Breaking: Why We’re Rooting For A President From South East Geopolitical Extraction–Ayo Adebanjo
Leader of Pan Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, has said that the South-East should produce the president in 2023 election, if Nigeria hopes to enjoy peace.
Speaking with VINCENT KALU, the nonagenarian noted that he loves the Yoruba aspirants, who he called his children, but asserted that he is supporting the South-East to promote justice and fair play.
How can we overcome and come out of the hydra headed problems the country faces?
You cannot get out of them unless you change the constitution; all other things you are talking about are just balderdash. You can’t get out of these problems or Nigeria breaking until you change the constitution to a real federal constitution before the elections. This is the naked truth; all these we will do this and that are just beating about the bush,
Is it possible to do as you have suggested before the election, which is just around the corner?
This is something that is necessary and the only thing that will give you stability. What is sacrosanct about the election if you are not going to get a united country? Is it not a sacrifice that is worth it? You do the election and start another crisis again? Security is bad, education is bad, health is bad, and everything is bad. We should do this once and for all and move on. It is possible to do it if there is the will. At worst, postpone the election and let us get the Nigeria of our dream, it is a sacrifice that is worth it.
You have been clamouring recently for a president of Igbo extraction in 2023. What gave rise to this?
It is fairness, justice and equity. We have been doing rotation, it is only South-East that has not produced the president. How can the rest of the country be ganging up against them? We are not saying the truth. It is their right to produce the president, any other argument is selfish and such people are not serious about Nigeria.
Why are you not supporting Yoruba, since everybody seems to be supporting his or her own?
I was taught politics of fairness, justice and equity. Have the Yoruba not produced the president and the vice president? Have the South-East got it? If you were in the shoes of the Igbo and the presidency is coming to the South and it is going back to the Yoruba, is that fairness and how would you feel? We are just busy deceiving ourselves to find one lame argument or the other. I love Nigeria to be one. Anything short of that; you are pushing the South-East out of Nigeria. If Buhari is sincere, let him step down the constitution and get another one before the election, unless we want to continue to deceive ourselves.
Some people are saying that you are not supporting the Yoruba aspirants because you have a grouse with some of them
Forget about that nonsense talk. Am I an aspirant? Yoruba people are my children. I’m telling you what brought Nigeria together. That is gossip that shouldn’t be taken seriously. I, Ayo Adebanjo, which Yoruba person do I have scores to settle with? Who was born the same time with me? All these talks don’t make meaning to me at all. Which Yoruba man today will say that I’m competing with him? Did I compete with anybody in the First Republic when many of them were not born? If they don’t want to face the truth they should say so. There is no man today, including Buhari that I have to compete with. I’m satisfied with what God has given to me. I am a very contented man and I thank God for His grace. We are talking about justice, so don’t bring any lame excuse about one thing or the other.
Against your position, what if the North brings out candidates, what will you tell Nigerians?
We have said that we don’t want anybody from the North as candidate; that is simple. The North has no right as of now. It is South – South-East. It’s as simple as that if we are going to have elections.
What types of Nigeria would you advise Buhari to leave?
He should bring us back to the position he met us if he is fair. If he is sincere, let him take us back to the constitution signed by Azikiwe, Balewa, Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello, Mbonu Ojike and others that went to the London Constitutional Conference to give the constitution we agreed to operate, which was a true federal constitution.