By Lateef Adegbite
Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state and Presidential Candidate of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, may have known that he will not fulfill his long time Presidential ambition, without the support of Afenifere , a Yoruba, socio-cultural organization, under the close watch of 94 year-old,Ayo Adebanjo.
Tehe former Lagos state governor, may have known that Adebanjo, the Afenifere, Leader, who has thrown weight behind Peter Obi, a former governor of Anabra state and the flag bearer of the Opposition , Labour Party, LP, whom he had said ‘’can effectively restructure Nigeria back to a true Federalism’’ if elected as the next President of Nigeria after the 2023, general elections to take over from Buhari.
Adebanjo’s, insisense on Afenifere, supporting Obi, may not be unconnected to his ‘‘principles of Justice, equity, fair play and inclusiveness’’. He had persistently said that between 199 and now, the south west, northwest and south south, geopolitical regions, had at one time or the other produced the Nigerian Presidents, but the south east, geopolitical region, is yet to produce any.
Hear him: the south west geopolitical region, has produced former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who had ruled the country for two terms, of four years each, the north west had produced Umaru Yara d’ua, who had died in office, paving the way for Goodluck Jonathan, the then Vice President in 2007, to replace him in office, and subsequently went ahead to win the 2011, Presidential election, thus ruling the country for six years. Note that the current President Muhammadu Buhari, of the ruling APC, who is about to complete his two terms in office of eight years, is also, from the north western geopolitical region.
Adebanjo, the Afenifere, Leader, who could not hide his feelings had said that the south east, which, is one of the major ethnic groups in Nigeria, have never tasted the Presidency between 1999 and now, stressing that ‘’now that the power is due back in the south, equity demands that ‘‘it be ceded to the Igbo’’, instead of another Yoruba or northern person.
He may have shocked Nigerians when he said that ‘’we cannot , as a country , ‘’continue to demand that Igbo people remain in Nigeria ,while the same time continue to brutally marginalize and exclude them from the power dynamic’’.
Tinubu, the former Lagos state state governor, whomay have read the handwriting on the wall that Adebanjo , the Yoruba socio-cultural Leader, who have never , held any political position in Nigeria or contested for any elective office but very powerful in the south west geopolitical region , would not change , his stand on Obi, may have informed why he had visited Pa Reuben Fasoranti, a former President of Afenifere , to pray for him.
The APC, Presidential Candidat visit to Pa Fasoranti’s house in Ondo state, was said to have attracted the presence of Olu Falae, a foremer Secretary to the government of the Federation, during former Military President Ibrahim Gadamosi Babangida’s Administration and Chieftain of the Opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
The former Lagos state governor may have taken an advantage of the Octogenarian earlier advice to him when he made a similar visit in the past to him prior to the party primaries, last June to seek his endorsement. He was said to have asked him to first win the APC, Presidential ticket, for the 2023, general elections, before coming ‘‘to receive his blessings and support of his aspirations’’.
Having won the APC. Presidential ticket and the country being the season of Presidential Campaigns may have informed why why Tibubu, has taken advantage of it to visit the Octogenarian.
Well-received by Pa Fasoranti,, he had described Tinubu as ‘’a unifer and politician with no iota of tribal or religious bigotry and capable of sustaining the unity of the country, noting that that his tenure as governor of Lagos state been 199-2007, had turned Lagos, the nation’s commercial nerve centre into a megacity’’. He believes that he could replicate what he did in Lagos state in the country as a whole.
Pa Fasoranti may have given the APC, Presidential Candidate, their demands which must be agreed to win the Yoruba group support. Don’t let u have any regret for upport in you as our expectation is that ‘‘restructuring, security and fixing the economy must be in your agenda. He had prayed for him, making Tinubu, the APC, Candidate, to leave his house a happy person that he has won the won the heart of the Yoruba elders.
Many were surprised that Pa Fasoranti could receive Tinubu, the APC, Presidential Candidate in his house. This is because of the incident in 2019, when there was clear evidence that armed Fulani herdsmen , killed Olufunke, his daughter, married to one Olakunri, but the former Lagos state governor had rubbished report linking armed Fulani herdsmen to her death, stating that ‘’kidnapping had always been taking place in the country’’.
Informe sources told The Value News that when Tinubu, the APC, Presidential Candidate, scheduled the visit to Pa Fasoranti, the later had phoned the Afenifere Leader on Friday, October , 28, 2022, it but had wanted to turn it down. Adebanjo, was said to have prevailed on him not to do that as an elder statesman.’’if he wanted to see you, why not’’, he was said to have told him. It was not surprising why he receieved him and his entourage in his house.
Adebanjo, the current , Afenifere , Leader, who is not surprised that Tinubu, the APC, touch bearer, could visit Pa Fasoranti, to receive his blessing and support , for the 2023, general elections, believes that the politician, have a hidden agenda: to break the ranks of the group and make it powerless in the south western region. He may have hit the nail on the head when he appeare on Channels Television on Sunday, October 30, 2022. He had said without mincing words that the visit was ‘’aimed at splitting the group into factions’’, noting that he will not be a party to it’’.
Describing visit ‘’as a sort of conspiracy among those who want to see Afenifere divided, he had said that they have been on the plan for over a month going by warning received by members about it. The Afenifere Leader, may have seen Tububu’s visit to Pa Fasoranti as a ‘’diversion’’, stressing that all that the country want now ‘’is an election on issues’’ not a resort to ethnic and tribal politics as a way to win the 2023, general elections.
He may sent a message to Tinubu, that his visist to Fasoranti, a former President of Afenifere to pray for him would not cause a crack in the group, which have already endorsed Obi, the Presidential Candidate of the LP.