By Maxwell Adeleye
The Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, says President Muhammadu Buhari “is too sick to govern” and should be allowed to retire to his country home in Daura.
The governor, who spoke in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday, also turned down pressures to recant his attacks and claims on the health, saying he stands by all his statements on the President’s health.
He had been credited with the comments that he would commit suicide if Buhari returned to the country alive and had since been urged to make good his vow.
The governor however denied making such statements, adding that his enemies had created the comment to paint him in a bad light.
“Let me tell you expressly, why would I commit suicide? I cannot commit suicide because of my mother,” he said.
“Even if they are burying my mother now, I will cleverly stay away from the grave so that I won’t fall into it.
“I can’t commit suicide because of Buhari. I never said that and will never make such statement.”
Mr. Fayose also cited the cancellation of the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting in support of his claims that the president needed to rest from the task of governing the country.
The spokesperson to the president, Femi Adesina, had in a statement on the cancellation of the FEC meeting, said Mr. Buhari was instead going to receive the report of the investigation committee into the allegations against the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Babachir Lawal, and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Ayodele Oke.
Mr. Fayose said he stood by his claims about the president being in coma on July 6, and said he had no apology over his comment perceived by many as insensitive.
“If not for our efforts, Buhari wouldn’t have returned now,” Mr. Fayose said. “He is sick and tired and even his physical appearance portrayed this and he needs to go home and rest.”
He asserted that he had no apology for every word that had come out of his mouth, adding, “President Buhari was indeed in coma and one of those who visited him said his recovery is a miracle that shows that he was indeed very sick.”
He stated that Mr. Buhari should not be sent to his early grave, but should be allowed to take a rest due to his ailment.
“Buhari is not old enough to be my father, my mother is older than Buhari, he cannot be my father, he can only be my uncle.
I am close to 60. I stand by all I have said about the President,” he said.
“We are glad he is back, but don’t over flog him.
“I am not a sycophant and I stand to speak for Nigeria. Somebody must be able to speak on behalf of the poor masses. This was how they deceived us during the time of Yar’Adua. I am not a hypocrite and I will never be one.
“This country deserves a very healthy person. Office of the president is not for a sick man. The president is tired and should be allowed to resign and go and rest.”
According to Mr. Fayose, since the President himself could not disclose his health status and the extent of his ailment, it suggested that there was so much to hide.
“Not until civil societies and people like us started making noise. You can’t be our president without us knowing what is happening to you. So, for me, the president went to coma July 6,” he insisted.
“You don’t have to be president at all cost, when you are tired. You go home. I don’t want to talk about 2019′ but I want to tell you that Nigeria needs a president that is agile, strong. The job is too much for an individual that does not have what it takes. It is common saying that health is wealth. Everything is about health.”
Mr. Fayose noted that he wished the president well and wanted him to recover, but advised him to resign and go home.
“You see they said he would come back and resume in his office, he resumed in his office, they said rats have taken over his office,” he said.
“A presidential office, rats took over his office! Now they said he is working from home, tomorrow, they would say he is coming from bedroom.
“All these stories are ending up in a make believe. In a country where you have so much to do, I am not going to be a sycophant here.”
Mr. Fayose said he would not go to the presidential villa to greet the president if invited, saying that his visit would be misinterpreted to be laden with sinister motives.