Governor Ayodele Fayose has warned those who want to betray Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to be careful as those that betrayed Chief Obafemi Awolowo died mysteriously.
Fayose has activieyl spoken in support of Tinubu who he described as a Yoruba leader in spite of the fact that they belong to separate political parties.
In an interview with The Punch, Fayose insisted that although he was not interested in joining the All Progressives Congress, he would still not hesitate to speak against any form of betrayal against Tinubu as they are Yorubas first before being politicians.
He said: “Regional integration can only work if we remember our basis. We are first Yoruba before we are Nigerian. Our leaders must come together. You know my position on Asiwaju (Tinubu) and I’m not in the All Progressives Congress and will never be. When we were campaigning for the election of former Governor Kayode Fayemi, Asiwaju invited me to join the party and I said no. Regional integration is wonderful and desirable because in our unity lies our strength. But when it is politicised, it will take us nowhere. We should come together irrespective of political affiliations. Americans will always say, ‘God bless America’ even when they lose an election. This is the attitude we must inculcate. The leaders must rally round to strengthen ties. We are contributing so much to the values of Nigeria than for our leaders to be rubbished cheaply by people who got greedy because of the opportunity given to them. We can’t begin to celebrate because of political gains. These same leaders brought them from obscurity. It will not be in our interest to watch these ingrates because of our political differences.
“How could some of them have got to positions of relevance if not for God? And the same leaders, they are conspiring with his (Tinubu) enemies to rubbish him. The people that betrayed Pa (Obafemi) Awolowo died mysteriously. The greatest thing a man can offer his leader is loyalty except if the leader is wicked. Most of the people Asiwaju Tinubu and I brought up betrayed us. They are only bringing curses upon their lives. If you wine and dine with enemies of people that brought you up, you are a betrayer. I support regional integration based on issues not politics; based on truth, not politics; and based on development, not politics. For me, anything that can promote this region and enhance the life of the common man, that is what I will support.”
Fayose warned that those trying to bring Tinubu down will pay dearly for it especially those he worked to make politically relevant.
“If there is anybody that Asiwaju has brought up and made and they want to turn around and pull him down, they too will pay dearly for it. They know themselves. Judas knew himself. This is not the beginning; they have been doing it before now. The thing is just coming into the open. A betrayer will always be a betrayer. I’m not an APC man and I’m not holding brief for Asiwaju Tinubu. But, I believe in the Yoruba nation and I believe in our leaders. As much as I believe in Asiwaju, I believe in our PDP leaders too. Don’t forget, even in the North there are leaders that when they were being maltreated I condemned it. I don’t hide because the truth is what I stand to represent. And anything that will take away the honour and dignity of our leader like Asiwaju Tinubu, we will rise up against it and expose those behind it. It is common in Yoruba land for people who are supposed to watch your back to collude with external aggressors and destroy their leaders to take such (leadership) position. It will never work.”
The Ekiti governor insisted that he will never be a member of the APC but his support for Tinubu remains strong.
“Even, if I don’t like Asiwaju, he has attained an enviable height in his political endeavours. He has done so well economically. He has led his people to wherever they are today. I can’t stand here and be denying the obvious. But if by tomorrow we have political issues, I will still say my own. I will tell him the truth; that is politics. But when we get back home, he is a leader. Chief Bode George is a leader. A number of them are leaders of the South. We can’t say because they are in other political parties they should be rubbished and we will be clapping. No, I can’t clap. It is true I’m not a member of the APC and I will never be.
“The fact remains that honour should be given to whom honour is due. There is nobody – mother, brother and sister – that will wish, with the efforts Asiwaju has put into Nigeria and his party, that he should be disgraced. It will be unfortunate for the Yoruba nation if they short-change Asiwaju in APC. When they bring anything to the South-West, they won’t give me. They won’t give PDP but they will give a Yoruba man. And one of the leading lights that can bring such opportunity is Asiwaju Tinubu. When PDP was appointing ministers, they came from the party and not from APC. But should we say we should cut them down? No. When a man is in a position of authority in the North everybody says, ‘Ranka dede.’ But here we begin to pull him down. That is not good.”