Leaders of the Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, yesterday met with a former resident, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo at his residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State and hinted at a decision to back the People’s Democratic Party’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, for the 2019 general elections.
The delegation, led by Chief Ayo Adebanjo, comprised Senator Femi Okunrounmu, Prof Banji Akintoye, Dupe Adelaja, Dr Tokunbo Awolowo Dosunmu, Oladipo Olaitan, Amos Akingba and Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
Addressing journalists on behalf of the elders after the two-hour meeting, spokesman for the group, Yinka Odumakin said Afenifere would announce the candidate to be adopted soon.
He then added that the foremost Yoruba group would back any presidential candidate that had demonstrated the readiness to restructure the country.
Atiku has been at the forefront of agitation for restructuring in Nigeria since he indicated interest in running for the top office.
Odumakin, who was silent on whether Obasanjo and Afenifere leaders were on the same page on the candidate to be adopted in 2019, said: “2019 race is going to be very exciting. Like the man of God said, it’s going to be eagle versus eagle.
“But the most important thing for us is the restructuring of Nigeria. Clearly, you can know Afenifere will always stand with candidate that stands for Nigeria to be restructured. This is because without restructuring, we are going nowhere.
“You have heard someone saying the 2014 report has been kept in the archives, and another person spreading it out saying Nigeria can be restructured and how to do it clearly. So, the choice is clear. There are no ifs and buts, we know where to go. We are going to make a pronouncement very soon. But the pendulum is swinging, but we will know where it will swing to.”
Odumakin also noted that the meeting was to reciprocate Obasanjo’s visit to a leader of group, Adebanjo, few months ago in Lagos.
“Few months ago, former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo came to Lagos to visit Baba Ayo Adebanjo with crop of Yoruba leadership. Today, we are here to pay him a return visits and to appreciate him for the visit to Baba Adebanjo. And we are trying to further the friendship so that there will be harmony in Yorubaland. This will allow our people to know that leaders across divides are coming together to discuss and arrive at a position,” he said.