Atiku said he chose Ekiti as first state to be visited, because of Fayose’s role as opposition leader and chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum.
He commended Fayose for various projects being executed in the state.
Atiku said Fayose’s popularity in Ekiti and Nigeria was not in doubt as he has been acknowledged as “frank, bold and straight forward politician.”
He said: “Since my return to PDP, this is the first state I am visiting to consult with leadership and party members.
“Governor Fayose and I had struck a relationship during his first tenure and I respect him for this.”
Atiku also hailed Fayose for nominating his deputy, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, as his preferred candidate for the 2018 governorship election.
The ex-vice president said he was not in Ekiti for campaign but to consult with party leaders on the way forward.
But Fayose, himself a presidential aspirant, used the opportunity to throw verbal missiles at former President Olusegun Obasanjo over his latest advice to President Muhammadu Buhari not to seek re-election in 2019.
The governor alleged that Obasanjo was aggrieved with the President because his (Obasanjo’s) ministerial nominees were rejected.
Calling Obasanjo unprintable names, Fayose faulted the ex-President’s call for a Third Force as alternative to PDP and All Progressives Congress (APC).
He maintained that PDP remains the most viable alternative to APC, urging Nigerians to return the party to power in 2019.
Fayose also blasted Buhari for allegedly inflicting hardship on Nigerians.
The Ekiti governor said exchange rate has shrunk by 45 per cent under President Buhari whom he accused of doing nothing to stop the recent killing of Nigerians in some parts of the country.
He said every attempt to muzzle PDP would fail and predicted a landslide victory for the party in the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti.