Pa Ayo Adebanjo, the head of the pan-Yoruba sociopolitical group Afenifere, on Wednesday in Ibadan, Oyo state capital, campaigned for Peter Obi, the LP’s nominee for president.
The elderly man claimed he does not despise All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Bola Tinubu, but the 2023 Presidency is not about ethnicity during a brief speech to the crowd at the Adamasingba stadium.
“To critics saying this one (Obi) is Igbo, that one is Yoruba, the Presidency of Nigeria is not about Igbo or Yoruba but the whole of Nigeria,” he said.
In his speech, Obi expressed “sincere respects” for the late philosopher Obafemi Awolowo and other illustrious Yoruba figures, including Adebanjo, who he said stood for justice and equity.
The LP candidate said, “What Adebanjo and Afenifere is standing for today is what will make the future of Nigeria, they are standing for equity, they are standing for fairness. Justice, equity and fairness should be the foundation of which we will build a united Nigeria.”
Adebanjo stated last month that Obi is still his preferred candidate despite Pa Reuben Fasoranti, his predecessor, endorsing Tinubu.
On October 30, 2022, Tinubu paid Fasoranti a visit at his home in Ondo State, when the elderly man ‘anointed’ him.
Adebanjo, 94, who took over as Afenifere leader from Fasoranti last year, stated that while he won’t want to pick fights with his predecessor, Obi is still his top choice for the February 2023 election.
Adebanjo previously stated that every Nigeria must be “Obi-Datti compliant” in order to keep Nigeria atop the world in 2023. Along with Datti Baba-Ahmed, Obi is vying for Aso Rock’s top position. In addition, he vowed to uphold his deeply held beliefs in justice, equity, and inclusivity.
“The South-West has produced a president and currently sits as vice-president, the South-South has spent a total of six years in the presidency but the Igbo people of the South-East have never tasted presidency in Nigeria, and now that the power is due back in the South, equity demands that it be ceded to the Igbo.
“We cannot continue to demand that the Igbo people remain in Nigeria, while we at the same time continue to brutally marginalize and exclude them from the power dynamic.
“Peter Obi is the person of Igbo extraction that Afenifere has decided to support and back. He is the man we trust to restructure the country back to federalism on the assumption of office.
“We will not compromise this principle of justice, equity, and inclusiveness because one of our own Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is a frontline candidate,” he had said.