Adebanjo Explains Afenifere’s Decision To Back Peter Obi
In a statement on Monday, Adebanjo said the group decided to back Obi’s presidential bid based on the principle of equity and federal character as enshrined in the constitution.
He said supporting Obi is the group’s way of ensuring that Afenifere contributes to shaping Nigeria into a federation “where no person or ethnic nationality is oppressed”.
The chieftain said the group would not compromise the principle of justice, equity, and inclusiveness because the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, is a Yoruba man.
Adebanjo said, “In this quest for peace, based on equity and inclusiveness, the Yoruba took the first turn at the zoning arrangement in 1999, and that led to the emergence of Chief Obasanjo; the current Vice President is a Yoruba man and equity forbids us for presuming to support another Yoruba person for the presidency in 2023.
“The current President is a Fulani from the Northwest and by virtue of the zoning arrangement that has governed Nigeria since 1999, power is supposed to return to the south imminently.
“The south-west, as I have pointed out, has produced a president and currently sits as VP; the south-south has spent a total of 6 years in the Presidency, but the Igbo people of the south-east have never tasted presidency in Nigeria, and now that the power is due back in the South, equity demands that it be ceded to the Igbo.
“We cannot continue to demand that the Igbo people remain in Nigeria, while we at the same time continue to brutally marginalise and exclude them from the power dynamic.
“Peter Obi is the person of Igbo extraction that Afenifere has decided to support and back; he is the man we trust to restructure the country back to federalism on the assumption of office.
“We will not compromise this principle of justice, equity, and inclusiveness because one of our own, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is a frontline candidate.
“It is on this same principle, we condemn the PDP for sponsoring Atiku Abubakar, a Northern Fulani Muslim, to succeed General Muhammadu Buhari, another Fulani Muslim, who will soon complete 8 years of uneventful and disastrous rule. One can imagine such a high degree of political insensitivity.”
KanyiDaily recalls that Peter Obi recently paid a visit to Ayo Adebanjo’s home where he met members of the South and Middle Belt Leadership Forum.