Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose has said he is not afraid of going to jail to defend his conviction and ensure that the nation does not slide into a one-party dictatorship.
He said he was not afraid of President Muhammadu Buhari and would continue to criticise him for clamping down on former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors.
The governor spoke yesterday after the House of Assembly declared him “Nigeria’s opposition leader” for consistently speaking against perceived persecution by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government.
The House, led by Speaker Kola Oluwawole, passed the resolution at a special sitting.
Lawmakers, who spoke at the sitting included Oluwawole; his deputy, Segun Adewumi; House Leader Tunji Akinyele; Samuel Omotoso and Mrs. Titi Owolabi-Akerele.
Fayose said: “Why should I be afraid of jail? Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Nelson Mandela were jailed. Chief MKO Abiola was clamped into detention.
“So, why should I be afraid of President Buhari? He is just going to be President for a period of time. Virtually, all former PDP governors are being tried for corruption.
“But my speaking about what the APC government is doing does not mean I am eyeing a bigger position. I am not ready to go to the Senate. Great leaders don’t think about political placement, but think about how to strive to make their country better.
“All of us cannot run away from harassment. I am an opposition figure and I want to help the ruling party through criticisms, so that it won’t sleep.
“I don’t have any apology. This is the only time I can help Nigeria by helping check oppression and dictatorship.
“But a fact remains that whether the house calls me opposition leader or not, I will remain myself.”
On why they ‘honored Fayose with the title, Oluwawole said: “Since Fayose assumed office, if you see and hear his contributions to national issues, he has been honest, frank, courageous and this shows that he is an epitome of leadership. He has also been prudent in the management of our resources.”
The Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe and the Chairman, State Traditional Council, Oba Samuel Oyebade, urged the Assembly and other Ekiti citizens to continue to support the governor.
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