken well of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“I never knew and may I say to you, the agenda that I joined the G5 to pursue is to have a Southern President. Today, a Southern President has emerged and we’re all with him.”
Fayose said that if Asiwaju turns back on his promise and all he said when he was campaigning, “I will be the first to talk. I am not timid and I don’t shy away from facing challenges.
“But the man I have seen today, I don’t eulogize and I don’t praise to curry favour, I am no more a small boy. Let me tell you, the man I saw today and for the actions we have seen, means well for Nigeria.
“But if there’s any reason to derail, it will not be deliberate and we will all be able to draw his attention to his brief as the President and Commander-in-Chief of our country.
“Let us be optimistic, let us be hopeful and let us believe that there will be a turn around.”
The former Ekiti governor debunked the notion that being in opposition political party, he should not have supported the government, saying: “I am doing more than opposition.
“If the government in power is not doing the right thing, we’ll be courageous enough to tell the government in power. That was why I told you, when Buhari was President in this country I didn’t shy away from telling him the truth and the government.
“May I say to you that I have said here, that if the President, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, is shying away from his brief, I, Ayo Fayose, Oshoko, will be courageous enough to tell him.
“You see, I am 63, I am not a small boy anymore. I stand by what I say. I want to assure you that you don’t have to be in a political party to stand up and in opposition.
“But you don’t oppose when you don’t need to oppose though. You don’t fight an innocent person if that person has not done anything wrong.”