Leader of the Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, has explained the reason behind his absence at the endorsement ceremony of the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in Akure on Sunday. 

Adebanjo, in an interview with newsmen on Sunday, said he was not expected to attend the meeting, where Tinubu was endorsed. 

The Afenifere leader noted that his support for Obi was already made known.

Adebanjo is quoted to have said, “In the first place, I was not supposed to be there. In the second place, we have made our position clear. Pa Fasoranti asked me if I was coming, I said if he asked me to come.

“But tell him what the position of Afenifere is. Once he has done that, I’m not going into any controversy about that.

“Afenifere has taken a stance to support Obi. Any other splinter or rebel group… I’m not going into any controversy about that. I regard that as a diversion. What we are going to do now is see that we succeed at the election,” he added.

Recall that the leader of the Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, and several South West leaders had endorsed Tinubu on Sunday at Fasoranti’s residence in Akure, the Ondo State capital.

During the meeting, Fasoranti, prayed for Tinubu, just as he declared, “Tinubu will win the election.”

In a statement after the meeting, the organisation’s National Organising Secretary, Abagun Omololu, said the Afenifere leaders did not hesitate to endorse Tinubu.

He noted that Tinubu proved beyond doubt that he would practise true federalism by giving states more control over internal affairs when elected.

His statement partly reads, “Tinubu shared with us his vision of a greater and more prosperous Nigeria where democratic rights, rule of law, justice and fairness will reign supreme. He also gave assurance on steps to be taken to ensure the safety and security of Nigerians and their properties.

“We support the decision of all qualified citizens to exercise their fundamental rights of seeking offices provided by the federal Constitution.

“Having taken cognisance of his commendable antecedents as Lagos State Governor and his demonstrated ability in building physical and human capital, the Yoruba leaders at today’s meeting are in no doubt that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, offers the best opportunity to produce a government that will usher in a new era of hope, peace, security, harmony, gainful employment for the multitude, economic development, social and political stability.

“We have also been assured of his commitment to the promotion of true federalism that will give states more control over their affairs. Afenifere wishes him success in the pursuit of his vision.”

The meeting was attended by former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel; Retired Methodist Bishop, Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu; National Secretary of APC, Senator Iyiola Omisore; General Secretary of Yoruba Council of Elders, Senator Cornelius Adebayo; former Governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande; and Governor Seyi Makinde,  who was represented by the Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Bayo Lawal.

However, some members of the Afenifere, including Adebanjo, and the Secretary-General Chief Sola Ebiseni, were absent at the meeting.

Adebanjo had earlier declared support for the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi.

Post a Comment