Foremost pan-Yoruba sociopolitical group, Afenifere, has endorsed the candidacy of Atiku Abubakar, the PDP candidate. It also called out the actions of Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, declaring him an enemy of the Yoruba community, even though he is Yoruba.
Backstory: The group in a signed communiqué distributed to the press and signed by its leader, Pa Fasoranti, following a meeting which held in Akure, Ondo State on Monday, condemned the Vice President over his alleged favoring of the Hausa/Fulani community to the detriment of the Yoruba people.
The group also cited Osinbajo’s lack of dedication and support to his own people as one of the reasons why it would not support the All Progressive Congress (APC) during the upcoming presidential elections.
“That a person is your son does not mean you support him when he is working against your interest. Osinbajo is working against the interest of Yoruba and our support for Atiku is not the question of Yoruba or Igbo or Hausa, but about somebody that believes in what Awolowo believed in, which is federalism,” the statement read.
Giving more traction to the opposition party, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and its flag bearer, Atiku Abubakar, the Afenifere group also aligned itself with other socio-political groups from across different parts of the country such as, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Middle Bekt Forum, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and Northern Elders Forum (NEF), who have come forward to stand behind former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.
Speaking out against the faction led by Senator Ayo Fasanmi, who endorsed Buhari earlier, the group described the faction as attention seekers.
“These pretenders are doubtlessly not Afenifere members, but as usual, only dubiously seeking to exploit the goodwill and reputation of Afenifere to market their bad political product,” its statement said.
Bottom Line: The endorsement is a blow to the APC, especially as Osinbajo is of the Yoruba ethnic nationality. However the political weight of the group is a matter for debate.