The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has said his asking for forgiveness should not be taken for cowardice by his opponents, saying his tenure in office will be determined by God.
He said he took the step to seek a genuine reconciliation with the All Progressives Congress, whose 19 lawmakers in the state House of Assembly were plotting his impeachment.
The governor spoke on Sunday at the thanksgiving service organised for him at the Cathedral Church of Emmanuel, Anglican Communion, Ado Ekiti, to celebrate his electoral victory at the Supreme Court.
Fayose said, “I asked for forgiveness for reconciliation and to pursue genuine peace. Waiving the olive branch does not mean cowardice, it is for peace.
“Conspiracy is against God’s will. What better way could one seek peace other than asking for forgiveness.”
The governor advised the APC to emulate President Goodluck Jonathan who conceded defeat and saved Nigeria from disintegrating.
“When I contested for Senate they said I lost and I did not fight anyone. I did not go to the tribunal and I was saying good things about the government then. The opposition should be courageous enough to accept defeat. I follow Jonathan in and out of office. Jonathan gave up for survival of Nigeria. Jonathan prevented the prophecy that Nigeria would break up in 2015.
“I’m enjoying the mandate of God through his people and that cannot be controverted. My sin is because I allowed the common man to breathe the air of hope.
“The people have spoken (governorship election), they said it was military intervention. They spoke the second term (presidential election), is that one photochromic? And they spoke again the third time (House of Assembly election).
“If God that gave me victory cannot defend me, I better go home. If the people cannot defend the mandate they gave to me, I better go home. Power doesn’t come from man. Power belongs to God. Anyone against the voice of God is following Satan’s way.
“In a democracy, you need a simple majority to win elections, but I enjoy total majority. They want to take government by force, firing shots at people; that is coup against the people. They said they are coming again tomorrow, we are waiting for them.”
But the APC lawmakers advised Fayose to stop inciting the people, saying his Sunday broadcast had demonstrated that he was not committed to genuine reconciliation.
The APC lawmakers in a statement on Sunday accused the governor of inciting the people against them in the broadcast.
A statement by the Special Adviser on Media to Speaker Adewale Omirin, Wole Olujobi, said the governor in his broadcast demonstrated that he was never committed to the peace he preached barely 24 hours before his inciting broadcast.
“How do you reconcile this inciting broadcast with a plea he made for peace not quite 24 hours earlier, which Ekiti people and indeed Nigerians thought was a good move by the governor to thaw the frozen relationship between him and the lawmakers?
“This is a confirmation of what Dr. Omirin said in his Sunday Punch interview that the governor can’t be trusted in any peace move.
“It is shocking that the governor, who refused to make any remark or commitment during the church service after the man of God appealed to him to embrace peace, could go on air few minutes after the church service to start inciting workers, traders, okada riders and artisans to defend him with their last drop of blood.
“As if his inciting live broadcast was not enough, Ekiti people were shocked when a public service announcement started running intermittently on the state media urging okada riders to look out for strange faces across the state and attack them because they are thugs that are being imported into the state by the APC lawmakers.
“They are also to converge on the House of Assembly as early as 6am on Monday to prevent the lawmakers from performing their legal duties,” the statement added.
Stressing that they were not planning any invasion of the state with thugs, the lawmakers called the attention of Nigerians to the unlawful acts of the governor in his desperate move to ensure that the lawmakers were rendered ineffective in the discharge of their lawful duties.