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Friday, January 21, 2022

Yoruba Groups Meet in Lagos to Produce One Presidential Candidate in 2023

Yoruba Groups Meet in Lagos to Produce One Presidential Candidate in 2023

Over sixty groups from Yorubaland in Southwestern Nigeria met in Lagos to harmonise what they called the presidential ambition of their zone.

They also decided that there must be departure from the prevalent reliance on money rather than ideas in choosing political leaders, urging that leaders must be chosen who will address the fears and aspirations of the people.

They warned against multiple S/West aspirants and vowed to support a pro-restructuring contender in 2023.

The groups said the people of the South-West will take over the campaign, own the process and ensure the region’s bloc vote like never before.

“We want this election to be different. The campaign will not be by money bags but by the masses, from home to home, street to street and valleys to mountains. Our people will speak with one voice this time,” the groups said.

They said they will choose a presidential election produces candidate that will restructure the country and resolve the lingering National Question irrespective of political platform, adding that it will not be about All Progressives Congress (APC) or the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but about the people on the streets.

They stressed that the groups will take over the process and the campaign to ensure the will of the people triumphs in all Yoruba territories.

The meeting, presided over by a prominent journalist, Mr Adewale Adeoye, issued a communiqué signed by Sunday Akinnuoye, Femi Agbana and Mrs Ganiat Toriola.

The groups included the O’odua Peoples Congress (OPC), Oodua Nationalist Coalition (ONAC), Agbekoya, South West Students Coalition (SWSC), Oodua Muslim-Christian Youth Dialogue, (OMCYD), Oodua Liberation Movement, (OLM), Apapo Oodua Koya (AOKOYA), Oodua Self Determination Alliance (OSDA), Itsekiri Salvation Front (ISF), Network of South West Vigilante (NSWV), Oodua Hunters Union (OHUN), Yoruba Automobile Technicians Association (YATA-South West), South West Tailors Union (SWTU), South West Professionals (SOWPROF), Covenant Group and several civil rights groups based in the South West among others.

They resolved to meet again in the first quarter of 2022, according to Adeoye who warned that multiplicity of presidential contenders in Yorubaland will be counter-productive.

According to him, the coalition is aware of presidential aspirants like Kayode Fayemi, Yemi Osinbajo and Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

He said Yoruba people must make the choice of who should represent their interest at the national level and not for the aspirants to impose themselves as representing the Yoruba slot.

“We shall ensure this does not happen. The Yoruba people must decide their presidential candidate and work genuinely for him”, he said.

“We wish to see the National Question resolved before the next election, but given the balance of strength, the presidential election may still hold without the country addressing the critical issue of self-determination.

“If this happens, Yorubaland will rise up to mobilise for any candidate that genuinely wants to restructure Nigeria in the first six months of the post-Mohammed Buhari era”.

The groups said consultation is ongoing with ethnic nations across Nigeria to ensure they speak with one voice during the 2023 election.

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