Estimated reading time: 11 minute(s)
The apex Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, on Monday, insisted on its support for the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
The group stated this in a statement issued on Monday by its Secretary-General, Chief Sola Ebiseni.
Afenifere was reacting to the statement credited to the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu’s on its endorsement of Obi.
Akeredolu, who spoke on a Twitter space session anchored from Akure, noted that the endorsement of the former Anambra State governor did not reflect the wishes of the Yoruba people.
He said: “Afenifere is divided in respect of the purported endorsement and the group’s views do not represent the stance of the Yoruba people.
“Asiwaju has deep knowledge about the problems of this nation. He has been part of the struggle to ensure that democracy is enthroned and that a true federal system runs in the country.”
The Leader of the Afenifere, Ayo Adebanjo, had last month declared that the group would support Obi in next year’s election in the interest of justice and equity.
Adebanjo added that the South-East had been marginalised for more than 40 years in the quest to produce the country’s president.
In the latest statement, Ebiseni said the decision to support the LP candidate was a taken by members of the group and other socio-political organisations across the country.
The statement read: “The attention of Afenifere has been drawn to the statement credited to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu on the Afenifere’s endorsement of Obi, a former Governor of Anambra State, for the 2023 presidential election.
“To start with, we wish to reiterate the principled stance of the Afenifere that the next president of Nigeria should be from the South, and all things equitably considered, from the South-East, for which we consider Obi, by his verifiable records as a two-term Governor of Anambra State, most competent and suitable. It is a well-considered corporate decision debated for over a year of regular monthly meetings, validly conveyed in the best tradition of the organisation.
“While we have our respect for Governor Akeredolu, and his colleagues of the Southern Governors’ Forum, which he leads, on their stand that it is only equitable that the next President of Nigeria, after the eight years of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), of northern Nigeria extraction, should come from the South, we will not lend our support to those who betray that cause for the lucre of vice presidential porridge or those who see equity only from the parochial prism of their own ethnic benefits.
“We wish to state, for the umpteenth time, that Afenifere is not an apolitical Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, but from its inception, a political machinery as the embodiment of the worldview of the Awolowo School of Thought on how Nigeria, a country of ancient and entrenched nationalities, may best be equitably, inclusively and peacefully governed. These thoughts are encapsulated in the theory and practice of true federalism in its equitable and logical dimensions.
“This philosophy, which has inexorably become the Yoruba view, also defines Afenifere’s position, either as the initiator of the NADECO, on restructuring and the need not to deny the South-East their turn of Nigeria’s presidency. Those who strive to abridge or diminish the full effect of this covenant, on the altar of partisan or cheap tribal interests, cannot claim to speak for the Yoruba and Afenifere is not in competition with them.
“The Yoruba know the organisation which speaks for them, taking hard decisions which others may initially despise but come round to embrace in the fullness of time.
“Finally, let it be said that Afenifere is not alone in this decision that the next President of Nigeria should be from the South and South-East specifically. Afenifere conveyed its resolution through a press conference on September 26, 2022.
Other ethnic nationality organisations, particularly of the Southern and Middle Belt Forum of which Afenifere is a member and other well-meaning Nigerian leaders are in agreement with this resolution which the nation needs most for an all-inclusive sense of belonging and attendant peaceful coexistence.”
Estimated reading time: 1 minute(s)
FOOTNOTE: Do you want to share a story with us? Do you want to advertise with us? Do you need publicity for a product, service, or event? Contact us on WhatsApp +2348183319097 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org