Adebanjo’s endorsement of Obi personal, say YCE, OPC, DAWN Commission, others
Say he is only exercising his democratic rights
Frontline intellectual organisations, leaders and avatars in Yorubaland, yesterday, expressed divergent views on the endorsement of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi, by the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, for the 2023 presidential election.
The acting leader of Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, had insisted that power must be zoned to the South-East Zone, thereby endorsing Obi.
Those, who spoke with The Guardian on the development, include Dr. Yemi Farounbi; Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), New Era; Yoruba Youths Socio-cultural Association (YYSA), Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, Oodua Redemption Alliance and Yoruba Emancipation Organisations Homeland.
Leading the leaders and groups, Dr. Victor Taiwo, who is the President Oodua Redemption Alliance and National Leader of all Yoruba Emancipation Organisations Homeland, said Adebanjo only spoke for himself.
He said: “Baba Ayo Adebanjo is only speaking for himself as a person and under all the laws in the world, everybody is entitled to his own personal position. The day we need to take him up is the day he says he is speaking for the Yoruba as a people to join any political group. But he never said that. So, I don’t see any reason he should be crucified for no offence committed.”
YCE through its Secretary-general, Dr. Kunle Olajide, said: “Baba Adebanjo is our respected leader. He has merely expressed his opinion. He has a right to it but it is not binding on members of Afenifere.”
Similarly, YYSA, through its National President, Olalekan Hammed, said Chief Adebanjo’s stance was not a popular opinion, saying that 90 per cent of South-West people, most especially the youths, are solidly behind Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The OPC New Era, through its National Publicity Secretary, Sina Akinpelu, said Adebanjo was only speaking for Afenifere and not the whole Yoruba.
In his own remarks, the DAWN Commission Director-General, Mr. Seye Oyeleye, said: “Baba is exercising his democratic rights and therefore he is free to support whoever he so desires.”
On his part, former Nigerian Ambassador to the Philippines, Farounbi, said: “Baba Ayo Adebanjo is only being consistent in his advocacy that the presidency should be zoned to the South-East.
“Besides, he has not hidden his unwillingness to support Tinubu.
“I am not sure that his position reflects correctly that of the Yoruba.”
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