Why Afinifere Insists On Supporting Obi-Adebanjo

AFENIFERE leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo

The leader of the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, has reiterated his stance on the group’s support for the Labour Party’s candidate in the 2023 general election, Peter Obi.

The elder statesman insisted that the group will not support the All Progressives Congress’ candidate, Bola Tinubu, and the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

In a statement issued by Adebanjo on Monday, Afenifere leader said the group will not wither on its stand on equity, federalism and the Federal Character principle.

The statement read in part: “Not a few Yoruba leaders questioned why I should be supporting Peter Obi, a candidate of Igbo extraction, against Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a Yoruba. I took my time to explain that the presidency is not a contest between the Yorubas and the Igbos and to a large extent I was able to convince many.

“But ever since, social media has been filled with comments tending to ethnicise the campaign instead of making it issue-based. Afenifere has, therefore, decided to address you today and through you educate the public on the ideological and equitable principles which have influenced our decision.”

He added, “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 current Vice President is a Yoruba man and equity forbids us for presuming to support another Yoruba person for the presidency in 2023.

“The current President is a Fulani from the North-West and by virtue of the zoning arrangement that has governed Nigeria since 1999, power is supposed to return to the south imminently.

“The South-West, as I have pointed out, has produced a president and currently sits as VP, the South-South has spent a total of six years in the Presidency, but the Igbo people of the South-East have never tasted presidency in Nigeria, and now that the power is due back in the South, equity demands that it be ceded to the Igbo.

“We cannot continue to demand that the Igbo people remain in Nigeria, while we at the same time continue to brutally marginalise and exclude them from the power dynamics.”

GOCOP

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