Ayodele Fayose, governor of Ekiti state, has declared his interest to contest the 2019 presidential election.
Speaking at a ceremony where he made his interest known, Fayose said having defeated two incumbents in his state, he is sure of defeating President Muhammadu Buhari with the support of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He also said as Nigeria’s longest-serving governor — having worked under former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan and now Buhari, he has what it takes to emerge Nigeria’s next president.
“My party leaders, standing before you is Peter (The Rock) Ayodele Fayose, the man already destined by God to take Nigeria out of the present political and economic stagnation,” he said.
“I do not stand before Nigerians today to present myself as one with the answers to all our national questions. Rather, I present myself as one with the required knowledge, understanding, competence and, above all, the political will to coordinate the human and material resources that we have in abundance to achieve national greatness.
“Twice, I defeated incumbents to become the governor of Ekiti state and I am confident that with your support as my party leaders and supporters, I will defeat the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari, in a free and fair election.”
He took a swipe at the All Progressives Congress (APC) government, saying “like they lied to win election, the government of Buhari has been deceitful for over two years”.
Fayose promised that not only will Nigeria’s economy be revived under him through diversification to agriculture, there will also be “adequate supply of power and massive industrialization, thereby creating employment for our youth”.
He said: “With me as your president, you can be rest assured of a government that will be responsive to your needs. You are guaranteed a federal government that will relate with all Nigerians not on the basis of ethnicity, religion, political affiliations and the percentage of votes but on equity and justice as citizens of one nation, one people, and one destiny.”
On the PDP’s decision that the 2019 presidency has been zoned to the north, Fayose said no northerner is yet to indicate interest to run for the presidential position, asking: “Do we now say that if no one comes out from the north, the party won’t have a candidate?”
“Our party must not lose sight that Nigerians at this period are desirous of a president with demonstrated capacity to change their fortunes. Furthermore, we must be mindful of the fact that our party needs a candidate like me, with a penchant for defeating incumbents.”