2023: Yoruba Council of Elders chides Adebanjo over Obi’s endorsement


Obi is all noise, no action- Kole Oluwajana

Joel Oladele, Abuja

The Yoruba Council of Elders has tackled Afenifere acting leader, Pa Adebanjo over his endorsement of the Labor Party Presidential candidate, Peter Obi as against the group’s position as far as 2023 general elections is concerned.

The group made this known while criticizing Adebanjo for rejecting the endorsement of All Progressives Congress (APC)presidential candidate Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, by southwest leaders.

The Yoruba socio-cultural group in a statement issued by the group’s National Organising Secretary, Kole Omololu said Bola Tinubu the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s presidential candidate, “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.”

Omololu said the group’s leaders took the position following Tinubu’s visit to Pa Famuyide Fasoranti’s Akure residence.

According to the statement, the leaders, including chieftains of Afenifere, Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) and other associations, said Adebanjo, who had in his private capacity endorsed Labour Party (LP) presidential Peter Obi, was on his own.

They emphasised that Adebanjo’s personal opinion and unilateral decision cannot be superior to the collective decision of respected Yoruba leaders who were at the Akure meeting hosted by Pa Reuben Fasoranti.

Also, prominent Afenifere chieftains said Fasoranti is still the leader of the group and any decision made by Adebanjo without consultation with him cannot be sustained.

Adebanjo, a nonagenarian had earlier stated that the group will not support Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2023 presidency because the group stands on justice and fairness and believes in true federalism and the Federal Character principle, he added that the presidency is not a contest between the Yorubas and the Igbos.

Adebanjo, who shunned the Akure meeting despite receiving an invitation to attend, said: “What happened yesterday was an attempt to split Afenifere and I won’t be a party to that. I can tell you that the planned visit was meant to get Afenifere divided. They were on it about a month ago.

“Afenifere is not a cultural group for the Yoruba, but a body that believes in federalism. Our own position for the Southeast is in line with our belief on federalism.”

Asked if Fasoranti ratified Afenifere’s stance on Obi, Adebanjo said: “I don’t have to consult Pa Fasoranti over the endorsement of Peter Obi. Pa Fasoranti has handed over after he said he was tired. Will he still be giving the group instruction?”

In a related development, a chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC), Kole Oluwajana has described the candidate of the Labor Party, Peter Obi as a noise maker who doesn’t have what it takes to win an election.

In a recent statement, Oluwajana said the final list of candidates as released by INEC is proof that Peter Obi is a joke as his party has just few candidates vying for State and National House of Assemblies.

This, he described as a great deficiency on the part of Labour Party and he won’t be surprised if Alhaji Rabiu Musa Kwankwason of New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) emerges as the second runner up at the forthcoming presidential election ahead of Peter Obi.

The statement reads:

“Recently, INEC released the final list of candidates for the forth-coming National elections. The publication is quite revealing.

“The publication shows that the Labour Party (Peter Obi) has no candidates for the Senate in Borno, Ekiti, Katsina, Kebbi, Lagos (the State with the largest registered voters). Labour has one candidate out of 3 in Bayelsa, Delta, Jigawa, Ondo and Yobe. The Party has 2 out of 3 in Bauchi, Kogi, Niger and Sokoto States. Surprisingly, some less noisy parties such as NNPP of Alhaji Kwankwaso have complete candidates for the Senate in all the States.

“For the House of Representatives, Labour has no single candidate in Borno (9 seats), Ekiti (6 seats), Katsina (13 seats), Kebbi (8 seats), Lagos (24 seats) and Ondo (9 seats). Labour Party has less than 50% representation in Bauchi, Jigawa, Kogi, Niger and Plateau. Representations for the Labour Party in the following 5 states are also incomplete – Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Delta, Kano, Sokoto and Zamfara.

“The implication of this is that the Labour Party is alarmingly deficient in almost 20 of the 36 States, in spite of the noise and street parades.

“With the street parade in Lagos and social media razzmatazz, no one would have expected that there would be no single candidate for Labour Party in Lagos. NNPP has all the 3 senatorial candidates and 22 House of Rep candidates. Noiseless Parties like ADC, NRM, SDP and BP have candidates for all the Senatorial seats in Lagos. All of them together with ADP, YPP, A and ZLP have candidates for many of the House of Rep seats in Lagos.

“Peter Obi and the Labour Party, like their supporters, make so much noise without action. The noise about Peter Obi now is that he donated loaves of bread and few packs of Indomie noodles to flood victims for which reason he claimed to have suspended his campaign. Other people and organizations, including some Presidential candidates, have donated millions of Naira without public display.

“Frankly, one wonders what exactly is the objective of Mr. Peter Obi with the fundraising drive within and outside Nigeria. INEC must put in place a mechanism to audit campaign donations.

“On the forthcoming Presidential election, It is very obvious that Alhaji Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso will take the 3rd position.

Alhaji Kwankwaso has been working hard establishing meaningful contacts while Dr Peter Obi has been making weekly trips to Abuja/Lagos/Abuja in economy class to showcase his “humility”.

“Alhaji Kwankwaso has been gathering the leftovers of Asiwaju Tinubu, to close the gap between him and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who will take the 2nd position in the Presidential election.”

He added that while it’s very obvious that Tinubu will win the race, one can’t guarantee the position of Peter Obi as other silent parties might end up doing better than him.

“From all indications, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu will win the Presidential election. The likely position of Peter Obi cannot be predicted now but it is not impossible that some other parties that are never mentioned on social media may push Labour Party further down the ladder, probably to the 6th or 7th position.

“Alhaji Kwankwaso has not made much noise in the media and is hardly discussed on social media. His supporters have not paraded the streets holding their innocent infants, abusing opponents.

“Mr. Peter Obi has been making rounds at airports and onboard taking a series of photographs with every passerby that cares to give him attention.

“It was very irritating watching Peter Obi demonizing Nigeria in meetings with his ethnic supporters in foreign land. The other time, I saw a man in one of such meetings boasting that he has the technology to tamper with votes. It is observed that one thing that supporters of Peter Obi have in common is that they demonize Nigeria and never see anything good in the country.”