Posted by News Express | 20 December 2018 | 1,297 times
A coalition of over 60 self-determination pan-Yoruba socio-political groups, the Yoruba Self-Determination Advancement Forum (YOSEDAF), has denounced the attacks on Afenifere leadership by some Yoruba leaders such as Chief Ayo Fasanmi over perceived endorsement of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 2019 polls, by the Afenifere leadership.
YOSEDAF, which said it is committed to the political survival and democratic values of the Yoruba people, said the attack was needless and unacceptable.
A statement issued by the group and signed by the Convener, Evangelist Kunle Adesokan, and National Secretary, Mr Kola Are, described it as the height of hypocrisy at this time not to stand up against the denunciation of the pervasive tyranny in the land while pretending to be sitting on the fence.
The statement said: “YOSEDAF wishes to emphasise that at no time than now in the recent history of Nigeria has it become more expedient to stand up against a divisive leadership whose continuation in office could only take the country to a new height of nepotism, insecurity, inter-ethnic distrust and flagrant disdain for democratic norms as well as debasement of the rule of law.
“Regrettably, those who pretend to be sitting on the fence engage in doublespeak and find it convenient to play the ostrich as usual when a fundamental decision about the political leadership and future of the country demands decisive and bold pronouncements.
“Those who indulge in pretentions could only be acting contrary to the cherished values and established standards expected of Yoruba political leadership. We unequivocally assert that indulgence in actions or inactions tantamounts to tacit support or endorsement for incompetent, myopic and divisive leadership so far exhibited by the incumbent (which) is a betrayal of trust of leadership.”
Continuing, the pan-Yoruba groups said: “It should be instructive to demand where these seasonal Afenifere’s antagonists were when the country was in turmoil as a result of the failure of leadership of the last three and a half years. Why are those opposing Afenifere leadership always vociferous for opportunistic purposes at pre-election seasons?
“These anti-Afenifere forces couldn’t bother to lend their voices on the side of the people when (President Muhammadu) Buhari’s leadership abdicated responsibility in the face of widespread killings and maiming by marauding Fulani herdsmen.
“More disturbing is like fact that those criticising Afenifere seem to be bothered about promoting the interest of a Commander-in-Chief who owned up to the insubordination of the Inspector General of Police when lives were being lost in droves. This is the same captain of Nigeria’s ship whose wife has repeatedly alerted the world about his helplessness in the hands of a cabal.
“While Afenifere is yet to formally endorse any candidate, we, however, wonder why a failed incumbent should be an option before highly enlightened Yoruba race in the 21st century? It is, therefore, most disheartening that some of our respected elders who were at the 2014 National Confab supposedly to pursue Yoruba Agenda could find it difficult to identify with an unambiguous position on restructuring.
“This is more so when President Muhammadu Buhari has demonstrated lack of commitment to decades of the popular clamour of Yoruba political leadership for a restructured Nigeria on the basis of equity, justice and enabling democratic ethos. We are alarmed that the same mistake made in 2014 when a section of the Yoruba electorate was misled into voting (for) Buhari is tacitly being reenacted. Instead of carpeting leadership of Afenifere, we expect the Yoruba elders rooting for Buhari’s reelection to bring forth General Buhari’s scorecard so that Yoruba electorate could make a checklist of the campaign promises of 2014 including his hitherto much-touted commitment to bringing about national unity; which has been clearly betrayed.
“It is most unfortunate that those in anti-Afenifere camp pretend not to appreciate that the current status quo, if allowed to continue beyond May 29, 2019, could only deepen Nigeria’s skewed federalism with festering of inter-ethnic distrust and insecurity that have manifested in wanton killings by Fulani herdsmen and mushrooming of armed banditry across the country.”
“Nigerians and the world at large have seen the change mantra fall flat on its face. Instead of guaranteeing security, Nigerians now live in fear more than ever; instead of job opportunities, fear of the unknown is now the order of the day. Indeed, the prevailing order has unleashed socio-economic miseries on the citizens.
“We are therefore in support of Afenifere’s denunciation of the prevailing shenanigans in the name of governance. We wish to, therefore, reiterate YOSEDAF’s endorsement for Atiku Abubakar’s presidential aspiration. We will work with Yoruba’s platforms with similar agenda. It is a noble path that is borne out of courage, conviction and clarity.
“We urge all Yoruba’s platforms and people to once again rise in defence of truth. 2019 offers a clarion call for which all Yorubas must dispassionately exercise caution and vigilance so as to avoid a repeat of the pitfall that is laced with dire consequences for individual and collective survival; even beyond the germane issue of restructuring,” the statement concluded.
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