The pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere; Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Uche Secondus, and the African Action Congress on Sunday faulted a statement credited to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo that the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 presidential election would guarantee South-West Presidency in 2023.
Osinbajo, who on Saturday went on a house-to-house campaign in Oyo, Oyo State, and held a 45-minute closed-door meeting with the Alaafin, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, said the 2019 presidential election mattered to the Yoruba people of the South-West because the geopolitical zone had a larger interest in 2023.
“Yoruba have a lot to contribute to Nigeria for the 2019 elections. It is for us, Yoruba; if you understand, it is for us. We are not looking at 2019, but 2023. If we don’t get it now, it may take some time again,” Osinbajo had said.
Your action divisive, our concern is restructuring, Afenifere tells VP
But Afenifere’s spokesperson, Mr Yinka Odumakin, in an interview with one of our correspondents, wondered what the Yoruba people had gained since Osinbajo became Vice-President.
He noted that Osinbajo had so far opposed all the things that were dear to the Yoruba people, including restructuring.
Odumakin said, “In the four years that he (Osinbajo) has been vice-president, what has he done for the Yoruba people?
“All the things that are dear to the Yoruba, he has opposed including restructuring; he has sided with the oppressors of the Yoruba people.
“When they killed the Yoruba evangelist of the Redeemed Christian Church of God under his nose in Abuja as vice-president, did he say a word? But because he wants to contest election in 2023 — himself, (Asiwaju Bola) Tinubu and (Babatunde) Fashola are fighting for election — he now remembers that he’s a Yoruba man and he wants to come and spread division among us.
“In the midst of all that we are going through, throughout Yoruba land today, beggars are all over the place. There never used to be beggars in Yoruba land. That Osinbajo is getting people to queue for N10,000.00, which is insulting and a mockery of poverty, shows how much these people have destroyed the lives of our people.”
The Afenifere spokesman restated that in 2019, what the Yoruba wanted was restructuring of Nigeria by means of true federalism.
He noted that the Yoruba would only support a candidate with plans for restructuring.
“We have had an eight-year presidency. The Ijaw have had six years. The North have had more than everybody. But what is their lot? It’s poverty.
“We don’t want to stay under this arrangement. The arrangement we want is where we will have control over our fears and for every citizen of Nigeria to develop at their own pace.
“That is certainly what we want and that is what Buhari, Osinbajo and the All Progressives Congress have said they don’t want. We will reject that at the polls,” he said.
Nigeria’ll remain in darkness until S’East leads – Ohanaeze
But Ohanaeze Ndigbo on Sunday said Nigeria would continue to wallow in “abject socio-political, economic and developmental blindness until an Igbo man becomes the President.”
It said anything done in Nigeria without the active cooperation and participation of the lgbo would always crumble.
The spokesman for the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Uche Achi-Okpaga, said this in an interview with one of our correspondents while reacting to a statement by Osinbajo that the South-West would produce the President in 2023 after President Buhari.
In buttressing his point, Achi-Okpaga listed former public office holders from the South-East who made positive impacts while serving the country.
He said, “I do not expect Prof. Osinbajo to say a different thing. The 2023 Yoruba Presidency is a plot presumably well hatched and efforts are being exerted to win it successfully as dramatised in the public pronouncements earlier by Fashola and now the bleeding utterances of Osinbajo.
“However, l am dumbfounded that these are men that believe in the existence of God but, perhaps unwittingly, do not believe in the God factor.
“The Igbo are the descendants of King David, the man after God’s heart. Anything you do in Nigeria without the active cooperation and participation of the lgbo would always crumble as exemplified in the present administration of PMB. The Igbo are to Nigeria what Israel is to the world today.
“Take my word today, until an Igbo man leads, Nigeria will continue to wallow in abject socio-political, economic and developmental blindness. The late Prof Dora Akunyili was brought in and she did justice to NAFDAC’s perennial, protracted and seemingly intractable impasse.
“Prof. (Chukwuma) Soludo was brought in and he brought sanity into the banking system. Today, Nigerians can deposit their money and go to sleep with their eyes closed.
“Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was brought in and she spearheaded debt relief for Nigeria (already dismantled by the present administration.)
“You can attest to how Prof. (Onyebuchi) Chukwu, as Minister of Health, clinically dealt with the Ebola virus under Goodluck Jonathan.
“The list is endless. Simply put, the Igbo will lead Nigeria when the Lord decrees it, all clandestine plots notwithstanding.”
APC’s promises of presidency to S’East, S’West, dubious – PDP
Also, the PDP Presidential Campaign Council on its part said the APC and the Muhammadu Buhari Presidency in their desperation to hang onto power had resorted to trading with the lure of 2023 Presidency.
In a statement signed by one of the council’s spokespersons, Mr Kassim Afegbua, it said the present government had promised both the South-East and South-West geopolitical zones the 2023 Presidency in exchange for votes.
The statement read, “Giving out two promises has exposed the insincerity and dubious intention of the Buhari-led Federal Government with the people of the South-East and South-West geopolitical zones with empty promises of bequeathing power to the two zones at the same time in 2023.
“This is why Nigerians cannot take the APC and the Buhari Presidency’s seriously any longer as we prepare for the 2019 elections.
“Speaking on behalf of President Buhari in Owerri last week, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, told the APC that the President would hand over the reins of power to a south-easterner, while calling on the people to support Mr President.
“Meanwhile, the Vice-President also told leaders of the South-West to support the re-election of President Buhari so as to get the Presidency in 2023.”
According to the council, two principal officers of the same government cannot be fooling Nigerians with vainglorious promises all in the name of re-election.
It stated that such discordant tunes by the first and second citizens of Nigeria had exposed lack of synergy and display of double standard and doublespeak by the chieftains of a government, he alleged, had continued to display wanton desperation to hold onto power at all costs in the face of monumental failure.
It added, “How can the President be promising south-easterners the Presidency when his Vice-President is also promising the south-westerners same position in 2023, all in the name of 2019 re-election?
“This is a clear show of deceit, desperation, crass insincerity and hypocrisy of the highest order. This is a clarion call on south-easterners not to trust such carrot being dangled before them as it has become obvious that this government neither fulfils promises nor keeps any covenant.
“The same government cannot promise the Igbo and Yoruba at the same time if it was sincere about the shape of politics of the 2023 presidency. This government has an uncommon reputation for deceit, lies, insincerity and hypocrisy especially when it has to do with its 2019 re-election bid.”
APC acting like a prostitute, promising every man marriage – Secondus
Also, the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, accused the APC of acting like a prostitute, who he said, “is busy duping every man under the guise that she will marry all of them.”
He said there was no way a party would give the same presidential ticket to two geopolitical zones in 2023, saying the APC was just being deceitful.
Secondus, in an interview with one of our correspondents in Abuja on Sunday, said that it was unfortunate that Osinbajo could join the fray of those he described as deceitful in the name of politics.
He said, “I was astonished when I heard the Vice-President has joined the bandwagon. Why must he lie? Why would his party promise the South-East and the South-West the same position?
“Their case is like that of a deceitful prostitute, who keeps on collecting cash and other materials from different men and keeps on promising them marriage.
“The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the party would give the ticket to the South-West while the SGF, Boss Mustapha, said it was a lie. He said that the party would look at the side of the South-East. Why the contradiction just because of politics? We all know that Osinbajo is a pastor and a professor of law. It is a pity.”
VP not promoting national interest, says Sowore
Also, the African Action Congress and the #TakeItBack Movement#, the campaign organ of Omoyele Sowore, on Sunday called on Osinbajo and the APC to consider national interest and stop dividing Nigeria.
While describing Osinbajo’s statement as “very appalling and highly nauseating,” the party warned him against using divisive methods to gain votes.
The party said, “It is utterly disgraceful that instead of addressing all of these issues, the Vice-President has resorted to playing the ethnic card out of political desperation.
“We call on all Nigerians to come to the understanding that the looters of our commonwealth and their cronies are not divided by language. They understand one language which is ‘to loot.’
“The masses therefore should unite with one language – ‘to fight for the soul of Nigeria.’ Nigeria must progress!”
A statement by the Director of Sowore 2019 Campaign/AAC (Media and Communications), Rachel Onamusi-Kpiasi, said the Buhari’s administration had succeeded in establishing several ‘sects’ in the society.
She said, “We find this statement very divisive and uncalled for especially given the highly polarised ethnic and religious environment the country is in.
“It is no exaggeration that Nigerians have never, in recent times, been this divided. What Nigerians have experienced in the last three years of the Buhari/Osinbajo administration is the height of ethnic and religious divisions laced with diatribes capable of splitting the nation.”
Meanwhile, a member of the APC in the South-East who is also the Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu, has advised the PDP to mind its business and face its manifesto, which according to him, is dead on arrival.
He said, “What the South-East and South-West are doing is what we call real politics. It is not hawking as erroneously stated by the PDP. What we are saying is that the South-East and South-West are both qualified to take over from the President in 2023.
“But in the spirit of equity, natural justice and good conscience, the South-East having been the only geopolitical zone in the South which has not become the President should get it. It does not mean hawking because another zone in the South is positioning itself for the Presidency.
“The rotation is a convention and not a norm. What is a concrete fact is that the South-East and South-West are aware that if President Buhari is re-elected in 2019, he has only four more years as stated in the constitution while that of Atiku is a mirage or a pledge.
“The PDP should blame themselves for allowing their candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to come with a six-year manifesto because they cannot deceive anybody that he would spend only four years in office. It means other geopolitical zones would have to wait for another eight years.”
In a related development, the Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission and a former Senate Majority Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, has said it will be counterproductive for the South-East to vote for the opposition in 2019.
He said this in an interview with journalists in Abuja.
The APC senatorial candidate in Cross River State said, “We are talking about the opportunity and it is for the South-East to go and organise themselves and ready itself for that opportunity.
“Will they have an opportunity in 2023 through President Buhari? The answer is yes, the opportunity will be there and you need to put your house in order.
“Will it be possible with other person in 2023 considering the fact that the person would have a constitutional two terms? The answer is no.”