2019: Yoruba people have endorsed Atiku - PDP chieftain

2019: Yoruba people have endorsed Atiku - PDP chieftain

- Chief Bode George said Yoruba people have endorsed Atiku Abubakar for 2019

- The former PDP deputy chairman claimed Yorubas have not benefitted from APC government

- The PDP chieftain accused APC of fielding non-Lagosians as party candidates

A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bode George, has claimed that Yoruba people have endorsed Atiku Abubakar for 2019 [residency while also claiming that Chief Bola Tinubu and All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates are not from the state.

In an interview with Nigerian Tribune, the former deputy national chairman of the PDP rejected the Senator Ayo Fasanmi-led Afenifere endorsement of President Muhammadu Buhari for second term.

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George insisted that the only recognised Afenifere group wre the ones that endorsed Atiku.

He said: "You know, the real Afenifere with the founders were the one that joined with us. Can you mention Afenifere without Baba Ayo Adebanjo? Can you mention Afenifere without Baba Reuben Fasoranti in Akure? These were the people after Baba Awolowo and Baba Olaniwun Ajayi, Baba Abraham Adesanya had found the group; these are household names.

"Yes, you could find some other names. Senator Bode Durojaiye was also part of the names; he joined them later. Then you have Senator Ayo Fasanmi from Osogbo. He is based in Osogbo but he came from Ekiti. When you talk about Afenifere, this other one that calls itself the Renewal Group, the real stems are the people we spoke with and they believe in our cause. The Renewal Group is different from the real group, ‘igi imu jina sori,’ that is what the Yoruba say and then of course, you cannot write the history of Yorubas without those names being there and those are the people that we have since known when the struggle was heavy, and they would forever be on the pages of history. When you say breakaway, and that is what the other group is, that is like what you call peeling off the overused cover of the unions, the real onion would still remain there.

"The PDP chieftain accused Bola Tinubu of controlling the state claiming some of the party’s candidates are not even from Lagos.

He said: “He is now the one who is deciding this governor must go, that one must not. Look at what has happened in Lagos State, because of culture of Lagos, we normally accommodate people, but it has gotten to a disgraceful level that is very disturbing. The governorship candidate Bola Tinubu nominated is from Ijebu; he is from Ogun State. The deputy governorship candidate, Hamzat, his father, today, is the Oba of Ewekoro in Ogun State. So, he is also from Ogun State, from Egba side.

“Now, the three senatorial candidates, Olamilekan Adeola Yayi is from Yewa in Ogun State; Senator Oluremi Tinubu is from either Edo or Delta State; Hon. Pepper is from Ijebu in Ogun State, so there are no indigenous Lagosians anymore. Enough is enough. This insult is getting too much. He himself is from Iragbiji in Osun State; I went to his village in Osun State. The fact that Lagos is so accommodating doesn’t make us a fool. How much will they be that committed to serving the people of this state? How much?

George insisted that the Yorubas have not benefitted from the APC government as claied by their supporters.

He said: “Have they forgotten history? Why are they trying to rewrite history? Why are they trying to distort history? If you are saying Buhari has done this and that and he is the closest to Yoruba because he put Yemi Osinbajo in office, what has been Osinbajo’s impact in Yorubaland? So the only thing I saw Osinbajo that he has done was to go to the markets in Lagos to be distributing N10, 000. Is that governance?

“First of all, I challenge and I ask; was the money budgeted for? Where did he get the money? How would a whole vice-president, a professor of Law, descend so low as to be distributing N10,000 to market women now trying to woo them? That is politics of the primitive age. Show them how to fish and you will feed them forever. Where is the skill acquisition? Lagos is in state of reject. I went to my local government, I saw these people, they were eager looking for something to do, but no jobs. They are able-bodied boys. You can train in whatever trade, so what has happened? Go to anywhere in any part of Lagos and you can see the number of people who have no jobs, these young men. I am not even talking about graduates who are wasting away. He wants votes; this is not the way to acquire votes. And so if Baba Fasanmi and co are saying Buhari did this and that, haba! Let them wait and they would see what people would do.”

The PDP chieftain insisted that only Atiku would benefit all Nigerian considering he has a Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa wives.

He said: “Atiku would be one unique Nigerian whose home, his own family home is a thoroughbred Nigerian. His first wife is a Yoruba from Ilesa in Osun State; he has a wife who is of Igbo extraction, he has other two wives who are Northerners. So, his children who are running round his house, the Nigerian blood is flowing in their veins, would he discountenance any zone? He cannot be hijacked by anybody, by any two men as we are being told that my oga (Buhari) is hijacked. Even if anybody hijacks him, the wife from South-West would wake him up in the night and say this man wake up, my people are demanding for A, B, C, D. The Igbo wife too would do same and say my people are demanding for A, B, C, D. So even in household, his children have the blood of Yoruba flowing in them. I am not a young man, that’s what I am saying, let our people see it. In each zone, he has the family blood inside his house, what could be more asserting than that?”

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Meanwhile, American congressman, Christopher Smith, has urged President Donald Trump to use his sanctioning authority to hold accountable any Nigerian official who subverts the 2019 electoral process or foment violence against citizens.

Smith who is the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa, gave the advise in a statement published on his personal website on Saturday, December 21.

“I call upon the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure that elections will be free and fair, and for the commission to remain impartial,” the lawmaker said.

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