Ayodele Fayose, governor of Ekiti state, has finally revealed his true feelings for President Muhammadu Buhari.
The governor has said his continuous criticism of Buhari is simply because of his confidence that no democracy lasts without a virile opposition.
He said: “It is Ekiti first before Nigeria. Every politics is local, every governance starts from the home. From the home, we graduate to the community, then to the local government., then to the state and to the federal.”
“The Labour is Me and I am the Labour. One thing you cannot take from me is that I have opened this government for the people to run. I am the first governor in Nigeria, that gives details of allocation to workers to decide on. We have been doing that since I came.
“I want the representative of the press to always attend our FAC meetings. That shows how transparent I run this government. When you have nothing to hide, then you’ll have nothing to fear.
“I have openly given the people all the receipt of money that come to this state. All partakers of FAC allocation attend that meeting once a month. There the people take decision, I sign it. What other level of transparency is greater than this?
“As a people, we have peculiarities, and we must identify them instead of jamborees. The reason why most leaders of this country failed in the fight against corruption since 1999 is that they are corrupt themselves.”
Fayose noted that the first step that should be taken in eradicating the corruption is not to fight corruption with a political face.
He defined himself as the first Ekiti governor to “engage the workers so well”, adding he always told workers that no governor or public office holder can steal without the cooperation of a civil worker.
“We don’t have the experience on how to put papers right. We don’t write papers, all we do is approve papers. So the rally you Labour Workers are doing here today, we are supposed to do the rally to you and we will.
“If a leader is leading a country to fight corruption, he must start from his own base. He must be ready and willing to put his home right. Leaders can only lead right by example, not by propaganda. I take exception.
Ekiti state governor emphasized: “I HATE CORRUPTION. I DON’T DO THINGS BECAUSE OF LIP-SERVICE, I AM A BLUNT NIGERIAN. I have declared my asset long time ago, I have submitted all the necessary papers, I know the procedure. On asset declaration, put it inside paper or not, it is a public document; there is FOI bill, it is public already. If I need the asset declaration of anyone, I know the proper procedure to get it.
“I put facts on the table. Facts and figures. No politician can steal money without the help of the civil servant; we should look inwards. One thing I want you all to realise today is this… I love PMB. People think I hate him but I don’t. Democracy is founded on opposition. Opposition will keep the government of the day on their toes to do the right thing.
“In my publication today, I commended the president on effort on Boko Haram. In the last four weeks, it has been positive and there is hope. But I urge the president not to politicise corruption. The law has its process; there are agencies that take care of corruption. We should allow them do their duty without preempting them.
“A civil servant who absconds from work yet collects his salary, is another civil servant not the one to process his payment?. All that governors do is to approve the money; it is civil servants that pay civil servants.
“Let everyone start the fight against corruption from the confines of his home. If every home is right, then the country will be right. If we are ready to fight corruption, then let’s sit tight about it and do away with politics.
“Somebody must have a different view from all these views. I have a different view in Nigeria, and I’m not ready to surrender that will. The Bible says ‘the righteous will be as bold as a lion’. God be with you. I did not put myself here, you all put me here. I am a man of peace. Let no man misquote me.”
President Buhari and Fayose have many times engaged each other in a war of words.
Though Fayose defined Buhari as running the country as if he was the president of northern Nigeria only, Buhari said the governor’s outburst was capable of triggering ethnic clashes among the nation’s communities.