Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, on Tuesday, insisted that the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, won the February 25 presidential election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), winner of the election.
Obi is already challenging the declaration in court.
But the apex Yoruba socio-political organization reiterated on Tuesday that “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.”
Afenifere also announced the suspension of two principal officers of the group, the National Publicity Secretary, Jare Ajayi, and the National Organising Secretary, Abagun Kole Omololu.
The apex Yoruba group announced their position on the outcome of the presidential poll and the suspension of the two principal officers in a communique issued after a meeting held in Isanya Ogbo, Ogun State, the country home of its leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo.
In the communique, the group said the suspension and removal of Messrs Ajayi and Omololu followed their “uncouth activities and unauthorised” statements issued in the name of the organisation tackling a South East leader, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, over a statement credited to him allegedly referring to the Yoruba as political rascals.
“The meeting 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.
“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 sine die pending further decisions after their appearance before and recommendations by the Disciplinary Committee,” the communique read.
Speaking on the statement credited to Iwuanyanwu, the apex Yoruba group said, “We received a message credited to Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu 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.
“On the analysis of the video and information at the disposal of Afenifere by people at the Anambra State gathering, we are convinced that Chief Iwunayanwun 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 states that it never issued any statement and dissociates the Organisation from any such statement against Chief Iwunayanwu.”
Insisting that the February 25, presidential poll was fraught with irregularities, the group said the outcome is not a reflection of the will of the people and not in compliance with the Electoral Act.
“That Afenifere reiterates our 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.
“We re-assert 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.
“Condemn 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.”