Afenifere consults Obasanjo, may back Atiku’s presidential bid

Afenifere consults Obasanjo, may back Atiku’s presidential bid
October 10 09:33 2018

By Mufta’u Balogun

Members of the Pan Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, said they will soon announce their choice among the array of candidates vying for the highest office in the land.

The group held a closed-door meeting with former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta, Ogun State, on Tuesday over the 2019 polls.

The meeting, which started around 3.30 PM, lasted about two hours.

The group’s spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, who addressed newsmen after the meeting, said the group was in Abeokuta to pay a return visit to Obasanjo.

The former president had recently visited Chief Ayo Adebanjo, one of the leaders of the group, in Lagos.

Odumakin said the meeting, which centred around the 2019 polls, was meant to harmonise the position of the Yoruba in Nigeria concerning the 2019 general elections.

“Few weeks back, Obasanjo came to Lagos to visit Pa Ayo Adebanjo and we are here again today to return the visit in order to further strengthen the friendship with the group.

“The meeting also aims at creating a harmonious position in Yorubaland over the leadership of the country in respect of the 2019 general elections.

“The general elections are around the corner and leaders across Nigeria are coming together to discuss the event, which is so crucial to the life of the nation.

“All hands must be on deck to get the country re-established and all grey areas must be ironed out,” he said.

Odumakin described the 2019 presidential race as “exciting” in the light of the candidates that have emerged from the two major political parties.

He, however, said “the most important thing to the Afenifere group is the issue of restructuring.”

According to him, the group will support any candidate who prioritises restructuring, because Nigeria cannot realise its dream without restructuring.

He said the group would soon adopt its preferred presidential candidate, saying, “an official pronouncement would be made on the decision.

“The pendulum is swinging and we will let you know where it finally settles,” he said.

Members of the group who attended the meeting are a former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola; a former Minister of State for Defence, Mrs. Dupe Adelaja; Chief Ayo Adebanjo and Hon. Oladipo Olaitan.

Others are former Nigerian Ambassador to The Netherlands, Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu, Senator Femi Okurounmu, Prof. Banjo Akintoye, and Supo Sonibare.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, is likely to get the nod of the group.

The former vice president has made the restructuring of the federation the core agenda of his presidential bid and was also recently on that basis endorsed by Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo