Afenifere, a pan-Yoruba sociopolitical organization, has asserted that Peter Obi of the Labour Party, and not Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the All Progressive Congress, won the February 25 presidential election.
Thus, it stated that the organisation supports Obi’s choice to sue to overturn the election results.
This was said in a statement made during its Extraordinary General Meeting on Tuesday in Isanya-Ogbo, Ogun State.
In the statement, Pa Ayo Adebanjo and Chief Sola Ebiseni, the group’s National Leader and Secretary-General, respectively, denied conveying any congratulations to any candidate on their behalf.
The group claims that “the results of the legal votes cast at the election are available to the Afenifere through credible sources and confirm that Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, won the said election and we, therefore, support his decision to contest the contrary declaration by the INEC.
The General Meeting hereby strongly condemns and distances Afenifere from any congratulations sent to a candidate who was improperly announced as the winner by the INEC.
“Afenifere reiterates that the next President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a person of its southern section, notably the South-East, for equity, fairness, national cohesion, and peaceful corporate existence.
“We urge Nigerians to turn out in droves and take part actively in the state houses of assembly and governorship elections scheduled for March 11, 2023.
“That with particular regard to Lagos State, Afenifere affirms that Mr. Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, the Labour Party’s nominee for governor, is a person of Yoruba descent, whose great-grandparents are not only Yoruba but unquestionably one of the important founding families of Lagos.
“We firmly support him and want Lagos residents to cast their votes for him.”
Analyzing the most recent elections, the group bemoaned how INEC’s willful disregard for its own regulations enabled electoral brigandage at the voting places.
These according to them include “destruction of ballot papers, snatching of ballot boxes, doctoring of figures and swapping of votes of candidates at the coalition centres through the amended and outlawed manual procedures which rendered the 25th February 2023 presidential and National Assembly elections flawed in several respects as confirmed by local and international observers.”
Thus, Afenifere urged “INEC to ensure free and credible elections for governor and state houses of assembly in conformity with the existing Electoral Act and its preceding obligatory Guidelines.
“That in keeping with the revered Yoruba culture of civilized conduct, Afenifere assures all persons residing in Yorubaland, indigenous and non-indigenous, of protection in the performance of their legal obligations, particularly the free exercise of their rights to vote for candidates of their choice in all elections, and thus warns all threat-mongers and dealers in violence to desist therefrom.”
They urged President Muhammadu Buhari and all security personnel to guarantee electoral freedom, fairness, and peace throughout Nigeria.
According to the group, “in the interest of world peace, the international community should show great concern in the ongoing electioneering process in Nigeria.”