Ekiti State governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, on Sunday, said he was not contesting any joint presidential ticket with the national chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, describing the report indicating that as cheap blackmail.
Governor Fayose was reacting to a newspaper publication that said he was warming up to be the running mate to Sheriff in 2019 presidential election.
The governor, who declared that he remained the most senior serving governor in the country, said he was a man of principle, maintaining that nobody should bother to arrange such position for him if they were doing so now, as he was not interested in it.
Fayose vowed that he would even oppose Sheriff if he dared to contest as president of the country.
The governor, who said he was still serving as governor of Ekiti and had more than two years to go, stated that he was not a character that he was being portrayed.
“It is like a man still chewing something and still looking for something inside somewhere to chew again,” he said, adding that “I am not a character like that.
“Even if Ali Modu Sheriff is contesting as president in 2019, I won’t support him. I will oppose him because he wanted to be chairman of the party.
“We must have principle. This is cheap blackmail. It is to give a wrong impression about me. I am the most senior governor in this country. If I am in APC, they will celebrate me. I still have two and a half years to serve as governor. If anybody is arranging me for that, tell them that they should not arrange me.”
In another development, Fayose has disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to sign 2016 budget into law was because he had no money to fund it.
During a media interaction in Lagos, he further noted that President Buhari had been overtaken by global event, adding that “Mr President is challenged by old age, lack of exposure and posture.”
He stated further that “Buhari cannot sign it (budget) because he has no money to fund it. His trip to China is to borrow money to fund the budget, 50 per cent of which is for debt servicing.
“What magic could he perform at older age? Nigerians should stop bringing into power old people, who are not in tune with the global trend of doing things.”
The governor declared that Buhari had failed in putting the economy on its right footing, while he expressed fear that the country’s economy could collapse under him.
Speaking further, the Ekiti State governor insisted that criticising the president constructively would not make one his enemy.
He lamented that what the president had been busy doing apart from jetting round the world was intimidation of the opposition, noting that no foreign investor would come to invest in a country where fear and intimidation were the order of the day.
On the economy, the governor urged the president to devalue the naira, to allow people’s money guarantee adequate purchasing power in the market, even as he lamented that “the economic situation in the country now is killing.”
He commended former Lagos State governor and national leader of the APC, Senator Bola Tinubu, for crying out loudly recently over the issue of fuel scarcity.
Fayose warned those promoting President Buhari for a second term in office to desist from doing so, describing such a venture as “criminal.