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‘Stop attacking Afenifere over its choice of presidential candidate’

By Oluwaseun Akingboye, Akure
15 December 2018   |   4:14 am
A Yoruba socio-cultural group, Yoruba Self-Determination Advancement Forum (YOSEDAF), has condemned the attacks on Afenifere for supporting the former...

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar / AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

A Yoruba socio-cultural group, Yoruba Self-Determination Advancement Forum (YOSEDAF), has condemned the attacks on Afenifere for supporting the former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar for the 2019 presidential election.

The Chairman, Mr. Kola Are, in a statement made available to journalists in Akure yesterday, “unequivocally condemns in strongest terms the recent needless attacks and mud-slinging of Afenifere leadership.”

According to him, YOSEDAF is a coalition of over 60 self-determination platforms committed to the political survival and democratic values of the Yoruba people. He described those behind the attacks as “self-serving Yoruba Elders.”

He faulted leaders like Chief Ayo Fasanmi over perceived Afenifere’s endorsement of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Abubakar, describing it as needless and pretentious attacks.

“It is indeed the height of hypocrisy at this time to stand up against denunciation of the pervasive tyranny in the land while pretending to be sitting on the fence.

“YOSEDAF wishes to emphasise that at no time than now in the recent history of Nigeria has it become more expedient to stand up against a divisive leadership whose continuation in office could only take the country to a new height of nepotism, insecurity, inter-ethnic distrust and flagrant disdain for democratic norms as well as debasement of the rule of law.

“Regrettably, those who pretend to be sitting on the fence, engage in doublespeak and find it convenient to play the ostrich as usual when fundamental decision about the political leadership and future of the country demands decisive and bold pronouncements are doing huge disservice to history.

“Those who indulge in pretentions could only be acting contrary to the cherished values and established standards expected of Yoruba political leadership.”

The group asserted that indulgence in actions or inactions tantamount to endorse the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari under the aegis of All Progressives Congress (APC) is a betrayal of trust of leadership.

YOSEDAF, however, revealed that Afenifere is yet to formally endorse any candidate for the 2019 poll, expressing dismay on the support for the ruling APC despite its myriads of inadequacies, especially among the highly enlightened Yoruba race in the 21st century.

“It is therefore most disheartening that some of our respected elders who was at the 2014 National Confab supposedly to pursue Yoruba Agenda could find it difficult to identify with unambiguous position on restructuring.

“This is more so when President Buhari has demonstrated lack of commitment to the clamour of Yoruba political leadership for a restructured Nigeria on the basis of equity, justice and enabling democratic ethos.

“We are alarmed that the same mistake made in 2015 when a section of the Yoruba electorate was misled into voting Buhari is tacitly being reenacted.

“Instead of carpeting leadership of Afenifere, we expect the Yoruba elders rooting for Buhari’s reelection to bring forth General Buhari’s scorecard so that Yoruba electorate could make a checklist of the campaign promises of 2015 including his hitherto much touted commitment to bringing about national unity; which has been clearly betrayed.

“It is most unfortunate those in anti-Afenifere camp pretend not to appreciate that the current status quo if allowed to continue beyond May 29, 2019 could only deepen Nigeria’s hardship,” Are warned.