Senator Babafemi Ojudu is undoubtedly a force to reckon with in the terrain of Ekiti politics and as a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), although he never bothered to seek a re-election into the Senate after the winding up of the seventh senatorial assembly in June, this year.
In his interview with Sunday Sun, the veteran journalist turned politician clears the air as to the allegations against him that he has been fronting for the 19 lawmakers in Ekiti State because he has an eye on the governorship seat of the state.
According to Ojudu, Governor Fayose should rather mind the business of delivering the dividends of democracy to his people, rather making an attempt to smear his (Ojudu) name. “I will, however, call on Mr. Fayose to stop smearing my name. Let him face governance and deliver the dividends of democracy to the people. A few weeks ago, it was General Buhari he was after. Now it is my life that he is after. His goons have been threatening my life and that of my family. They have, through numerous calls, threatened to burn my house and kidnap my children. If I say I am not bothered by that, I will be lying”, Ojudu said.
Why did you not seek a re-election into the Senate?
I have said that repeatedly and I guess I am tired of doing so now. I have given reasons and I guess that should be enough for now. You will find an elaboration of this in my memoir.
Ekiti has been unstable over the years and some have said that key players in the game of politics in the state should be held responsible. What’s your take on this?
I do not understand what you mean by players being held responsible. What are the problems? There was an election and Fayose was said to have won. We have a legislature of 26 members and 19 are of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Since Fayose got to power, they have been driven out of the state; their salary and allowances not paid; their official vehicles withdrawn and I am told auctioned away. Seven persons have been carrying out the task of 26. Going by the rules, the seven do not even form a quorum and in spite of this, they have been making laws, appropriating funds and confirming persons of offices in violation of the constitution. So, for me, it is not the players who are responsible for the crisis but the governor who is intolerant of the opposition and do not care about the laws of the land, as well as the constitution of the country.
You have been accused to have an eye on the governor’s seat of Ekiti and that that is why you are fronting for the 19 lawmakers in the state. Is it true that you are one of the key masterminds of the plot to impeach Fayose because you want to be the governor afterwards?
I am not. I have no ambition to be Governor. If I do become one someday, it would have been through a legitimate means and nobody can take that away from me.
So, what are we supposed to believe here?
I have said it that it is not true. 2018 is still very far away for anyone to be expressing interest in governorship now. So let it be clearly stated that I am fronting for no one. The law makers are men and women of interigity. They can think and act for and by themselves. Let Fayose face the issues at stake. Dear governor let the rule of law be the yardstick for your governance. Ekiti people are too educated to be led by the nose.
As an elderstateman in Ekiti politics, what would you say is the solution to the situation of things now?
There are two ways about it. The solution is for the Governor to be tolerant of the opposition, uphold the rule of law and stop behaving like a gangster.
Is there any important fresh information you will like to disclose concerning the crisis rocking Ekiti State?
Not that I know. I will, however, call on Mr. Fayose to stop smearing my name. Let him face governance and deliver the dividends of democracy to the people. A few weeks ago, it was General Buhari he was after. Now it is my life that he is after. His goons have been threatening my life and that of my family. They have, through numerous calls, threatened to burn my house and kidnap my children. If I say I am not bothered by that, I will be lying. I have called the attention of the Inspector General of police to this and I believe he is doing something about it. I think it is most irresponsible and criminal to circulate my name, my phone numbers and that of Speaker Omirin with the instruction that his supporters should be threatening our lives.
But the media aide to Governor Fayose, Mr. Lere Olayinka, has alleged that you once instructed your “boys” to post his phone numbers online and that is why he personally did same to you. What is your reaction to that?
It is not true. Let him come up with the evidence. The boy is just a compulsive liar. He did same to the Chief Judge of the state and also libeled him. That gentle, responsible and innocent man has sued him for libel, and that is the same way I intend to sue him. Unfortunately enough, since Fayose came to power, no court has sat in Ekiti State. There is no Legislature, no judiciary, nothing! What we have in Ekiti is a maximum ruler who does not fancy the rule of law.
The implication of the crises rocking the state may be overwhelmingly affecting the common Ekiti people. How do we avert this?
It is very simple. Let the governor govern the people by law. If he respects the constitution and abides by the provisions therein, there will not only be peace, there will be justice. But if he continues to live with the illusion that he is kabiyesi and his words are laws, then that is no longer democracy. He should rest assured that he will always be resisted. Look at how he harassed General Buhari all over the country and even outside, simply because the man offered himself to serve this country. Is that decent enough? Is that allowed in a democracy to wish an opponent dead? That is Fayose for you. It is that spirit of intolerance and indecency that is causing all the problems in Ekiti. We, however, believe that he will caution himself now that the era of impunity is about to end in Nigeria.
Let us now go there. What is your party doing to stop the politics of hatred and calumny, especially with the emergence of President Buhari as the leader at the centre?
Are you referring to the hatred shown to Buhari by Fayose during the campaigns?
Not exactly, sir. On a general note now
If that is it, then I must tell you that General Buhari is a mature person and he must, by now, have forgiven Fayose for the hatred shown to him. The matter of providing good leadership for Nigerians and solving the myriad of problems facing us as a people are his utmost concerns now, not the irritant behaviour of a man who threw away caution and discretion.
Source: The SUN