The Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) has rejected the endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan for a second term in office by the Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere.
The publicity secretary of the Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, recently said in Akure, after a meeting between Afenifere and President Jonathan, that the group had endorsed Jonathan for a second-term in office. The meeting was reported to have been held at the residence of the National Chairman of Afenifere, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, during Jonathan’s presidential campaign rally in Ondo State.
Rising from its National Executive Council meeting held at its national headquarters in Ibadan, YCE, also known as ‘Igbimo Agba Yoruba,’ distanced itself from the endorsement. The meeting was presided over by the group’s president, Major General Adeyinka Adebayo (rtd).
YCE’s position is coming a few days after another group, the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), also condemned Afenifere’s endorsement.
Prof Bayo Olateju who read the communiqué of the meeting said: “YCE is not party to any purported endorsement given by any group or groups to a presidential candidate and so dissociates itself from such action as YCE did not at any time sit with any group of people to consider and come to such decision.
“The Nigerian Presidency should go to the best candidate who has the vision and mission of taking Nigeria and Nigerians from poverty to wealth; from insecurity of lives and property to living secured, prosperous and in abundance; regardless of party affiliations, religion or tribe.”
While saying that YCE is apolitical, Olateju described Afenifere as a political group. He, however, cautioned that as respectable elders of the Yoruba nation, caution should be taken in endorsing any candidate. YCE cautioned political parties against provocative and inflammatory public statements capable of causing another civil war in the country. The Yoruba elders urged politicians to respect the peace accord signed in Abuja recently and shun violence or any act that could destabilise the country.
Instead of attacking personalities during campaigns, YCE said, politicians should concentrate on issues such as economy, security, stable electric power, industrialisation, employment, education for all, sustenance of the nascent democracy and good healthcare for the aged.
Reacting to the call for postponement of the general elections, the elders said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has “not suggested any postponement and therefore, the February dates still remain sacrosanct.”
The council also advised the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Lagos, Mbu Joseph Mbu, to do his work as a true professional and discharge his duties without fear or favour
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