- We’re still deliberating on this position
An indication has emerged that the Leader of the Yoruba socio – political Organisation, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, might be on his own with his recent endorsement of the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi.
Sources in the Pan Yoruba Group, who spoke with Sunday Telegraph, on condition of anonymity, said Adebanjo had no mandate of the group to endorse Obi’s candidacy wholesale.
The nonagenarian, during a press conference, said that for equity, justice and fair play, the South East should succeed President Muhammadu Buhari and in the case, Mr. Peter Obi.
He said :“In the countdown to the 2023 General Election, long before the parties conducted their Conventions to elect their National Executives and candidates, we had insisted and still advocate restructuring before the elections proposing a synthesis of the identical Resolutions of the 2014 National Conference and the APC El-Rufai 2018 True Federalism Committee.
“We did this as Afenifere and on the wider spectrum of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum.
“We did this, when politicians, in spite of the monumental crises confronting the nation, carried on as if the attainment of power was all that mattered, the SMBLF 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.”
But a Chieftain of the Group said: “The position of members of the group is quite different from that of our leader. In fact, an emergency meeting has been called on this matter and we are still deliberating. The only Spokesperson of the Afenifere is Comrade Jare Ajayi, and it is through him that we expect whatever position the Afenifere holds should be disseminated.
“Even if Baba Adebanjo says anything that does not go down well with the members, the National Publicity Secretary is not expected to counter the leadership openly. We are all Yoruba and the concept of Omoluabi is in us.
“To me, omo odo naa gbodo fi ogbon see ni (The servant must do it with wisdom). If Baba Adebanjo speaks with any journalists expressing the support of Afenifere for the Labour Party Presidential candidate, Peter Obi, but such does not come from the National Publicity Secretary in form of release from the group, to me, whatever he says remains his personal opinion.
“In fact, I can say that Baba is on his own on this matter. Omo eni ko le se idi bebere ki a lo fi ‘leke si idi omo elomiran now” (one cannot have a daughter with voluptuous buttocks and proceed to adorn one’s precious beads on another person’s daughter’s buttocks).
“How can we as Yoruba people for whatever reason, abandon our own son, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu and canvass for votes for another presidential candidate from another ethnic group to become president in 2023? It is not plausible if I may say so.
“In essence, to me o, Baba Adebanjo’s open support for Obi against Tinubu is his personal interest and not that of the Afenifere group. I tell you, many members do not support him. His is a lone voice crying in the wilderness, I tell you.”