Former Ekiti Governor, Ayo Fayose has declared he is more than qualified to be referred to as political father of Oyo Governor Seyi Makinde.
Speaking on Channels Television programme ‘Sunday Politics’, monitored by The Nation, Fayose said while he respects Makinde by virtue of his position, he is a leader to the Oyo Governor by virtue of seniority, having been elected as governor in 2003 when Makinde was just 32.
He said Makinde cannot claim to be his leader just like Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu cannot claim to be the leader of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in Lagos or Governor Nyesom Wike claiming to be the leader of former Rivers Governor, Peter Odili.
“I am not into any leadership struggle with Governor Makinde but the fact is Governor Makinde cannot come out and say he is my leader. He is not. The fact is that if my son is coming and he is a governor, I have to get up because it is the norm.
“The gentleman is a governor and I must respect his office. Governor Makinde by all standards is the only PDP governor in the West. But all South-South PDP governors, who is their leader? Because he is the only one we have I used to be like that but I never said to anyone, I am the leader of the west. But if he wants to be addressed like that, it is okay.”
He went on: “Is Governor Sanwo-Olu the leader of Asiwaju in Lagos? Is Ambode the leader of Tinubu in Lagos? Or Governor Wike is the leader of Odili? That language we have to choose it. Governor Makinde will probably be 32 years when I was governor in 2003.
“He is the leader in the South-West by reasons of his office. When we go out, we will say Your Excellency but when we are at home, we are his father”.