Afenifere had through its leader, Pa Ayo Adeanjo, at a press conference on Monday in Lagos, revealed reasons why it was backing Obi, an easterner, over Tinubu who hails from the South-West.
He said, “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 marginalise and exclude them from the power dynamics.
“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. It is on this same principle we condemn the Peoples Democratic Party for sponsoring Atiku Abubakar, a Northern Fulani Muslim to succeed General Muhammadu Buhari another Fulani Muslim.”
However, in his reaction, the APC spokesperson, Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo, accused Adebanjo of promoting his agenda as the position of the pan-Yoruba group.
Keyamo told The PUNCH on Monday that he stood by an earlier statement released by the council’s Director of Media and Publicity, Bayo Onanuga.
He said, “We stand by the statement issued yesterday (Sunday) by our campaign council media director. Afenifere is not the mouthpiece of the Yoruba. The release comprehensively addressed the matter.
“The issue is that the Afenifere in question is just Pa Adebanjo trying to project his personal bias against Asiwaju. He is not pursuing any pan-Yoruba act of patriotism as claimed. No, he is not.”