Some Yoruba groups, 121 in number have converged in Lagos under what they called ‘The 2023 Declaration’ to decide on which presidential candidate to support.
HausaToday reports that the front runners for the 2023 general elections are Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Peoples Democratic (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.
An influential group from the southwest, Afenifere has pledged their support to the LP flag bearer on the basis that the South-West has produced the president before and currently has someone from the zone occupying the Vice president’s office whereas the South-East has never been president since 1999 when Nigeria began the fourth republic.
However, the 121 Yoruba group under the leadership of the Alliance of Yoruba Democratic Movement, (AYDM) backed Tinubu notwithstanding their reservations about the APC.
The AYDM, described the election as another ‘Kiriji War’, saying it has appointed no fewer than 150, 000 people as campaign volunteers in the South-West region.
The ‘Kiriji war’ was fought between Ibadan and Ekiti following what the Ekitis’ described as oppression by the Ibadan people.
In the declaration, titled ‘Historic Declaration of Social, Cultural, Civil Society Groups in the South-West’ and unveiled in Lagos on Thursday when they converged at St. Leo Catholic Church, Ikeja, Lagos, the group stated that since the beginning of political history in Nigeria presidential candidates has always been imposed on the electorate.
They argued that the late Chief MKO Abiola and the late Alhaji Bashir Tofa, both candidates on June 12, 1999, presidential election were imposed on Nigerians in the 1993 poll.
They stated that APC might not be the best party, but they were better compared to others available.
The alliance words: “The APC has immense contradictions and should not be seen as an end in itself. Within the context of the Nigerian political framework and, given the options available to the people, the APC is better but not the best”.
Speaking earlier, a guest speaker, Chief Segun Ajibulu, Chief Segun Ajibulu, stated that Yoruba leaders have often suffered betrayal from their kinsmen.
He alleged that the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the late Chief MKO Abiola, and former President Olusegun Obasanjo among other Yoruba leaders had, at various times, suffered betrayal by fellow Yoruba.
Ajibulu praised Tinubu’s political tenacity but wondered the reason those whom the former governor raised were now against his political ambition in the APC.
The guest speaker said Tinubu’s presidential ambition could result in another ‘Kiriji War’, stressing that the ‘war’ will be fought politically and without bloodshed.
His words: “Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the reason for another ‘Kiriji War’ in 2023, but it will be a political war, without bloodshed”