2019: Buhari, Atiku Split Popular Yoruba Group
Pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, has suffered a crack over the candidacy of President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar for the 2019 presidential election.
This was as a result of Thursday’s declaration of intention by some chieftains of the group to support President Buhari in the 2019 general elections.
A faction led by Senator Ayo Fasanmi, in a communique issued after long hours of closed door deliberations at the House of Chiefs, Oyo State Secretariat, Ibadan, disowned Ayo Adebanjo and Yinka Odumakin, who had earlier declared the group’s support for Atiku.
The meeting was attended by the former governor of old Oyo State, Victor Omololu Olunloyo, Tajudeen Oluyole Olusi, Elder Yemi Alade, Muyiwa Ige, Dr. Abayomi Finnih, Biodun Ogunleye and Ayo Afolabi, among others.
The Chief Reuben Fasoranti- led Afenifere faction had recently declared support for the candidature of Atiku over his promise to restructure the country and adopt true federalism.
But, the Publicity Secretary of the Fasanmi group, Biodun Fasaye, who spoke on behalf of Senator Fasanmi after yesterday’s meeting in Ibadan, told journalists that the Fasoranti group, which threw its weight behind Atiku, is not part of them, but usurpers.
His words: “Yoruba is not divided; there are not so many Afeniferes. Yoruba is a nation and even during the time of Baba Awolowo, there were dissent voices, so we are not embarrassed.
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“Our group is led by the longest living senator in Nigeria, Pa Ayo Fasanmi, and you can see everybody there including Senator Biyi Durojaiye, Dr. Omololu Olunloyo, Baba Olusi and many others in Yorubaland who are not renegades with us.
“There was no time Afenifere has not been a sociopolitical organisation. It is a socio-cultural and political organisation and that is just the full name of Afenifere. “Let me again say that the owner of the mandate of the Yoruba people is APC. The six governors of Yorubaland are APC, all Houses of Assembly in Yorubaland are APC, so we have six speakers of Houses of Assembly.
“Those who claim to be in the other group of Afenifere, none of them have ever contested an election. The fact is there for all to see. So, they don’t have any mandate. It is our Afenifere that we are talking here that has the mandate of the Yoruba people.
“By January 29, they will all be here, including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to declare support for President Buhari’s re-election. We have all our governors under the progressive fold and they are our sons. We cannot go other way round. We are supporting President Buhari and Prof. Osinbajo come February 16 presidential election. “We are happy with the issue of economy of this nation, though it is collective efforts, but President Buhari is doing his best to fix all things well for the masses.
"We still have hope in him that he will still do better if we vote for him come 2019 elections. “We are appealing to all Yoruba from our part of Nigeria to give support to Buhari and Osinbajo come 2019. Ayo Adebanjo, Yinka Odumakin, Olu Falae and others are not authentic. Yoruba is a nation and we must have political interest.
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