Why we would not support Tinubu, Atiku , Afenifere blows hot
Ejes Gist Newspaper reports that Afenifere’s leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, has clarified the group’s position on its support for Peter Obi of the Labour Party in the general election of 2023. He also explains why the group will not support Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party.
The leader of Afenifere stated that the organisation stood for justice and fairness and believed in real federalism and the Federal Character principle in a statement signed by Adebanjo on Monday, September 26, 2022 and made available to newsmen.
Read Also: Tinubu reacts as Afenifere Choose Peter Obi
Adebanjo noted that “not a few Yoruba leaders questioned why I should be supporting Peter Obi, a candidate of Igbo extraction, against Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a Yoruba.”
He was responding to the criticism that followed his announcement of the group’s support for Peter Obi in the 2023 presidential election.
I took my time and tried to convince as many people as I could that the presidency is not a race between the Yoruba and the Igbo.
“However, ever since, social media has been flooded with comments that tend to racialize the campaign rather than issue-base it. As a result, Afenifere has chosen to speak to you today and inform the public about the ethical and ideological ideas that guided our choice.
How Afenifere came into being
According to Adebanjo, Afenifere is “the Yoruba interpretation of the social welfareist ideology of Action Group, a political party founded in 1951 by Chief Obafemi Awolowo and his colleagues with strong advocacy for federalism as the best form of government to give the federating units the necessary autonomy to thrive and peacefully compete among themselves for the ultimate development of Nigeria.”
He said that Sir Ahmadu Bello, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, and Chief Obafemi Awolowo, three additional founding fathers of Nigeria, concurred with the system in 1954 with the support of colonial secretary Sir Oliver Littleton, and that it was “embodied in the 1960 independence constitution.”
Why Afenifere picked Peter Obi
This is Afenifere’s modest contribution to making Nigeria a federal republic in which no person or ethnic group is persecuted.
The octogenarian man claimed that Afenifere had consistently pushed for and insisted on the need for a national restructuring “long before the parties held their conventions to elect their National Executives and candidates” and had proposed “a synthesis of the identical Resolutions of the 2014 National Conference and the APC El-Rufai 2018 True Federalism Committee.”
Adebanjo stated that the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum and Afenifere “unanimously proposed that the minimum condition for a peaceful transition from the disastrous eight years of Buhari’s government headed by a President of northern extraction was to have the next President from the South.”
He claimed that southern governors, regardless of their political affiliations, supported this position.
The current Vice President is a Yoruba man, and equity forbids us from assuming to support another Yoruba person for the presidency in 2023, he continued. “In this quest for peace, based on equity and inclusiveness, the Yoruba took the first turn at the zoning arrangement in 1999, and that led to the emergence of Chief (Olusegun) Obasanjo.
“The present President is a Fulani from the North-West, but power is about to return to the south thanks to the zoning system that has controlled Nigeria since 1999.
“As I have said, the South-West produced a president who is now serving as vice president, the South-South has held the presidency for a total of six years, but the Igbo people of the South-East have never held the office of president in Nigeria. Now that the power is due to return to the South, equity requires that it be given to the Igbo.
“We cannot continue to demand that the Igbo people stay in Nigeria while also brutally marginalizing and excluding them from the dynamics of power.”
Adebanjo, who will shortly finish eight years of ineffective and terrible governance, criticized the PDP for granting the presidential nomination to “a Northern Fulani Muslim to succeed General Muhammadu Buhari, another Fulani Muslim.” Such a high level of political insensitivity is imaginable.
The leader of Afenifere also declared that the organisation would not abandon equity, inclusivity, and justice simply because Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was running for office.
Because one of our own, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is a front-runner for office, we will not compromise on this concept of justice, equity, and inclusivity, Adebanjo declared.
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Adebanjo reiterated that “To keep Nigeria one, everyone should be Obi/Datti compliant” and argued that going forward, that phrase should serve as the slogan. He claimed that Afenifere had “no apologies but due courage of our conviction that Nigeria can only prosper in righteousness.”
That is the latest NewsOnline Today on Afenifere