Chief Ayo Adebanjo, elder statesman and leader of Afenifere, a Yoruba socio-cultural group, has dared the Federal Government to arrest him over his statement that he would not recognise President Muhammadu Buhari as the winner of the 2019 presidential election.
Adebanjo had in an interview, described the 2019 presidential election as a joke, saying he could not recognise Buhari, who was declared winner of the election until proven by the courts.
However, the National Democratic Front (NDF), called for the immediate arrest and arraignment of Adebanjo.
The group claimed Adebanjo’s comment amounted to treason and utterances capable of plunging the country into another civil war.
In his reaction on yesterday, Adebanjo said in a statement that he stood by his comment that he would not recognise President Buhari as the winner of the election.
He said he would not be surprised if he was arrested as the Buhari administration was known for its lack of tolerance for the opposition. He said:
“Let them come and arrest me. I am used to that. It is typical of their regime that they don’t tolerate opposition. It is typical of Buhari in particular, he doesn’t tolerate opposition; so it’s nothing new to me.
“I maintain my stand that until the Supreme Court rules that he is validly elected, I will not recognise him.
“We have evidence that the election was rigged, let the court decide otherwise. That is all I am saying.
“The constitution provides that if you are not satisfied with the outcome of the election, go to the tribunal and don’t resort to violence.
“It is only when the court decides that he won, that is when I will recognise him. If to them, that is an offence, then I am ready to go to prison. By my pronouncement, I have not said anything illegal or unconstitutional.
“Right now, Buhari is the president declared by INEC, and not the person that won the election, and the constitution says if you are not satisfied by that declaration, go to the tribunal.
“I will only recognise him if the court rules that he is the rightful winner. That is my position and if it is an offence to follow what the constitution says, then I am ready to go to prison.”