Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State yesterday formally declared his intention to contest the 2019 presidential election under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The ceremony, held in Abuja, was turned to a carnival of sort and was not attended by any serving PDP governor.
Counting on his experience as two-terms governor, Fayose said he is presenting himself "as one with the required knowledge, understanding, competence and above all, the political will to coordinate the human and material resources that we have in abundance to achieve national greatness."
The Ekiti governor said zoning formula produces incompetence because through zoning, political parties throw out considerations for merit and performance.
He said his declaration against the zoning formula of his party was in line with the party's democratic disposition by which it had allowed other members to do so in the past.
"Going down memory lane, in 1999 and 2003, despite that our party zoned the presidency to the South, the likes of Alhaji Abubakar Rimi of blessed memory and Chief Banabas Gemade contested the ticket.
"Also in 2007, some party members from the South did not only declare their intention to contest, they also showed interest and obtained nomination forms. Those from the South were: Chief Victor Attah, Dr. Peter Odili, Dr. Sam Egwu, Dr. Donald Duke, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, Owelle Rochas Okorocha among others."
He challenged all those in the PDP National Caretaker Committee (NCC) wishing to contest to come out and say so just as he also challenged those in the North where the Presidency has been zoned to come out.
Fayose lamented that: "Despite the fact that the party has zoned the presidency to the North, it may interest you that no one has come out in this manner to show interest and our party should not wait or beg anyone to fly its flag.' '
Do we now say that if no one comes out from the North, the party won't have a candidate, he queried?"
Vowing to defeat President Muhammadu Buhari if nominated, Fayose said: I will defeat this Goliath in the name of God. I am the Nigeria man to watch out for as we get closer to 2019."
He recounted how history and God made those who never dreamt to become President, he said his haters would seem him triumph in his aspiration.
"With me as your President, you can be rest assured of a government that will be responsive to your needs."
On his plan for Nigeria, Fayose said: "Our economy will be revived and returned to the path of progress. We will ensure diversification of the economy through agriculture, adequate supply of power and massive industrialization, thereby creating employment for our youths. We can do it, and we will do it."
In attendance were former Ogun State Governor, Gbenga Daniel and former Osun State Deputy Governor, Iyiola Omisore, former PDP national vice chairman, Tajudeen Oladipo.
Meanwhile, former Senator representing Ekiti North senatorial district of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayo Arise, has denied insinuations in the state that he is contesting the 2018 governorship election only to end at the Senate.
Arise who stated this yesterday while briefing newsmen on his governorship ambition in Ado Ekiti said, " I've been in the Senate and I represented my people meritoriously. Therefore, I leave that position to some other politicians. I am not running to end up in the Senate, I am running for the governorship of Ekiti State."
He however assured that his interest in the 2018 governorship race won't cause friction between him and his long-standing political allies, including former Governors Kayode Fayemi and Segun Oni.
He said the All Progressives Congress (APC) would fight assiduously to wrest power from the PDP, not only for the APC to establish its control on the state but for rapid development of the state in all facets.
Also, former Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning in Ekiti State, Mr. Debo Ajayi, has unveiling his ambition for the governorship seat.
He promised that he would attract investors into Ekiti using his wealth of experience in Canada, USA, South Africa and Dubai, where he had worked and built different careers to create wealth for the teeming unemployed youths.