Ekiti State Governor Peter Ayodele Fayose is famous for his controversies. On Saturday, ahead of President Muhammed Buhari’s arrival from London, Fayode declared himself as Nigeria’s president in-waiting.
He spoke at the Jolly Nyame Stadium, Jalingo –the Taraba State capital during the funeral service of former Governor Danbaba Danfulani Suntai.
The Ekiti governor came when all other dignitaries were seated and the occasion had begun.
He waved at the gathering, acknowledging cheers which briefly interrupted the service.
He wore a white garment with brief arms and white half-shoe to match.
As he strode in, some people initially had mistaken him for former President Goodluck Jonathan, in spite of their stark difference in body frame and height.
Leading Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo of Gombe State and Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong to the podium to offer their condolences and tributes, Fayose stirred a melodrama. Twice, he called himself president in-waiting.
He humorously thanked the moderator, GT Kataps for giving him the chance to step on the podium.
“Thank you for giving me the chance. Maybe I am the president in-waiting,” he said. There was a thunder of laughter and cheers from the audience.
As he made his speech, members of a women choral group began to make noise. “Women should not make noise, especially when a president in-waiting is talking,” he said. Again, he was cheered up by fans.
He based his tribute on “courage and fearlessness” which he is known for, which were also attributes of late former Governor Danbaba Danfulani Suntai.
But when it was the turn of the Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong to speak, he told Fayose that there was no qualm since his presidency was a waiting type.
Lalong said: “Thank God you are a waiting president. You will wait for my President, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari; he is returning today; you will welcome him.”
It was a few hours after Lalong’s speech that President Buhari arrived the Presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
Lalong is of the All Progressives Congress (APC), while Fayose is of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Fielding questions from newsmen, Fayose said he attended Suntai’s funeral because the deceased was an achiever, and particularly when Governor Darius Ishaku of the PDP won his election in the court he celebrated the victory in Ekiti too.