Barely 24 hours after he escaped death when his Mercedes Benz G-Class Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) caught fire along Oshodi-Apapa Expressway in Lagos, Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose on Thursday declined comments on circumstances that led to the blaze.
The governor also revealed that he had abandoned his office for over one year at the Governor’s Office complex saying “office of the governor is on the streets.
He also canvassed support for his deputy, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, whom he has adopted as his candidate for the July 14, 2018 governorship election calling on the residents not to refer to him as “deputy governor” again but “our governor tomorrow.”
All the drama took place at the Government House Pavilion in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, where 11 communities got cheques of N94 million to execute development projects under Ekiti State Community Development Agency (EKSCDA), a World Bank-assisted project.
Reporters present at the forum, who saw the governor’s presence as an opportunity to speak on the Lagos fire incident for the first time, met a brickwall as he refused to comment on it.
Fayose interjected the reporter who asked the question, when he retorted: “I don’t want to comment on that.”
The governor reportedly escaped into another car in his convoy when the Mercedes Benz G-Class SUV mysterious erupted in flames at about 1.30 pm on Wednesday.
The carcass of the vehicle was towed away by officials of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA).
Fayose handed over the task of distributing the cheques to Olusola saying: “I am handing over the conduct of this ceremony to my deputy because you are already elected, you are already the governor.
“Ekiti people don’t want a governor they won’t see, for the past one year, I have not entered that office because the office of the governor is on the streets and governor’s prestige should not be
higher than his people.
“I will miss all of you when I leave office next year, I want you to help me stand by Kolapo, an unwanted visitor will not be elected governor next year.
“This continuity must be achieved, I am the first person (in the state) to be elected governor twice and I will be the first governor to successfully hand over to his chosen successor.”
“By God’s grace, you (Olusola) will get there, you will crush whoever that stands on your way; my people, don’t call him deputy governor again, call him our governor tomorrow.”
The Oloye of Oye-Ekiti who is also the Chairman of Council of Traditional Rulers, Oba Oluwole Ademolaju, urged Ekiti people to support Olusola saying: “the angel we know is better than the one we don’t know.”
Another monarch who spoke at the forum, the Olojudo of Ido-Ile, Oba Aderemi Obaleye, hailed Fayose for anointing his deputy, a feat he said is uncommon in Nigerian politics where governors and their deputies are always locked in cat and mouse game.