The YNaija Interview: Buhari is not yet governing Nigeria – Fayose

Fayose shares his personal number on Twitter |

Ekiti state governor, Ayodele Fayose is as opinionated as he’s controversial.

The man who revels in being the ‘oldest serving governor in Nigeria’ has no qualms about issuing a scathing criticism of any politician, political party or government,  whenever he has to.

As President Muhammadu Buhari marks one year in office, YNaija had a chat with Governor Fayose, to ascertain his assessment of the APC government thus far.

Here’s what he had to say.

What’s your take on the current electricity situation in the country?

Everything is grounded in Nigeria and electricity is not exempted. Few weeks ago, the unprecedented happened in Nigeria – power generation stopped completely for over three hours, leaving Ikeja Disco, Ibadan, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Benin, Jos, Kaduna,Yola, Eko and Enugu with zero allocation! For three hours, Nigeria generated Zero Megawatts of electricity.

As at May 29, 2015 that Buhari assumed office, power generation was above 5,000MW, but as at today, power generation is below 1,400MW. This notwithstanding, the government has increased electricity tariff.

How would you say Buhari has fared since he became president?

Like I have maintained, Buhari is not governing Nigeria yet. He was not prepared and equipped to govern and evidences of his cluelessness are everywhere. Exchange Rate has risen from to over N350/dollar, 27 States can no longer pay salary, External Reserve has dropped while the federal government is not showing any clue as to its capability to revive the economy. All the promises they made, they have denied.

They promised N5,000 monthly stipend for unemployed youths, they have denied it. They promised to feed school pupils, they have denied. Most importantly, they promised to create three million jobs per annum, they have used their bad policies to create more than three million unemployment instead.

For the first time in the history of Nigeria, we have a government that could not prepare an error free budget, with the President blaming an imaginary “budget mafia” for the padding of the 2016 budget.


People say you like to showboat and often seek attention, what’s your take on that?

What attention do I need after being a governor twice? I am the first person to be governor of Ekiti State for two terms and the first and only person to defeat two incumbent governors at two different occasions. I speak my mind not minding whose ox is gored.


You’re perceived as Nigeria’s most interesting governor. Do you agree? Why?

I must be a very interesting person to have left government on October 16, 2006 and returned to government on October 16, 2010, exactly eight years after. I must be an interesting person to be the oldest serving governor in Nigeria today. I served under Obasanjo, served under Jonathan and I am serving under Buhari. I must also be an interesting governor because I do not fear anyone. I fear only God.


How would you rate Buhari’s handling of the economy?

Buhari has crippled the economy. Everything that was working before Buhari assumed office is grounded now and too painful enough, the government has no economic team.


What impact has the APC government had on your state?

Nigerians can see that states can no longer pay workers. About 27 states are owing workers’ salaries ranging from four months to 12 months. Here in Ekiti, we are owing four months salary and it will be five months at the end of this month. For this, workers are on strike and there is nothing that we can do because wage bill and subvention amount to over N2.6 billion per month while what we get as allocation from Abuja has reduced to below N1 billion while our IGR is less than N300 million per month.


What is your take on the agitation for Biafra in the East and the role of the federal government?

I support the unity of Nigeria. But the reality is that under Buhari, Nigeria is more divided than ever before. I wish President Buhari will rise up to the challenges of a divided Nigeria by acting more like a northern president than president of Nigeria.


You’ve made some statements regarding the Fulani herdsmen? What’s your stand on the growing menace?

It is unfortunate that we now have Boko Haram ravaging the Southern and North Central parts of Nigeria in form of Fulani herdsmen. It is even more worrisome that President Buhari, who is the patron of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has refused to call the herdsmen to order. If the same President Buhari that was so concerned about the killing of Fulani herdsmen in Saki, Oke Ogun Area of Oyo State such that he, as a private citizen led Arewa to Ibadan on October 13, 2000, to confront the then Governor of Oyo State, late Alhaji Lam Adesina is now keeping silent when the same herdsmen are killing our people, destroying our farmlands and raping our women. Nigerians have no option than to rise and defend themselves.

The reality we must also face is that activities of the Fulani Herdsmen are inimical to the revival of agriculture in the country. We should wonder how Nigerians can go back to farming when those already in the farms are losing billions of naira worth of crops to destruction of their farmlands by the Fulani Herdsmen and the Federal Government is not doing anything about it.

I have therefore directed that cattle grazing should stop in Ekiti State and those interested in cattle farming should henceforth do so in their own cattle ranch. No more movement of cattle from one location to another in the State and any cattle seen anywhere in Ekiti State apart from the ranch created for them by their owners will be confiscated by the government and their owners will be prosecuted. A bill to this effect will be sent to House of Assembly for passage into law to criminalise cattle owners whose cattle are found moving from one location to the other in the State.

We have taking this position because cattle farming is just like any other farming business and anyone interested in cattle business should be ready to provide facilities needed to carry out the business. If fish farmers are responsible for their own ponds and poultry farmers build their own pens, cattle farmers should also provide their own ranches.


Can the APC government do enough in the next 3 years to retain the center by 2019?

Morning they say shows the day. The reality is that APC did not prepare for governance. The party got to power by accident and political conspiracy and it is finding it extremely difficult to govern. As at today, the party is still behaving like opposition and acting like it is campaigning for votes. Therefore, I don’t see anything significant coming from the APC government in the next three years.


Can the PDP overcome its internal wrangling to unseat the APC in the next election?

PDP is already overcoming its challenges. Even the level at which people contested for party positions from ward to national levels in the last two months is a sign that the party is very strong. You don’t go about sponsoring people for party positions if you are not sure that the party can win elections. We now have a caretaker committee in place that is supported by all stakeholders and that to me is the starting point to the party’s return to greatness.


What is your opinion on the removal of subsidy and the subsequent increase in the price of fuel? Was it a necessary evil?

Was subsidy removed in the first place? The Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo said petrol price was increased because Nigeria was broke. In other words, President Buhari increased petrol pump price because the country was broke and it needed to shore up its revenue base. The N58.50 added to the previous pump price of N86.50 was an Indirect Tax imposed on each litre of petrol purchased by Nigerians.

Simply put, the Federal Government is indirectly collecting N58.50 naira tax from suffering Nigerians on each litre of petrol they buy. Buhari is no doubt acting like the proverbial Agbalowomeri Baale Jontolo (A king that exploit his extremely poor subject to further enrich himself).

It is on record that on May 2 this year, the federal government, in the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) Template released in Abuja, told Nigerians that it was subsidising petrol at N12.62 per litre.

In 2012 when Dr Jonathan removed fuel subsidy and increased petrol price to N141 per litre, crude oil was selling at $111 per barrel.

If not wickedness, how can petrol price be increased to N145 per litre when crude oil is now selling at $49 per barrel?

In the history of Nigeria, increase in price of petrol has never been as high as it was done by Buhari, putting Nigerians in severe hardship as the product affects every sector of the economy.

Too bad, those who opposed removal of fuel subsidy in 2012 and funded the Occupy Nigeria protest are the ones canvassing support for this Buhari’s wicked one year anniversary gift to Nigerians.

On April 14, 2015, President Buhari’s ally and former Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Prof. Tam David-West, told Nigerians that Gen. Mohammed Buhari (who was then President-elect), will reduce the fuel pump price from N87 to N40 per litre. Buhari did not debunk this statement made by his friend and major supporter.

Also, when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government of Dr Goodluck Jonathan reduced the petrol pump price from N97 to N87 per litre in January 2015, former Lagos State Governor who is now Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola said N10 reduction of the petrol pump price was too low and that Nigerians will get a better deal under Buhari. Fashola tweeted on January 18, 2015; “On PMS price reduction by N10. Now they listen. Oil the raw material drop over 50%, N10 is just about 10%. Good try but Nija can get a beta deal.”


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