Politics

Afenifere Insists Peter Obi is Preferred Presidential Candidate Over Tinubu

The pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has restated its endorsement of Peter Obi, Presidential candidate of the Labour party (LP) as its choice for the 2023 elections.

The disclosure followed a recent statement credited to Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, over the group’s endorsement of Peter Obi.

The governor, in a statement, said, “Afenifere doesn’t speak for the Yoruba people on the endorsement of Peter Obi and that Afenifere is divided in respect of the purported endorsement.”

He said that Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who is the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidenital candidate and a Yoruba has always remained progressive despite the prevalence of political prostitution in the country.

“Asiwaju has deep knowledge about the problems of this nation. He has been part of the struggle to ensure that democracy is enthroned and that a true federal system runs in the country,” he said.

Akeredolu recalled that Asiwaju Tinubu was part of the founders of NADECO and participated in the struggle that led to the return of civil democratic rule in the fourth Republic.

“Tinubu’s contributions in the NADECO struggle can not be denied. As you know, when the 1993 presidential election was held, MKO Abiola was deemed to have won that election. But the military junta cancelled the election and set up an interim government.

“Asiwaju Tinubu and a few others felt they weren’t going to take it. They formed the NADECO and fought the military. They stood on June 12. Then the whole country conceded that the next President must be from the Southwest.

”That is why in 1999, only former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Chief Olu Falae ran for the election.

“You can not deny Asiwaju his role. He ran away from the county and set up the Radio-Kudirat. Those were the struggles we had before the fourth republic came up.”

” Asiwaju has shown integrity. Asiwaju’s form of politics has taught us that political prostitution is unnecessary.”

The governor said that Tinubu made efforts to build Lagos State when he was governor of the state, adding that the APC presidential standard bearer was able to make Lagos State a country within the Country.

But in its response, Afenifere said the decision to support Obi was a corporate decision of members of the group and some socio-cultural organisations in the country.

A statement by the Group read: “The attention of Afenifere has been drawn to the statement credited to Akeredolu on the Afenifere’s endorsement of Obi for the 2023 presidential election.

“To start with, we wish to reiterate the principled stance of the Afenifere that the next President of Nigeria should be from the South, and all things equitably considered, from the South-East, for which we consider Obi by his verifiable records as a two-term governor of Anambra State, the most competent and suitable.

“It is a well-considered corporate decision debated for over a year of regular monthly meetings, validly conveyed in the best tradition of the organisation,” it said.

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