Giving reason for his absence at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Conference which held yesterday, November 12 in Abuja, Governor Fayose of Ekiti State said he was observing three days of fasting and prayers ahead of his 55th birthday this weekend and so he excused himself from the conference.
Speaking with newsmen at his
Afao Ekiti country home, shortly after he was conferred with the title of ‘Leader of opposition in the country’ by the state House of Assembly, he said he needed time to be with God and must abstain from all distractions.
“Some of my commissioners were there and the chairman of my party wass also there. I may not be there physically but I am with them morally and I supported them financially,” he added.
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held its national conference yesterday, November 12 in Abuja
and a number of the party’s chieftains were absent.
The conference was part of efforts being made by the party to re-brand and preposition ahead of the 2019 general elections, Daily Trust reports.
Those who were absent include; former President Goodluck Jonathan, his deputy Namadi Sambo, erstwhile national chairman of the party Adamu Mu’azu, former Senate President David Mark, a PDP founding member Alhaji Adamu Ciroma, Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose, among others.
On his part, Ciroma who was listed among the dignitaries to grace the conference said he was not informed of the meeting early.
He said: “I saw the advertisement in the paper and television. It was only yesterday (Wednesday) that some people came to formally invite me and I turned down the invitation because they didn’t do it before the advertisement. They should consult me before making any advertisement.”
Governors who failed to attend the conference included: Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa), Ben Ayade (Cross River), Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Nyesom Wike (Rivers).
Chief Alex Ekwueme, former Board of Trustees (BOT) chairman, Chief Tony Anenih and former Niger State governor, Babangida Aliyu were also absent.
Those present were; governors Darius Ishaku (Taraba), Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo (Gombe), Idris Wada (Kogi), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom) and Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo).
Former governors Gabriel Suswam (Benue), Sule Lamido (Jigawa) and Senate minority leader Godswill Akpabio, were also present.
Earlier, Ibrahim Babangida, a former military president turned down an invitation by the PDP for the re-branding conference. His reason being that he had quit partisan politics, adding that he would continue to offer his wise counsel to all politicians towards building a better Nigeria.
Speaking at the conference, Ike Ekweremadu, the deputy president of the Senate, who was the chairman of the conference expressed concern that so far no campaign promise made by the present APC administration has been kept.