Afenifere insists Obi won presidential poll, suspends two principal officers

Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, is insisting that Peter Obi is the rightful winner of the February 25, election. The group has also sacked two of its national officers, the National Publicity Secretary, Jare Ajayi and the National Organising Committee, Abagun Kole Omololu, for issuing an unauthorised statement in its name and constant denigration of the organisation.

Afenifere made the submission in a communique issued and signed by Ayo Adebanjo, leader of the group and Sola Ebiseni, the group’s secretary-general, after the group’s monthly general meeting, held at the residence of its Leader, Adebanjo at Isanya Ogbo, Ogun State.

Abagun Omololu recently issued a statement warning Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, chairman of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo council of elders, to stop insulting the Yoruba race.

But the group, in the communique, said that it received a message credited to 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.

Afenifere said: “On the analysis of the video and information at the disposal of Afenifere by people at the Anambra State gathering, we are convinced that the Igbo leader rightly asserted that the Yoruba and Igbo were not at war and truly condemned the shenanigans of some political rascals.

“Flowing from the above, Afenifere state that it never issued any statement and dissociate the Organisation from any such statement against L Iwunayanwun.

“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 Committee.

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“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 pending further decisions after their appearance before and recommendations by the disciplinary committee.

” We restate our position that in accordance with the hallowed Yoruba culture of civilised conduct, Afenifere assures all person resident in Yorubaland, indigenes and non-indigenes, of protection in the conduct of their lawful duties and thus warn all threats mongers and merchants of violence.”

The group, also reiterated its 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.

“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,” the group added.

They reasserted that for equity, fairness, national cohesion and peaceful corporate existence, the next President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a person of its southern part and specifically the South-East.

It Condemned 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.

The group expressed its 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.

They, therefore, called 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 guarantee their safety throughout Nigeria.

Afenifere appreciated 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.

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