2023: Afenifere wants Akande, Osinbajo, Others to reconcile
….Commends Buhari, Fayemi, Akpabio, Amosun, Bankole
The Afenifere Renewal Group, has tasked the politicians of Southwest extraction on the imperative of unity to actualise the presidential aspiration of the former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the 2023 general elections.
The group insisted that the region could have lost the opportunity for the presidential ticket to other zones of the country, but for uncommon unity displayed by veteran politicians of the South, who patriotically stepped down for Tinubu in the overall interest of the country.
In a press conference addressed in Ado Ekiti the socio-cultural group lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for ensuring that democracy thrives, by allowing the will of the majority to triumph during the All Progressives Congress Presidential convention.
Addressing the pressmen on Tinubu’s emergence, the ARG spokesperson in Ekiti State, Prince Michael Ogungbemi, said the region would end up producing a successor to President Buhari if it can demonstrate unity of purpose from which other regions of the Federation can take a cue.
Ogungbemi posited that the Southern Nigeria would eternally be grateful for the patriotic zeal of the APC Northern Governors’ Forum, that insisted that power must return to the South in the spirit of normative order and promotion of justice fairness and equity in the system.
Going further, the ARG spokeperson, said the Southwest played a pivotal role in the consummation of APC and Buhari’s presidential ascendancy, saying allowing the zone to produce a successor to the current government was in order and in alignment with the law of reciprocity.
Ogungbemi said: “The ARG on behalf of Yoruba race applauded President Buhari for his statesmanship, ditto to the Northern progressives Governors’ forum, who rose above clannish sentiment and regional affinity by displaying the gravitas to embrace a pan-Nigerian decision that power must shift to the South.
“It is now time for the Southwest to display uncommon unity to complement the patriotic and progressive efforts of the APC members, who overwhelmingly elected Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the primary.
“This is not the time to put up the toga of ego and sulk in the enmity of the past. We must chart a new course and work hard with other five zones of the country for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to ascend the throne.
“We hereby, humbly task Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Chief Bisi Akande, the chairman, Southwest Governor’ Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu, Governor Kayode Fayemi, Ibikunke Amosun, Rauf Aregbesola and other bigwigs in the progressive fold to midwife sincere and genuine reconciliation among contending forces and unite for Tinubu.
“The trajectory of election in Nigeria since 1999 clearly presents an unassailable narrative that no zone can singlehandedly produce Nigerian President without recourse to the sensibilities and cooperation of others. With this reality, we must jettison primordial sentiments and divisive comments, and form a formidable coalition with the Igbos, Fulani Hausa, Kanuri and other ethnic nationalities to galvanise support for Asiwaju Tinubu in the forthcoming election.
“One thing is certain, failure is not an option for us in this election as the APC had done us a great deal of favour by voting for a worthy and enigmatic leader of Southwest progressive politics to take over after President Buhari”.
Ogungbemi saluted the governor Of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, immediate past Minister of Niger Delta Ministry, Godswill Akpabio, former Speaker House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole , former Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun and others who displayed uncommon patriotism and selflessness by stepping down from the primary.
The ARG spokesperson added that history would continually remember them as warriors, who made a great sacrifice for the stability of the country and for the promotion of regional solidarity.
” Stepping down from the race by these political warlords clearly showed unanimity of purpose, which confirmed that the South was really ready to take the baton of leadership and this was highly commendable.
“We salute the courage, resilience and omoluabi role displayed by His Excellency, Dr John Kayode Fayemi, Executive Governor of Ekiti State and Chairman Nigeria Governor’s Forum as highly commendable, this attest to the fact stated in our previous press release wherein we posited that “BISI AKNDE, TINUBU, FAYEMI AND OTHERS SHOULD BE BLAME, IF THE SOUTHWEST LOST THE APC PRESIDENTIAL TICKET,” We are glad the ticket is here.
“But we must start putting our house in order and form a strong synergy with other zones to be able to deliver the presidency to Tinubu. This is actionable.
” Working hard to get the ticket makes other uphill task ahead of us easier. Without unity, particularly in the Southwest, sabotage and other treacherous acts may surge and hinder the actualisation of this dream and that would be an unpardonable mistake that may haunt the region for many years ahead”, ARG warned.
The ARG , however, exuded confidence that with strong political networks, structures and contacts that Tinubu had erected over the years coupled with his cosmopolitan political stature that towers above other contestants, the APC is set and more than ready to win the 2023 presidential poll.