Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has maintained that he is still interested in becoming Nigeria’s president in 2019, saying he has not withdrawn from the race despite his party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), zoning the presidency to the North.

Governor Fayose spoke with newsmen while meeting with education stakeholders and “education families” in the state which the state’s Ministry of Education said was meant “to celebrate educational feats and achievements recorded in 2017.”

Fayose said he reduced the tempo of his race towards his presidential ambition because of the July 14 governorship election in the state, and explained that his presidential campaign would be rekindled after the election in the state.

“I am still in the presidential race. I am only waiting for the time Ekiti governorship election will hold so I can have the time, though I am making contacts, I am reaching out to the people that matter across the country,” Fayose said.

Addressing the teachers, Fayose charged them not to vote for those he said would sack them when they form government, saying they should support his deputy, Professor Kolapo Olusola, whom he is supporting to succeed him.

He said: “Don’t vote for those that will come here and sack you. When they sacked your colleagues in Kaduna State, an APC leader in Ekiti said it was a step in the right direction and I believe such person is not good for Ekiti teachers.

“Prof Kolapo Olusola is a man of integrity; very hardworking and dependable. He won’t betray you. He will protect your interests and I want you to support him.”

He expressed the hope that the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state would field his predecessor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, rumoured to be eyeing a return to the office, saying he would still defeat him in the election if he was picked as candidate by the APC.

The governor, while speaking on the anger expressed by aspirants in the PDP over his support for his deputy in the governorship race, he said there would be primary election to be conducted by the national leadership of the PDP, which he said he would have no power to interfere in.

He contended that he had “no role to play, only the NWC will present the delegate lists for them to elect the candidate. So, I won’t interfere despite my support for Professor Kolapo Olusola.

“I have no regret supporting Olusola. If it were those people I had supported, they won’t be abusing me. But they remain our brothers and sisters and we are going to put our house in order at the right time so that we can be on the same page.”

A former Minister of Works, Prince Dayo Adeyeye; Senator Biodun Olujimi, Mr Owoseni Ajayi and Ambassador Dare Bejide are the PDP aspirants that addressed newsmen recently and called on the national chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, to call Governor Fayose to order and ensure that a credible primary election is conducted to select the party’s candidate.