Omoyele Sowore, the presidential candidate for the African Action Congress, has responded to the Pan-Yoruba sociopolitical group Afenifere’s backing of several presidential contenders.
Both of the group’s “teams A and B” erred, according to Sowore, because “they can not decide for the South-West.”
This is immediately followed by another alleged endorsement of Bola Tinubu, the APC’s presidential candidate, by Pa Reuben Fasoranti, the organization’s founder and head, on Sunday in Akure, the capital of Ondo State.
The endorsement was given to Tinubu during a meeting he had with the organization’s founders in Fasoranti’s house in Akure.
Pa Ayo Adebanjo and Chief Sola Ebiseni, the group’s secretary general, weren’t present for the meeting, though.
As a response, Sowore stated on Monday, “Afenifere TEAM ‘A’ & Afenifere ‘B’ ought to know they wentof, they can’t sit in their living rooms and endorse people on behalf of South-West, they are too fiercely independent to succumb for these dishonest endorsements. They always vote according to their conscience.
According to The PUNCH, Peter Obi of the Labour Party had an earlier endorsement from Afenifere, which is currently led by Adebanjo.
Adebanjo, therefore reacted to the purported endorsement of Tinubu, saying the position of the group backing Obi had not changed.
Adebanjo, in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents on Sunday, said he was not supposed to be at the meeting in Akure, adding that his support for Obi was already known.
He said, “In the first place, I was not supposed to be there. In the second place, we have made our position clear. Pa Fasoranti asked me if I was coming, I said if he asked me to come. But tell him what the position of Afenifere is. Once he has done that, I’m not going into any controversy about that.
“Afenifere has taken a stance to support Obi. Any other splinter or rebel group… I’m not going into any controversy about that. I regard that as a diversion. What we are going to do now is see that we succeed at the election.”
Fasoranti, who briefly prayed for the APC candidate, simply declared, “Tinubu will win the election.”
In attendance at the meeting were former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel; Retired Methodist Bishop, Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu; National Secretary of APC, Senator Iyiola Omisore; General Secretary of Yoruba Council of Elders, Senator Cornelius Adebayo; former Governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande; and Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Bayo Lawal, who represented Governor Seyi Makinde.
Omololu explained that Tinubu briefed the gathering about his aspiration for the presidency and also presented his manifesto to Fasoranti.
But Omololu claimed that when the former governor of Lagos State showed beyond a shadow of a doubt that he would uphold true federalism by granting states greater power over internal affairs if elected, the Afenifere leaders did not hesitate to support him.
Tinubu shared with us his vision of a bigger and more affluent Nigeria where democratic rights, the rule of law, justice, and fairness will reign supreme, according to part of his statement. He also pledged to take action to protect Nigerians’ safety and security, as well as that of their possessions.
“We support any eligible citizen’s decision to exercise their constitutionally guaranteed right to run for public office.
“The Yoruba leaders at today’s meeting are in no doubt that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, offers the best opportunity to produce a government that will usher in a new era of hope, peace, security, harmony, gainful employment for the multitude, economic development, social and political stability,” they said.