MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
The apex Yoruba socio-cultural organization, Afenifere has reiterated its position on the February 25, 2023 presidential election insisting that the candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi won the election going by the results of lawful votes as revealed to the group by “credible sources” and has therefore endorsed Obi’s legal challenge against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for declaring a contrary result.
The group which held its monthly general meeting in Ogun State on Tuesday at the residence of its leader Chief Ayo Adebanjo in a communique re-stated Afenifere’s position that the Presidential election held on the 25th of February 2023 was characterised by all forms of primitive manipulations and non-compliance with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Electoral Act 2022 and the Guidelines and Regulations made pursuant thereto with concomitant legislative force.
According to the communique signed by Chief Ayo Adebanjo and Secretary General, Chief Sola Ebiseni “the results of the lawful votes at the Presidential election available to the Afenifere through credible sources confirm that Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, won the said election and we, thus, support his decision challenging the contrary declaration by the INEC.”
Afenifere re-asserted that for equity, fairness, national cohesion and peaceful corporate existence, the next President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be person of its southern part and specifically the South-East.
It condemned in strongest terms, the campaigns of calumny and acts of ethnic violence deployed by some politicians and their hired criminal gangs in several parts of the federation during the gubernatorial election particularly Lagos State where the election was made to appear like an inter-ethnic war between the Yoruba and Igbo which greatly led to voters’ suppression and other forms of deliberate disenfranchisement through brigandage.
The organization also noted that a message credited to Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu in a viral video alleging indictment of the Yoruba as political rascals on account of ethnic violence deployed by politicians of the ruling party in Lagos State was taken out of text. “On the analysis of the video and information at the disposal of Afenifere by people at the Anambra State gathering, we are convinced that Chief Iwuanyanwu rightly asserted that the Yoruba and Igbo were not at war and truly condemned the shenanigans of some political rascals.”
“Flowing from the above, Afenifere state that it never issued any statement and dissociate the Organisation from any such statement against Chief Iwuanyanwu.”
This is even as it has observed the uncouth activities and unauthorised statements in its name and to the constant denigration of the organisation, by Jare Ajayi, the National Publicity Secretary and Abagun Kole Omololu the National Organising Secretary.
In the words of the group, “after due consideration of the unending embarrassing conduct of the two officers, the Meeting resolved to remove them immediately from their respective offices as their membership of the group was immediately suspended pending further decisions after their appearance before and recommendations by the Disciplinary Committee.”
Afenifere restated its position that in accordance with the hallowed Yoruba culture of civilised conduct and assured all persons resident in Yorubaland, indigenes and non-indegenes, of protection in the conduct of their lawful duties and thus warn all threat mongers and merchants of violence to desist therefrom.
The group also reiterated its belief in the judiciary as an integral part of the democratic process and expect that it proves itself in the election litigations now pending before it without fear or favour and in accordance with the judicial oaths of its members, in covenant with the Nigerian people.
Afenifere also used the opportunity of the meeting to call on the President and Government of Nigeria to restore the patriotic confidence and hope of the Nigerian people in the continued corporate existence of the federation which will guaranty their safety throughout Nigeria.
It also appreciated the genuine and renewed interests of the international community in the security and democratic health of Nigeria and urged that as a prominent member of the global community, the affairs of Nigeria should continue to be of concern to the world.