…say North strongest ally of Tinubu
The leader of Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, on Thursday, got serious knocks from the Arewa elders under the aegis of Arewa New Agenda, saying he may be “suffering memory loss due to old age”.
The organisation was responding to his comments that the North would not vote for the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, in the election scheduled for February 25.
The ANA, therefore, advised him to stop taking advantage of the Yoruba culture of respect to pursue a myopic, narrow-minded and selfish political vendetta.
The membership of ANA included academics, serving and former legislators, diplomas, technocrats, development practitioners, women and youth leaders, politicians, artisans, traders and farmers, positioning to set an agenda for the protection of the interest of the North.
The PUNCH reported that Adebanjo had, in Abeokuta, said that the Northerners were deceiving Tinubu and would not vote for him.
But the Convener/Leader of ANA, Senator Ahmad Abubakar MoAllahyidi, during a press conference in Abuja, described Adebanjo’s comment as a product of mischief.
He also gave hindsight to Adebanjo’s comments that former President Olusegun Obasanjo was not a true Yoruba man.
The text of the speech was titled, “The North is a cultured North of democracy: A response to Chief Ayo Adebanjo.”
MoAllahyidi said, “We wish to state that probably because of his age, as an elder statesman, his memory has started to fail him; when has he become a spokesman for the North?
“For his information, the North has never failed to keep to its promise; when the North makes a covenant, the North keeps to it.
“Chief Obasanjo became the flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party and won the 1999 and 2003 presidential elections mainly because of the backing he received from the North.
“In the APC presidential primaries of 2022, Bola Ahmed Tinubu scored 1,271votes more than half of the total votes cast in the convention to win the primaries, majority of these votes come from the North; the same North that Pa Ayo said will not support Tinubu, made him (Tinubu) the presidential candidate.
“The North is the strongest ally of Asiwaju in the contest for the 2023 primaries in the same manner that the South West was an ally for the victory of the APC in the last two election cycles.
“Northern Governors of the APC extraction led the charge for power shift from the North to the South; something the likes of Pa Ayo were unable to do simply because to make a covenant and keep to it is a mark of integrity which in short supply here.
“Pa Ayo, is not a Northerner, and we cannot remember when we Northerners appointed him to convey a message to anyone; therefore, his assertion as widely reported is not only false but unfounded and can be better seen as the action of a meddlesome interloper or on a lighter scale the antics of a busy body.
“Given what is unfolding in the South West today Pa Ayo’s attempt to justify his position by saying that his submission is based on fairness, justice and equity are indeed laughable because it was said that whoever is coming to equity must come with clean hands.
“Records have shown that every presidential candidate that Pa Ayo opposes ended up winning the election- Asiwajus’s case will not be different.
“Just because Pa Ayo has some differences with Tinubu does not in any way means that the Yoruba race thinks the same, as we have our doubts that he has the mandate to speak for the Yoruba.
“We warn that this is the time for high-wire political activities that usually culminate into tension and suspicion; we call for restraint in all utterances. From our research Pa Ayo’s statement was not driven by any nationalist instinct or principle; it is just a personal vendetta against the personality of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“We advise Pa Ayo to stop taking advantage of Yoruba culture of respect to pursue a very myopic, narrow-minded and selfish political vendetta, this a pure act of mischief and malice.
“Tinubu has visited many states in the North, made policy statements and made committal promises to us, if God Almighty gives him the opportunity to serve as our next President, we the Northerners will hold him accountable to that.”