As the 2023 elections draws near, major ethnic organisations have come together in a common front as regards pitching a presidential candidate who will bring to bear the agitations for true restructuring in the country. The groups include: Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum and the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF).
The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) through its chairman, Prof. Ango Abdullahi is bridging the gap from the north having stated earlier in the week that the North is now ready for restructuring.
The National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, corroborated this when he said that the various ethnic groups had been working together and would continue to do so ahead of the 2023 general elections:
“The groups have been working together and will intensify the harmony in the interest of the badly fractured country towards restructuring.”
Odumakin also cleared the air on the allegation that Afenifere was sympathetic to the cause of the PDP.
According to him, there is no special deal with the PDP if the APC fields a serious candidate that is sincere about restructuring the nation.
“If the APC fields a serious candidate on restructuring, there is no special deal with the PDP,” he said.
In another development, Odumakin also said that Afenifere had not endorsed Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, national leader of the APC; Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti State governor, Pastor Tunde Bakare or any non-Yoruba aspirant for the 2023 presidency.
However, mixed reactions trailed Bakare’s seeming endorsement of Tinubu for 2023 elections.
Reacting to the development, Odumakin said those who have the cathedral right to express views on the pulpit should be careful of what they say.
“Those who have the cathedral right to express strong views on the pulpits of God and whose words are taken very seriously by their congregation should be careful of what they say to those who listen to them,” he said.
He added: “No, there is no doubt that Asiwaju is a leader in Yorubaland but he is not the leader of the Yoruba people. To say Asiwaju has done more for the Yoruba people is debatable. You will not earn our support because you are a Yoruba man but we will examine what you stand for.
“We have not given support to anyone at the moment. We are watching those who are interested in the 2023 presidency, including Fayemi, Tinubu, and even Bakare himself and other non-Yoruba people.
“Where each candidate stands on the issue of restructuring and federalism will determine who gets our support. Afenifere is not afraid to state our support for any candidate and any party.”