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The pan Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, says it has genuine results that confirmed the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi won the 25th February election and not the presidential candidate of the All Progressives,Bola Tinubu.
The group at its meeting held at its leader, Ayo Adebanjo’s Sanya-Ogbo residence, Ogun.
The group rejected the emergence of Tinubu as the president-elect, saying, it knew nothing about the congratulatory message sent to him on behalf of the group .
Afenifere stayed this in a communique jointly signed by the Acting National Leader and the Secretary-General of Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo and Chief Sola Ebiseni respectively .
The leader of the group ,Reuben Fasonranti had issued a congratulatory message to Tinubu over his emergence .
But, Adebanjo’s group dissociated Afenifere from the congratulatory message sent in the name of the group to Tinubu, describing him as illegally declared president by the Independent National Electoral Commission .
The group said that the decision of Obi to challenge the results of the election in court has the group’s support.
The communique read partly, “the results of the lawful votes at the election available to the Afenifere through credible sources confirm that Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, won the said election and we, thus, support his decision challenging the contrary declaration by the INEC.
“The General Meeting, hereby, denounce in strong terms and dissociate Afenifere from any congratulatory message in the name of the organisation or howsoever to any candidate as illegally declared by the INEC.
“Afenifere reiterates that for equity, fairness, national cohesion and peaceful corporate existence, the next President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be person of its southern part and specifically the South-East.
Speaking on the coming election, Afenifere declared support for the governorship candidate of Labour Party in Lagos ,Mr. Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour.
The group said “We call on Nigerians to troop out en masse and participate fully in the gubernatorial and state houses of assembly elections slated for the 11 March 2023.
“That with particular reference to Lagos State, Afenifere confirms that the governorship candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour is a person of Yoruba origin, whose great-grandparents are not only Yoruba, but definitely one of the notable founding families of Lagos.
“We unequivocally endorse and urge the people of Lagos to vote for him.”
While reviewing the February 25 elections, the group lamented that the “deliberate non-compliance INEC with its guidelines encouraged electoral brigandage at the polling units.”
Afenifere added “destruction of ballot papers, snatching of ballot boxes, doctoring of figures and swapping of votes of candidates at the coalition centres through the amended and outlawed manual procedures which rendered the 25th February 2023 presidential and National Assembly elections flawed in several respects as confirmed by local and international observers.”
The body, therefore, called “on INEC to ensure free and credible gubernatorial and state houses of assembly elections in accordance with the constitution, the extant Electoral Act and its mandatory Guidelines earlier mentioned.
“That in accordance with the hallowed Yoruba culture of civilised conduct, Afenifere assures all persons resident in Yorubaland, indigenes and non-indegenes, of protection in the conduct of their lawful duties and particularly the free exercise of the rights to vote for candidates of their choice in all elections and thus warn all threats mongers and merchants of violence to desist therefrom.”
Afenifere also called on the President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) and all security agents to guarantee the safety of the people, free, fair and peaceful elections throughout Nigeria.
The body added said that “the international community should show special concerns in the ongoing electioneering process in Nigeria in the interest of peace of the global community.”
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