Nigeria can’t go back to June 12, Afenifere Renewal Group warns
By Alaba Ojo
Nigerians must prevent the country from drawing back to anarchy, the Afenifere Renewal Group, ARG has warned.
In a press statement issued on Tuesday, the ARG Chairman cautioned against extremists positions.
The ARG said former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s statement on the conduct of the election falls below expectations.
He said the group views the comment of General Olusegun Obasanjo about the 2023 Presidential election with grave concerns.
The full statement is listed below:”Specifically, Obasanjo’s statement is nothing, but a call for undue interference in the Constitutional responsibilities of INEC as an independent institution Under our Laws.
We would not join those who argued that former Military Head of government and later President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo be ignored, after his latest political tirade on the yet to be concluded 2023 Presidential elections. We would not, because, he had always postured as the only Nigerian patriot whose views must hold sway all the time.
We in Yoruba land don’t deny him his respects but need to acknowledge that whether in his intervention in the 1993 Presidential elections that yielded MKO Abiola and in this particular instance of the yet to be concluded 2023 elections, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo lacks the moral right to serve as a guiding beacon. First, he is as politically partisan as any other Nigerian, which is his right but cannot at the same time be pretending to be father of the Nation.
We will be justified to impute motive and suggest that this 2023 attempt at wanting to render the elections inchoate as that of 1993 could just be that Gen. Obasanjo would want till his passing to remain the only Yorubaman to ever attain leadership of the country. Gen. Obasanjo’s hand was heavy in the institution of the failed 1993 Interim government, a process that ultimately led to the restoration of the Military and Gen. Sanni Abacha murderous regime and ultimately to the death of the President-elect, MKO Abiola; Obasanjo’s townsman.
We, speaking for Yoruba people call for the completion of the 2023 electoral processes starting with the already held National elections and ending with the state executive and legislative elections. If Gen. Obasanjo succeeded in intervening in the elections held under him, he should at least grant the present President the full prerogative of wishing to bequeath a free and fair election in our country. We pray he is able to do that to the end.!
We recognize however that more than ever before Nigeria is at a crossroad and that whoever emerged of the candidates, has a great responsibility to set the ship of nationhood on the right path.
We, as a people call on the incoming government to set itself on the task of restoring unity of all the peoples of the country. This however has to be predicated on building a Nation where all the diverse people are equitable members in the country. This can only be precipitated with a wholesome reform and Restructure of the Constitution of the Country. We no longer can pretend that the 1999 Constitution can see or aid the peace, amity and development of the country. That Constitution cannot.
For now let the 2023 electoral processes be completed and any Party or candidate can as provided for in the Electoral Laws seek justice in our Courts. Whoever emerges however has great unifying tasks ahead if Nigeria is to remain one.
We also add that the Military should completely steer clear of whatever temporary impasse that could occur as this is not unusual in all democracies. The Military should also turn a deaf ear to any possible incitement be it from retired Generals or their rank and file.
The world has moved on and the Yoruba people will resist with other Nigerians were any misguided intervention to take place in our polity.