Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, has insisted that Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour party, was the winner of the February 25, 2023 elections and would support his decision to challenge the declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC in court.
Rising from its monthly general meeting held at the residence of its leader, Chie Ayo Adebanjo, in Ogun state on Tuesday, March 28, the group said that the presidential election was marred by all forms of primitive manipulations and noncompliance with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Electoral Act 2022 and the Guidelines and Regulations.
In a statement released by legal practitioner Dele Farotimi and was jointly signed by Afenifere leader, Pa Adebanjo and its Secretary General, Sola Ebiseni, the group also stated that for equity, fairness, national cohesion and peaceful corporate existence, the next President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should be someone from the southern part and specifically the South-East.
Read the full text of the meeting below;
‘’BEING THE COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE MONTHLY GENERAL MEETING OF THE AFENIFERE HELD AT THE RESIDENCE OF OUR LEADER, CHIEF AYO ADEBANJO AT ISANYA OGBO OGUN STATE ON TUESDAY 28TH DAY OF MARCH 2023.
1. 000 PREAMBLE
1.02 The Afenifere held its regular monthly General Meeting today, 28th day of March 2023, at the residence of our Leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo at Isanya Ogbo, Ogun State.
1.03 After intensive deliberations on the state of the Nigerian Federation, the Meeting which was presided over by our Leader aforesaid and attended by delegates from the member states of our Organisation observed and Resolved as follows:
2.01 That Afenifere reiterate our position that the Presidential election held on the 25th of February 2023 was characterised by all forms of primitive manipulations and noncompliance 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.
2.02 Reiterate that “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.
2.03 Re-assert 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.
2.04 Condemn in the 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.
2.05 Received a message credited to Chief Emmanuel Iwunayanwun 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. 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 Iwunayanwun rightly asserted that the Yoruba and Igbo were not at war and truly condemned the shenanigans of some political rascals.
2.06. Flowing from the above, Afenifere state that it never issued any statement and dissociate the Organisation from any such statement against Chief Iwunayanwun.
2.07 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. After due consideration of the unending embarrassing conduct of the two officers, the Meeting resolved that they be and are hereby removed immediately from their respective offices and their membership be suspended sine die pending further decisions after their appearance before and recommendations by the Disciplinary Committee.
2.08 Restate our position that in accordance with the hallowed Yoruba culture of civilised conduct, Afenifere assure all persons resident in Yorubaland, indigenes and non-indegenes, of protection in the conduct of their lawful duties and thus warn all threats mongers and merchants of violence to desist therefrom.
2.09 Express our 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.
2.1 0 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.
2.11 Appreciate the genuine and renewed interests of the international community in the security and democratic health of Nigeria and urge that as a prominent member of the global community, the affairs of Nigeria should continue to be of concern to the world.''