Osinbajo under fire for wooing Yoruba with 2023 presidency

Osinbajo under fire for wooing Yoruba with 2023 presidency

- The vice president is under fire for promoting ethnicity in the race for the 2023 presidential election

- Yemi Osinbajo recently said his kinsmen, the Yorubas, are those who will determine if a Yoruba person succeeds Buhari in 2023

- Condemnations from various groups have trailed the comments of the vice president

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is under fire for promoting ethnicity in the race for the 2023 presidential election, even as the 2019 general elections is yet to hold.

Osinbajo recently said his kinsmen, the ethnic Yoruba, are those who will determine if a Yoruba person succeeds Buhari in 2023.

“The 2019 general elections is our own. We are not looking at the 2019 but 2023. If we get it in 2019, Yoruba will get it in 2023. Because if we don’t get it in 2019, we may not get it in 2023 and it may take a very long time to get it,” the vice president said in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.

Before now, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, had said President Muhammadu Buhari would hand over to an Igbo person in 2023.

The pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, through its spokesperson, Yinka Odumakin, faulted the statement of the vice president while speaking to The Punch.

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Odumakin wondered what the Yoruba people had gained since Osinbajo became vice-president, noting that Osinbajo had so far opposed all the things that were dear to the Yoruba people, including restructuring.

Odumakin said: “In the four years that he (Osinbajo) has been vice-president, what has he done for the Yoruba people? All the things that are dear to the Yoruba, he has opposed including restructuring; he has sided with the oppressors of the Yoruba people.

“When they killed the Yoruba evangelist of the Redeemed Christian Church of God under his nose in Abuja as vice-president, did he say a word? But because he wants to contest election in 2023 - himself, (Asiwaju Bola) Tinubu and (Babatunde) Fashola are fighting for election - he now remembers that he’s a Yoruba man and he wants to come and spread division among us.

“In the midst of all that we are going through, throughout Yoruba land today, beggars are all over the place. There never used to be beggars in Yoruba land. That Osinbajo is getting people to queue for N10,000.00, which is insulting and a mockery of poverty, shows how much these people have destroyed the lives of our people.”

The Afenifere spokesman restated that in 2019, what the Yoruba wanted was restructuring of Nigeria by means of true federalism, adding that the southwest would only support a candidate with plans for restructuring.

On its part, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo on said Nigeria would continue to wallow in “abject socio-political, economic and developmental blindness until an Igbo man becomes the president.”

It said anything done in Nigeria without the active cooperation and participation of the lgbo would always crumble.

The spokesman for the group, Uche Achi-Okpaga, said this in an interview with The Punch, while reacting to Osinbajo's statement.

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His words: “I do not expect Professor Osinbajo to say a different thing. The 2023 Yoruba presidency is a plot presumably well hatched and efforts are being exerted to win it successfully as dramatised in the public pronouncements earlier by Fashola and now the bleeding utterances of Osinbajo.

“However, l am dumbfounded that these are men that believe in the existence of God but, perhaps unwittingly, do not believe in the God factor.

“The Igbo are the descendants of King David, the man after God’s heart. Anything you do in Nigeria without the active cooperation and participation of the lgbo would always crumble as exemplified in the present administration of PMB. The Igbo are to Nigeria what Israel is to the world today.”

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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