In promoting himself as the bona fide aspirant to clinch the PDP presidential ticket ahead of the 2023 presidential election, former Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti has rubbished the credentials of ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar and former Senate president Bukola Saraki.
Mr Fayose cited the narrow win of Messrs Abubakar in Adamawa and Saraki’s loss in Kwara at the 2019 general elections.
The ex=EKiti governor, who has declared interest in the 2023 presidency, said he would not step down for any PDP aspirants.
“Who knows if it’s me (that) Nigerians want to vote for, sir?” he reasoned during an interview on Channels TV on Wednesday, disclosing that he had already purchased the presidential nomination form.
“They said they want all of us to come and do consensus. I don’t know about them, oh. But I have taken the form today,” said Mr Fayose.
Pointing out his disinterest in a consensus PDP candidate, Mr Fayose stated, “Who will step down for who? You ask me to step down. I won’t step down, oh.”
He also revealed that he did not consider Messrs Abubakar and Saraki as heavyweight politicians, particularly in the North or their states.
Mr Fayose disagreed that certain politicians and regions command a large number of votes, especially in the North. The ex-governor citing 2019 polls, noted that PDP presidential flag bearer, Mr Atiku won by a stroke of luck in Adamawa.
“Let us look at the number from the states from the aspirants in question. Let me come from our respectable leader, Atiku Abubakar. He won in Adamawa by less than 20,000 votes,” said Mr Fayose.
Of the ex-Senate president, he explained, “Let us go to Bukola Saraki in Kwara. We actually lost there.” He added, “Let us sit back and look at the figures oh when somebody is saying the person that can win.”
When reminded of his failure to deliver Ekiti to PDP at the 2019 presidential poll, Mr Fayose stressed it was difficult to deliver any state when the sitting governor belonged to another party.
“Yes, we lost. The issue largely is that when a sitting governor is there, it’s not as easy as you expect,” he claimed.
Mr Fayose also frowned upon PDP members who defected to APC as the main reason ex-President Goodluck Jonathan lost in 2015.
He said Messrs Atiku and Saraki would not have returned to the PDP had they succeeded in their political ambitions while in APC.
“If some of them had become president in APC, would they come back? Would Senator Bukola Saraki come back?” Mr Fayose said.