Most revered Afenifere leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti has dismissed the opinion of the acting leader of the organisation, Chief Ayo Adebanjo that the APC flag bearer, Bola Ahmed Tinubu did not win the February 25 Presidential election, held in the country.
Fasoranti in a statement he personally signed declared that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu remains President-elect as declared by the authorized body, INEC.
According to him, being a law abiding organisation, Afenifere could not have asserted that someone, other than the person declared by the body duly authorized by the Constitution and other extant laws of the land, is the winner of the presidential election.
On Tuesday, in a communiqué at the Isanya Ogbo meeting, the faction by Adebanjo claimed that Peter Obi of the Labour Party won the presidential election, going by reports available to them.
The communique issued by the group also announced the removal and suspension of two officials of the organisation, National Organising Secretary, Abagun Kole Omololu and National Publicity Secretary Comrade Jare Ajayi for allegedly issuing a statement condemning the Chairman of Elders Forum of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide Chief Emmanuel Iwunanyawu who called Yoruba “political rascals” at an event marking Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s one year in office in Awka, Anambra State at the weekend.
Pa Fasoranti said suspending the duo without due process was not the way of Afenifere as they were purportedly found guilty without trial.
“My attention has been drawn to the Communique purportedly issued after a meeting held on Tuesday, March 27, at Isanya Ogbo, Ogun State. This statement is being issued because of the content of the said document. Section 2.02 of the document claims that “the results of the lawful votes at the Presidential election available to the Afenifere through credible sources confirm that Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, won the said election.”
“Afenifere could not have asserted that someone, other than the person declared by the body duly authorized by the Constitution and other extant laws of the land, is the winner of the presidential election held on February 25, 2023 in Nigeria.
“The body mandated to conduct elections in Nigeria, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), after the completion of this year’s presidential election on February 25, has declared the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu as the winner of the said election.
“On the assertion that someone else other than the person declared by INEC as winner of the presidential election, he said this type of position is alien to us in Afenifere which does not conduct itself as agent of the state let alone as an electoral umpire. We accept the results of the elections at all levels as declared by INEC until otherwise decided by competent court in the land.
“Presently, the whole world knows that Nigeria has a President-elect in person of Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, a true Yoruba son and nationalist. We in Afenifere not only acknowledge this, we take delight in his in-coming Presidency and are confident that he will by the grace of God, return Nigeria to the glorious position that all of us will be proud of.”
According to him, the National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Comrade Jare Ajayi, issued a congratulatory message to the President-elect after he had been issued a Certificate of Return by INEC. He added that at no time was any of the two officers alleged of doing anything against what Afenifere stands for or against the interest of Yoruba race.
“Thus, at no time was he informed that they were queried, warned or sanctioned for conducting themselves in a manner contrary to what Afenifere or Yoruba stand for,” Fasoranti observed.
This fiat approach, he noted as seen in the current situation is alien to the organization and cannot stand.
“That is not the Afenifere way. A general meeting does not have the power to convene and take such a far-reaching decision just at the whims of individuals.
“There must have been an official petition laid at the caucus meeting, which is referred to the Disciplinary Committee that will investigate and give the officers involved the opportunity to plead their cases.
“The whole world is aware that I personally blessed and anointed Ahmed Bola Tinubu on October 30, 2022 in the presence of notable people from all parts of Yorubaland right here in my place in Akure. How can we then turn round and condemn the election of such a person? We never did so.
“Being an organization that believes in justice and fairness, being an organization that always maintains that those at the helms of affairs should follow the rule of law, Afenifere, our organization, cannot just wake up and pronounce some officials removed and suspended without telling them what their offences are and without giving them the opportunities to defend themselves.
“Such a step is not only against natural justice; it is also in clear defiance of the law of the land. Afenifere believes in the rule of law and in the fundamental rights of all, including right to fair hearing. For these and other reasons, the purported removal and suspension are null and void.
“The two officials should be commended rather than condemned for the selfless services they are rendering to Afenifere, to the Yoruba race and to Nigeria and humanity. They are hereby so commended,” he added.
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