• There isn’t any consensus on Obi, says PANDEF
The Center Belt Discussion board criticized a pan-Yoruba sociocultural group chief Pa Reuben Fasoranti for endorsing All Progressives Congress presidential candidate Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, saying historical past will choose him (Fasoranti) for his motion.
The disaster rocked Afenifere when the group reportedly declared its help for Tinubu through the go to of the previous Lagos state governor to the group’s leaders in Akure, Ondo state.
Fasoranti and different Afenifere bosses had been additionally mentioned to have prayed for the APC presidential candidate.
Nevertheless, the endorsement was dismissed by the interim chief of the socio-cultural group, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, who argued that Labor Get together presidential candidate Peter Obi remained Afenifere’s selection, including that Fasoranti had no constitutional authority to behave because the chief of the group.
However the president of the Center Belt Discussion board, Pogu Bitrus, mentioned in an interview with our sunday Punch, “It’s an unlucky improvement as a result of we consider that the leaders of the sociocultural teams are individuals who have gone past the parochial ethnic ranges and any consideration, issues with ardour on the nationwide stage.
“Pa Fasoranti, along with his age and every little thing, we respect him. We all know that he left that place about two years in the past and Pa Adebanjo is the chief. The return of him to make such a subject out of the context of Bola Ahmed Tinubu is an unlucky improvement and I believe historical past will choose him, not as a result of now we have totally different factors of view.
“That’s not the rationale; the reason being that we consider that at one stage of life, one goes past a sure stage of parochialism, however acts like a statesman. I would like you to rethink your place.”
Bitrus, who mentioned that MBF didn’t see Fasoranti’s endorsement of Tinubu as an try by politicians to trigger confusion inside Afenifere and divide it, urged him (Fasoranti) to think about whether or not his motion was in Nigeria’s finest curiosity.
Requested if the Center Belt Discussion board was open to partaking with presidential candidates, he mentioned: “We’ve already said our place. Simply earlier than the primaries, we mentioned that we might not help a candidate from the north as a result of we consider that it’s the flip of the south. Whereas we had been open to all candidates from the south, Bola Ahmed Tinubu did what we predict we can’t settle for.
“In Nigeria, the place Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen, militias and lots of different rebel teams are of Islamic extraction, it’s not acceptable to current a Muslim-Muslim candidacy; so so far as we’re involved, he (Tinubu) is out of the consideration as a result of now we have to take a look at issues that may profit the nation, not simply contemplating issues based mostly on sentiment.”
Nevertheless, the Pan Niger Delta Discussion board mentioned it had not endorsed any presidential candidates for the 2023 normal election.
PANDEF mentioned that though he met with Peter Obi on August 23 in Lagos, he made it clear that he would have interaction with different presidential candidates from the south.
The group’s spokesman, Ken Robinson, mentioned: “There was no consensus on Peter Obi. PANDEF has not endorsed any presidential candidate. PANDEF agreed that the subsequent president ought to come from southern Nigeria.
“As communicated on the final extraordinary assembly that passed off on October 20, we made it clear that we had been open to have interaction with all presidential candidates from southern Nigeria; it’s after these commitments that PANDEF will talk its resolution on whom to help.
“Our place on the Southern and Center Belt Discussion board assembly held on June 25 was and stays that we are going to have interaction with all presidential candidates from the south.
“Let me additionally add that earlier than the primaries, the Southern and Center Belt Discussion board, based mostly on the themes of equity, justice, equity and inclusion, had added a caveat to our demand for a change of energy to southern Nigeria saying ideally to the southeast and that didn’t point out any presidential candidate at the moment.”