Governor Ben Ayade claims President Muhammadu Buhari asked him to join next year’s presidential race which he declared interest in earlier.
Mr Ayade stated this on Tuesday while briefing State House Correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where he met with President Muhammadu Buhari.
The governor defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressive Congress (APC) last year.
While calling on the ruling party to zone its presidential ticket to the South, he pledged to support former president Goodluck Jonathan should the latter declared interest.
“I have great respect for President Jonathan and so I have no challenges whatsoever,” he said, when asked to react to unconfirmed report that the APC might present Mr Jonathan.
“I have great respect for President Jonathan so I have no challenges whatsoever. I believe that the party leadership will decide the appropriate candidate that will take our party to victory and so if you heard me well, I am just part of the family, absolutely loyal to the President, seeking to run for president and I’m running.
“At any point in time the political leadership of my party, the APC, feels that President Jonathan is the appropriate candidate that will take us to victory, I will turn my support for him. I am never ever going to fight the establishment, the institution, the aristocracy, the spiritual vortex of which God has placed a leader on the country, I will never question the powers of the leader of the country.
“I have never played the politics of antagonism or fights. If you know how I became governor, I became governor by offering to support whoever the governor wants.
“By a stroke of luck, I became the candidate. The same token… I’m only here to support the President’s candidate and by a stroke of luck he said you to go there and join the race,” he added.