Leader of the Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, has doubled down on his support for Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
Adebanjo on several occasions has publicly expressed his support for Obi. He’s been castigated by many from his side of the country with some calling him a betrayal for supporting Obi instead of throwing his weight behind his kinsman, Bola Tinubu, who’s the presidential candidate of the ruling APC
In an interview with Daily Independent, Adebanjo said his support for Obi is anchored on the principle of fairness and equity.
He added that only south east has not produced a president in the south since the return to civilian rule in 1999.
He said “This is not a Yoruba or Igbo affair, the presidency is a national affair and for the sake of equity and unity, we included Federal Character in the Constitution, which was what gave birth to rotation.
“It was the agitation that the Northern region had been monopolising the presidency since the military took over that made us vote massively for the late Chief M.K.O Abiola. When they didn’t allow him to take over, there was a crisis. To pacify the South-West, the military brought former President Olusegun Obasanjo from the prison in 1999 to be the President of Nigeria and the rotation started. When he did eight years, they brought the late Umar Musa Yar’Adua. After this, it went back to the South and former president Goodluck Jonathan took over. Later it went back to the North. After the North now, it should be back to the South. Should it now go to the South-West after Obasanjo or South- South after Jonathan? Is the South- East not part of the South? That is what is called logic, fairness and inclusiveness.
“So, the presidency should go to the South-East unless there is a gang up. A Yoruba man has done it under the rotational system, and it is on that I stand. This is a fundamental principle, which is why I would not support a candidate from the South- West.
“Also, I would not support Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the PDP. How can a Northerner leave the office and we give it to another Northerner? All the agitations of the Igbos were what led to the Civil War between 1967 and 1970 and we said they should not go. Do we continue to sideline or discriminate against the Igbos, which was what brought the issue of the South East even before the Labour Party gave Peter Obi ticket. I’m not talking of individuals now, let them criticise me on that principle.”