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2015: PDP goofed picking Jonathan — Fayose

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Terrorism: Nigeria would have collapsed if he had won — Dogara

By Simon Ebegbulem&Gabriel Enogholase, with agency report

EKITI — Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, weekend, described the fielding of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the last election as a miscalculation by the party.

This came as Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara also, yesterday, declared that the Boko Haram insurgency would have destroyed Nigeria, if the former President had remained in power, asserting that the defeat of the PDP administration saved the nation from imminent collapse.

Fayose, who disclosed this in an interview, said the defeat could have been averted had the party fielded a northern candidate.

He said: “We lost the election because we did not pick our candidate from the north, not because Jonathan as a person was bad. It was just a political miscalculation. The fact is that my former President, I chose my word, my former President, Goodluck Jonathan, tried his best.

Ayodele Fayose
Ayodele Fayose

“But if I were him, I would not have contested at all, you understand? Because it is two ways: If he did not contest and the PDP lost out, he will still be an honourable man, and if he had given that opportunity to the north, those who defected from the PDP would not have defected.

“But that is story. Jonathan did his best and I will still continue to support him. You know I was not there when they took the decision about him becoming the flag-bearer, but it doesn’t matter. We can’t all put our mouth inside the soil. Somebody must remain with somebody. I will remain with Jonathan, even if I am the only man standing.

“A man is not measured by the amount of food he has and the amount of properties he owns. Sometimes sickness is good, it reshapes your life. Sometimes poverty is good, it helps your life. Sometimes failure makes you to reorder your life. It is not the end of your life.”

On what would become of PDP, in view of 2019 elections, Governor Fayose said though the party was going through challenges at the moment, it could still come out of its present challenge before the next round of elections.

“Let me explain something to you. When you have an accident, God forbid, you don’t gather momentum immediately. Life is physical, it is normal. What the PDP is going through now is a deliberate effort to destabilize the opposition by the APC and we know that.”

On whether he had his eyes on the Presidency in 2019, Fayose said: “For which country? Nigeria? Well, I don’t have such an ambition but I know I am going higher. Mark my words, I have said 20 things that will happen in Nigeria and more than seven have come to pass. Check the records.”

On the role played by soldiers in Ekiti and Osun elections, the governor said: “My own is that I have gone through an election. I have won an election. There is a place the law says you can ventilate your displeasure. They have gone to the lower court, the appeal court and the Supreme Court.

“The Supreme Court has given judgment in my favour. They have become functus officio. They cannot approbate and reprobate on the matter anymore. The election matters are Suris generis. They operate within the ambit of time.

“The military was represented by a lawyer and the police was represented by a lawyer. This one is an afterthought. During the National Assembly election, how did I win all the seats?

“Two weeks after the House of Assembly election, I won everything, 26-26. Is it the military again? When the male friend of your mother is more powerful than your father, you call him daddy. You welcome him and take his bag.

“Let them take my bag and accept this Ekiti matter. This Bayelsa election we just finished, 14 people died, how many people died in Ekiti? If you see my prediction about

Nigeria under Buhari, I said every effort to forcefully take the South-South states will result in a huge loss of lives.
“They should leave me alone. They should face governance. God has given me this place. No amount of powers will take this place from me because the gift of God is without repentance. How can only me defeat three governors – Segun Oni, Adebayo and Fayemi. I defeated them and they are still complaining.”

PDP defeat saved Nigeria — Dogara

Meanwhile, speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, yesterday, declared that the Boko Haram insurgency would have destroyed Nigeria if President Goodluck Jonathan had remained in power, asserting that the defeat of his government saved the nation from imminent collapse.

While declaring that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was winning the war against insurgency, Dogara called on the President to immediately organize an International donor conference for the North East, saying funds realized from such a conference would be used to rebuild the war-torn region.

The speaker stated this when he visited the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camp at Uhogua in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State.
Addressing the IDPs, Dogara who, expressed shock at the number of IDPs in the camp, lamented that PDP’s government failed to tackle the war as expected.
He said this created the current crisis in the country and commended Edo State government and the General Overseer of the camp, Pastor Folorunsho Solomon, for keeping the camp running.

He vowed to ensure that the National Assembly played its part to ensure that IDPs were well taken care of.
His words: “I want to thank God for the intervention in our affairs that he brought change in government. If we had continued like before, probably the Boko Haram fighters would have reached places like Jos by now.

“It would have been millions of IDPs but God heard our prayers, he brought change in government. And the commitment in ending this fight has commenced in earnest by this administration.

“We have seen that attacks have reduced drastically. So it is hoped that very soon, may be this year, most likely most of us who are here today and want to go back to their communities may be able to do that.

“They will go back without any fear of intimidation, we must do it because we have no other country but Nigeria.”

The speaker, who donated bags of rice, beans, wheat, sugar and other items, promised to offset the bills of students in the camp involved in NECO and WAEC examinations.

“I never knew that I will see this multitude of my own brothers and sisters. I have been told but maybe I did not believe enough, but the moment I stepped into the church, I saw a people that are determined not to be broken, in spite of the circumstances of their life.

“Apart from the war against terrorism, we in the House of Representatives are trying to pass a law that will establish the North East Development Commission.
“So if that happens, it means we are going to have funds that will be used to rebuild the communities that you have come from when the war is over. And we will ensure that every fund meant for that is channelled for that purpose. Apart from that, there is a provision in the budget that will take care of you.

“That is to say that the government has not forgotten you. And we have been encouraging private sector participation in managing the IDP crisis in Nigeria.

“We have the victim support fund that is private sector driven. It is led by one of our eminent sons, Gen.T.Y.Danjuma.
“In addition, we have been calling on government to organize what is known as the International donor conference for the North East.

“Just recently, it was done for Syria, so we want to reiterate this call for government to immediately convene an international donor conference for the North East.

“So as soon as these funds start coming, we will make sure that wherever IDPs are in Nigeria, the hands of help to all IDPs in Nigeria will come. So as long as this government endures, you will always be in our heart.

“Because we are in church, I will talk to you from the perspective of Christianity. I have not come here like any other politician, as I must sympathise with you, I must also encourage you.

“I know the circumstances that brought you here because I am part of that region of the North East as well. And I remember that in my own local government, I had to concede one of my houses for IDPs from Yobe and some parts of Borno State.”


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