Controversial ‘Life, Death’ Advert: Fayose Is On His Own, PDP Says

Gov. Ayodele Fayose, Governor of Ekiti state

By Nuel Suji, Abuja.

The Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation, PDP, has distanced itself from a newspaper advert sponsored by Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State, saying it does not represent the opinion of the party.

Governor of Ekiti state
Governor of Ekiti state

In the controversial advertisement signed by Fayose, it is suggested that the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, will die in office if voted president.

The adverts shows a comparison of Nigerian past head of states that died in office, insinuating that Buhari will suffer same fate if voted to power in the February 14 election.

It also portrays Buhari as ‘death’ and President Goodluck Jonathan as ‘life’, urging Nigerians to choose Jonathan as life.

But the media director for Jonathan’s campaign organisation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, told journalists in Abuja, Tuesday that the governor’s position did not represent the opinion of Mr. Jonathan or the campaign organisation.

“Governor Ayo Fayose is a distinguished leader of our party. A democratically-elected governor and someone we have immense respect and affection for and he released this advert in his own name. That represents his own personal opinion which he is entitled to.

“What I can tell you on our part as the Presidential campaign organisation is that it does not represents the opinion of the Presidential Campaign Organisation or indeed the President, it is his opinion, which he is entitled to and he is somebody that we have immense respect for, he is a leading member of the party, I have spoken with him and we respect him.

“But for anybody to suggest that this is the position of the presidential campaign organisation or President Goodluck Jonathan, that will be most unfair.

“If we wanted to say something like that we will say it without any kind of apology but of course, we will never say that because we believe in the sanctity of life. Age is not a function of how long you will live.

“It is important that we recognise the fact that age is not an indication of how long somebody will live. We believe strongly that we must continue to show immense respect to the person of General Buhari,” Fani-Kayode said.

Adding, however, that the party will continue to raise questions on the issue of Buhari’s health.

“We believe it is important to always raise question about facts, you know what these questions are and we will continue to raise them.”

“We do not wish him ill, we do not wish him dead, we wish him long life and we believe strongly that such sentiment can be aired by individuals certainly not in our name,” he said.

Adding that,”Fayose never said that he was speaking on behalf of President Goodluck Jonathan but for his own self and he said that he issued it in his name. And I have emphasised that, that is his opinion and he is entitled to it.

“I could only disown if a statement was purportedly made on our behalf and in fairness to him, he never said that, what is important is to emphasize that fact that his position does not represent our position on this.

“He is entitled to that position, he is a leading member of our party. We have immense respect for Fayose just as we have immense respect for General Buhari and we will not allow anybody to attribute something to us that we did not say.

“So it is his statement and he is entitled to it. It doesn’t represent our position and he never said he represented our position,” he added.