Afenifere, a Yoruba socio-cultural group, on Thursday said that it will formally endorse the candidature of President Muhammadu Buhari and his Vice, Yemi Osinbajo in 2019 days after a faction took an opposite position.
The group made this known shortly after its meeting held at the House of Chiefs, Secretariat Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
In September, Ayo Adebanjo who spoke on behalf of another faction led by Reuben Fasoranti had told journalists in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, that the group may support the candidature of Mr Buhari’s main challenger at the presidential polls, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.
But, another group led by Ayo Fasanmi on Thursday, in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, said Mr Buhari has performed well, hence he deserved another term in office.
The Ayo Fasanmi-led Afenifere after its meeting told journalists that it will on January 29 formally declare its support for Messrs Buhari and Osinbajo.
Leaders of the group at the Ibadan meeting included former governor of Oyo state, Omololu Olunloyo; Biyi Durojaye and Chairman of Ekiti State chapter of the group, Akin Fasae.
Mr Fasae who spoke on behalf of the group described the Mr Fasoranti group as an usurper.
He said, “We decided to host the whole Yoruba land in Ibadan on January 29 next year. It is to proclaim support of the Yoruba land for President Muhammadu Buhari come 2019. And also to tell the whole world that the Afenifere that Baba (Obafemi) Awolowo created before he left is still intact.
“The Afenifere is a progressive movement and any Afenifere who is not a progressive is not Afenifere. The Afenifere that Baba Awolowo created is still intact and we are going to support President Muhammadu Buhari and Professor Yemi Osinbajo in the presidential election come February 2019.”
Mr Fasae said Mr Buhari has performed well and deserved another term in office.
He said, “The economy is a collective issue, the unemployment that we have is getting better. Look at the school feeding program, look at his many millions of naira they are spending, look at the number of school children they are feeding. Look, children are being fed, 27 states are benefiting.
”And many other things that are happening and unemployment has reduced. Buhari has done his best and his best is yet to come. That is why we are telling people to vote for him particularly in the Yoruba land.”
He claimed that the Fasanmi-led Afenifere is the “authentic Afenifere and that the one led by Chief Rueben Fasoranti is not part of Afenifere”.
Mr Fasae said, “The other Afenifere that is talking about Atiku, the Ayo Adebanjo group is not part of Afenifere. They are usurpers in the group.”