The chairman of the South-West Governors Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu, and Afenifere, the Pan Yoruba Socio-Political Group, have argued over whether or not to support Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party.
Speaking during a Twitter discussion yesterday on the subject of “Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Business of Nation Building,” Akeredolu criticised the organisation, claiming that it had become divided and that its support for Obi’s presidential aspirations did not represent the views of Yoruba people.
In a swift response, Afenifere asserted that its position is final and insisted that anyone seeking equity must practice equity by refraining from using unfair means to advance their goals. This is because Nigerian rule is not solely the province of the North.
“Afenifere doesn’t speak for the Yoruba people on the endorsement of the Labour Party Presidential candidate, Peter Obi,” Akeredolu had claimed in his criticism of Afenifere. The group’s opinions do not reflect those of the Yoruba people, and Afenifere is divided over the alleged endorsement.
He added that Tinubu 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.”
Akeredolu remembered that Asiwaju Tinubu had been a founding member of NADECO and had taken part in the fight to restore civil democratic government in the Fourth Republic.
“Tinubu’s contributions to 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 wouldn’t 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 cannot deny Asiwaju his role. He ran away from the country 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.”