27th September, 2023
A faction of Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, led by Pa Ayo Adebanjo has reiterated its disagreement with the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Court of Appeal on the 2023 elections.
The group made the assertion while declaring its support for one of the losers at the PEPC, Peter Obi of Labour Party to appeal the judgment at the appeal court.
Afenifere, in a communique issued at the end of its meeting in Ogun State on Tuesday said it supports a further appeal to the Supreme Court in the interest of the nation, while faulting some aspects of the judgment.
Specifically, Afenifere, in the communique signed by Adebanjo, faulted the court’s “pronouncements that the INEC is at liberty to return to the manual collation of election results and all the primitive electoral brigandage associated.
It also disagreed with the pronouncement of the PEPC that Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory should be treated as Nigeria’s 37th State in computing the outcome of the presidential election.
“Neither is it true with our political structure that Nigeria is now a 37-state federation as the Court of Appeal erroneously pronounced,” it added.
The group further maintained that “no person or group of persons shall hold the reins of power except in the proven interest of a fair, equitable, inclusive and thus united Nigeria in their peaceful, prosperous and harmonious diversity.”
Afenifere therefore declared its backing for the move by Obi to appeal the PEPC) judgment that affirmed the declaration of President Bola Tinubu as the winner of the 2023 presidential election.
The Afenifere faction said it “remains convinced and undeterred on the just principles with which we agreed to support Mr. Peter Obi, the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party.
In addition, Afenifere also urged the Federal Government to avert the looming national strike by meeting the demands of labour unions over removal of fuel subsidy and the rising cost of living in the country.
The group noted that while the government has continued to call on Nigerians to make sacrifices, it has been increasing the number of its appointees.
“Government is called upon to look into the plight of Nigerians and listen to the NLC to avert the looming strikes in the interests of the already prostate economy.
“Government needs to open up to Nigerians and those in power come down from their ostentatious life styles.
“From the humongous number of 50 Ministers with intractable number of aides, it is unacceptable that the people are being called upon to make further sacrifices.”
Afenifere also commended Nigerians for resisting the Federal Government of Nigeria leading the ECOWAS on the military intervention in Republic of Niger.
But the group reiterated “its abhorrence to any undemocratic access to power either through the barrels of the gun or electoral brigandage, the principles of the total emancipation of the African continent is in tandem with the principles of Afenifere.
The mainstream faction of Afenifere led by Pa. Reuben Fasoranti had dissociated itself from Adebanjo’s support for Obi.
The faction which supported President Bola Tinubu in the 2023 election had accused Adebanjo of dividing and causing confusion in the group with his support for Obi.