Disquiet in Afenifere over Adebanjo’s support for Peter Obi

Disquiet in Afenifere over Adebanjo’s support for Peter Obi
hallmarknews.com Oct 3, 2022 5:18 AM

Afenifere leaders
Last week, the crack in the Pan Yoruba group, Afenifere, became a gulf following the declared support of its leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, for Mr. Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party.

The division arises from the fact that some members, like Chief Olu Falae rejected such support on the basis that a Yoruba in the contest, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, instead should be backed.

For the past few months, the organisation has been divided over two presidential candidates of the Labour party, Peter Obi of the Igbo extraction and Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu.

Although, Chief Adebanjo has maintained that his stand on Obi has been the collective position of Afenifere, other voices within the group claimed that what Pa Adebanjo had constantly said about Obi, was his personal opinion and not that of the group.

Those against him had said that there was never a time the group sat to decide on a particular candidate, even Obi and wondered why Pa Adebanjo should be using the name of Afenifere for his preferred candidate.

There were other people too, both within Afenifere and outside it, who believed that it is not morally right for Pa Adebanjo to back Obi, against Tinubu of the same extraction with him, since those of the Igbo extraction, especially the Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Prof. George Obiazor in the South East, could not have abandoned Obi for Tinubu.

Since the 2015 election when the group supported former Jonathan, there emerged a rift, as some members preferred APC led then by Tinubu, which seems to have produced a new faction led Pa Rubean Fasoranti and the other group by Pa Ayo Fasanmi.

The one led by Pa Fosoranti is with people like, Chief Olu Falae, Chief Chief Adebanjo, Senator Kofo Bucknor -Akerele, Senator Femi Okunronmu, Basorun Seinde, Arogbofa and others, while that led by Senator Fasanmi are with Bola Tinubu, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, Chief Bisi Akande, Chief koleoso, chief Busari Alebiosu and others top Yoruba leaders just like the first group.

With these two factions, it was argued that even if Chief Adebanjo was speaking for Afenifere, which of the two, because the two factions are still in existence.

But one fact remains that the Afenifere allegedly being sponsored by Tinubu, has not been very vocal and to an average Yoruba person, the one led by Pa Fasoranti with Ayo Adebanjo as the acting leader, is the one known to be the voice of the Yoruba people.

Chief Adebanjo believes that as a result of morality, equity, justice and fair play, Obi being the only outstanding candidate from the South east deserves being supported and encouraged to be the next president of Nigeria.

Perhaps any one that is being sentimental or with ethnic consideration would not look in the direction of Pa Adebanjo but from all indices, based on the understanding of the political dynamics of Nigeria, it is arguable that Pa Adebanjo may have seen beyond sentiment and parochialism.

His position has been that the country should be restructured and he believes that Obi is the only candidate trusted to make that possible.
His concern from all indications is that the presidency would be the real issue to determine the question of whether Nigerians want Igbo to still remain in Nigeria, saying that he is equally concerned about the marginalistion of the Igbo in the political set up of Nigeria, as “they were being brutalized and excluded from power dynamic.

Pa Adenanjo has been at the centre of attacks indicated that he was talking based on his experience and in line with the First Republic Action Group (AG), which upheld strong advocacy for federalism, as the best form of government to give the federating units the requisite atmosphere to thrive and peacefully compete among themselves for the development of Nigeria.

Picking Obi, the elder Statesman believed is the modest way of Afenifere contributing to the reshaping of Nigeria into federation, where no person or ethnic nationality is oppressed.

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Simon Ekpa

Simon Ekpa LL.M (Master of Laws) is a human rights activist, CEO, senior legal advisor at Ekpa & Co Oy, legal researcher, author, analyst, Finnish politician, Biafra agitator and a Finnish Military reserve.
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