Afenifere Meets OBJ, To Endorse Presidential Candidate Soon


Members of the Pan Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, on Tuesday, October 9, held a closed-door meeting with former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, over the 2019 general elections.

At the end of the meeting, which started late in the afternoon and lasted more than two hours, Yinka Odumakin, spokesman of the group, told journalists that the meeting was about the choice of leadership for the country in 2019.

He also reportedly disclosed the group will soon disclose the presidential candidate it will support in the forthcoming general elections.

He said though the 2019 election “is going to be interesting, what is paramount to the Yoruba race is restructuring.”

“The 2019 election is going to be interesting. The most important thing for us is restructuring and clearly, you should know that Afenifere will always support a candidate that is ready to restructure the country because without restructuring we are going nowhere.

“We have heard someone saying that 2014 report was kept in the archive and we have also heard another person saying that Nigeria can be restructured clearly, so we know where to go. We are going to make a pronouncement very soon. The pendulum is swinging and we will know where it will swing,” he said.

The group also explained that some months ago, Obasanjo came to Lagos to visit one of its leaders, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, “and we discussed some issues and today we are here to as well to visit him (Obasanjo) and appreciate his visit to Lagos the other time.

“We are trying to further the friendship so that there can be harmony in Yoruba land so that our people can know that leaders across divides are coming together to discuss the way forward,” Odumakin said.

Members of the group who attended the meeting include Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, former governor of Osun state; former minister of state for defence, Dupe Adelaja; former Nigerian ambassador to the Netherlands, Dr Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu, Senator Femi Okurounmu, Professor Banjo Akintoye, Yinka Odumakin, Supo Sonibare, Chief Ayo Adebanjo and Hon. Oladipo Olaitan.

Recall that few minutes after his emergence as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former vice president Atiku Abubakar praised Obasanjo.

Atiku, while delivering his acceptance speech after he was officially declared winner of the primary with 1,532 votes to Aminu Tambuwal's 693, Atiku thanked former President Olusegun Obasanjo for picking him as his vice president in 1999.

He noted that without Obasanjo picking him then, he could never have become the PDP presidential candidate today.

Recall, however, that some months ago, Obasanjo had said that he can never support Atiku’s presidential ambition.

“How can I be on the same side with Atiku? To do what?

“If I support Atiku for anything, God will not forgive me. If I do not know, yes. But once I know, Atiku can never enjoy my support. I do not have personal grudges with anyone. If you do not do well for Nigeria, you do not do well for all of us.

“It is not a question of working with or not working with an individual,” he said.