Pan-Yoruba socio-political group Afenifere has disclosed why it is backing the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi in the 2023 elections.
The group reiterated its support for the former Anambra State Governor in a statement on Monday.
The statement is in response to the Spokesperson for the All Progressives Presidential Campaign Council, Bayo Onanuga, accusing Afenifere leader Pa Ayo Adebanjo of speaking for himself and not the group.
Baring his mind via the statement titled 'Why Afenifere Supports South East Presidential Candidate for 2023 Presidency', Adebanjo said: “Before the political parties conducted their primaries, a journalist asked, what is my view about the 2023 general election?
"I answered and said the country should be restructured before the general election, and he followed up by asking if there should be an election, which zone should the Presidency come from?
"And I unhesitatingly said, of course, the South-East.
“After the primaries and the candidates emerged with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu from the South-West, APC; Atiku Abubakar on the platform of the PDP and Peter Obi on the platform of Labour Party and I announced Afenifere’s support for Peter Obi, not a few Yoruba leaders question why I should be supporting Peter Obi, a candidate of the Igbo extraction against Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a Yoruba.”
Speaking further, he added that the presidency is not a contest between the Yoruba and the Igbo.
He added that the group is a Yoruba interpretation of the social welfarist ideology of the then Action Group, a political party founded by Chief Obafemi Awolowo and his colleagues in 1951 which advocated federalism as the best form of government.
According to him, Afenifere as a group is contributing to shaping Nigeria into a federation where no person or ethnic nationality would be sidelined or oppressed.
“In the countdown to the 2023 General Election, long before the parties conducted their Conventions to elect their National Executives and candidates, we had insisted and still advocate restructuring before the elections proposing a synthesis of the identical Resolutions of the 2014 National Conference and the APC El-Rufai 2018 True Federalism Committee.
“We did this as Afenifere and on the wider spectrum of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum.
“We did this, when politicians, in spite of the monumental crises confronting the nation, carried on as if the attainment of power was all that mattered, the SMBLF unanimously proposed that the minimum condition for a peaceful transition from the disastrous eight years of Buhari’s government headed by a President of northern extraction was to have the next President from the South", Adebanjo stated.