During an interview monitored on Adaba 88.9 FM, the immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, spoke on the audio tape detailing how the June 21, 2014 governorship election was rigged in the state. Excerpts
Recently, an audio file was released by Sahara reporters detailing how the Ekiti 2014 governorship election was rigged. Why did you go ahead to congratulate Fayose on June 22 with this information at your disposal?
I am glad we have come to this point in Ekiti. Even those who were deluded into believing that the voters in Ekiti voted against our party are beginning to see the comprehensive grand plan. You raised a pertinent question and I would like to answer that question. Yes, I was very careful in the couching of my statement. I said if this is the will of the Ekiti people… The qualifier there is the word ‘if’. If it is the will of the Ekiti people then I accept, but the second paragraph went into great detail, stating all of what you heard, the harassment, the arrest, the intimidation and the grand plan from Abuja, I spoke about all that.
But I also then said, that for me, the peace of Ekiti was paramount and that at that particular time, I chose peace first, justice later. Why did I say that? Part of the grand plan which is not in this tape, which you will hear later in a subsequent tape, was to kill as many Ekiti people. If people had gone out to protest, they would have been killed. Are you saying that Segun Oni lost in Ifaki? Are you saying Niyi Adebayo lost in Iyin? We had 226, 000 members in our party and the votes declared for us was 120,000. You are suggesting that 100,000 of our voters either voted against us or did not vote.
That is the implication and that these people will be happy to vote for an opposition, that is the other implication. And of course, if you listen to the tape you will hear of a duplicate copy of the INEC ballot papers and computers. But was I really ready for Ekiti people’s blood to be spilled? I am not in politics as a blood-sucking ogre and I am not going to play politics on the grounds of anything but myself. I knew we were going to come to this point and those who want to challenge me on this should read my past interviews.
I had predicted we were going to get to this point because I knew blow by blow what transpired and some of the other elements who were not even involved at this level, who were involved at the Abuja level had also spoken to me about the role they played in what transpired in Ekiti, which helped us in preventing it in Osun.
So, Ekiti had to be the sacrificial lamb. People have asked me why now, why are you releasing it now? We are releasing it now because it is also part of the grand plan, we are releasing it a few days to the election, election as supposed to be February 14 and the tape was released because this was the plot for Lagos, for Oyo, for Rivers, Imo.
Specific states had been chosen to be militarised during this election and to use exactly the same compromised military officials. Why did Brig. Gen. Aliyu Momoh come for the Ekiti election? Because Brig. Gen. Dikko, the Brigade Commander here, refused to be a pun. Dikko blatantly told the then Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, to his face that he was not going to be his agent of manipulation and rigging and those who are aware of what Dikko did in the Ilaje/Ese-Odo federal constituency election in Ondo know why they cannot risk leaving such a professional officer here to conduct the Ekiti election. That is why after Momoh had supposedly delivered in Ekiti, they then decided that Brigadier Adeyemi, who was the Brigade Commander in Osun, had to be moved so that Momoh who had no business in Osun, because he was commanding a totally different brigade and Osun has its own brigade, was taken to Osun for the same purpose.
But we were able to counter that, thankfully. However, the issue is now out. If Ayo Fayose is telling any man in Ekiti that that is not him, then you know this is a man who is an inveterate liar. His voice cannot be mistaken anywhere. A two-year old in Ekiti will tell you this is Ayo Fayose.
What is your party, the All Progressives Congress, doing to ensure that a scenario like this does not play out in the coming elections?
That is part of what we are doing now. We released this tape…the military is scampering now all over the place. Beyond this, we are also taking steps and those steps I cannot disclose here on air. But we are prepared.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, has postponed the elections on the grounds that the military would not be able to secure the ballot as they would be battling Boko Haram. What does this portend for our democracy?
If you want to take an extreme view on this, there is no other word for it than treason. The upper echelon of the military is guilty of treason against the state because the first duty of any government is security and the welfare of the people. If INEC was ready by and large to conduct an election and an institution that is responsible for an aspect of the election refuses to oblige, that institution is acting unconstitutionally. And when you act unconstitutionally like that against national security, you are committing treason. That is the extreme view. If you subject it to just an objective analysis, that Ok, you said because of Boko Haram, that you cannot guarantee security, the military hierarchy admitted that 14 local government areas are affected by this out of the 774 local government areas. In 1999, elections did not take place in Bayelsa State because of militant activities but it took place in the other 35 states and the FCT. That election later took place in Bayelsa a month after.
So, there is no reason you could not have isolated the 14 local government areas affected by Boko Haram and carry on with the 760 local government areas left. But of course, we all know that this is not about security. This is about a desperate government and a desperate President that is afraid of losing, a loss that is so imminent that everybody can see and feel around them, including the President. The military became a wiling tool. Why would they not be a willing tool? You saw the way a general (Momoh) was spoken to on that day. A general in the military was insulted and derided as if he was a nobody because they have allowed their institutions to be desecrated and I keep saying that even in the military there are so many Sagir Koli (the captain who leaked the audio tape) who are unhappy about their profession being desecrated by these elements.
There are theories that the President Goodluck Jonathan government may not relinquish power on May 29, do you believe these conspiracy theories?
Well, I am not even sure whether to call them conspiracy theories any more. I have heard credibly …at least there is an element within the ruling class, considering this option. We are back to 1993, pre-June 12. We are at that stage now and you have people who just have contempt of the ordinary people of Nigeria. There is a section of the ruling party that is considering the possibility of not going into elections. I have received what I consider solid information on this, but ultimately it will fail, just as these things have failed in the past. I don’t see the provision within the law that they will use in justifying this. Yes, I am aware they have reconvened the National Assembly and this is a matter that is likely to come before the National Assembly, maybe using the Doctrine of Necessity again, but I believe that Nigerians will resist this with every fibre of their being.
What is the APC doing with the audio file, are you submitting it to security agencies, besides releasing it to the public?
We are taking all the appropriate constitutional steps to ensure that this does not go unpunished. There are soldiers willing and ready at the appropriate time to testify in court beyond Koli.
Don’t you feel the audio tape will be forgotten like that of the $3 million bribe scandal that rocked the House of Representatives in 2012?
You can understand why Mr. Fayose is doing what he is doing, including the lies about Gen. Buhari. He knows that the minute this election takes place, and a genuine winner emerges, he is as good as history. That is why he is doing what he is doing. He is a desperate man; he is even more desperate than Jonathan. He is fighting for his life. He is one of the apostles of interim government. I should let you know that. He believes that all his atrocities will come back to haunt him. The judges they have beaten up who cannot talk now, the civil servants they have harassed, the solders, even Gen. Momoh should be pitied because he is a victim, he wants promotion. It takes a very tough person to resist the kind of filthy lucre that these people offer.