Moved by the recent threat to the North by the Oodu’a Peoples Congress (OPC) on the issue of contesting the National Assembly leadership sharing formula announced by the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress, the Oodu’a Peoples Frontiers (OPF) said, time immemorial, the North has always supported Yoruba Presidency.
In a statement issued to the media signed by the convener, OPF, Comrade Moses Oluwasegun Odewale said, the threat by the OPC, is in no way representative of the views of the decent Yoruba nation and should not be seen as such.
The statement said, “If anything, the threats, though empty and unsolicited, are embarrassing, shameful and only expose the inconsistencies of the OPC and other groups like the Afenifere that pose as representatives of the entire Yoruba nation.
“Whether OPC, Afenifere or any other group from any region wants to believe it or not, available facts and figures prove that the North is majorly responsible for the emergence of the Asiwaju as APC flag bearer and to his eventual victory at the polls.
“We cannot forget so quickly that eleven APC governors of Northern Nigerian states stood firmly against all odds and ensured that power moved to the South and to the Southwest in particular which paved the way for Tinubu’s emergence.
“And there is no disputing the fact that Tinubu’s final victory at the polls was secured by the northern votes which made up 60 percent of the total votes he got, far and above what he got in the Southwest.”
Odewale, reminded that, facts of history have shown how the North had been consistent with its support for a Yoruba presidency even at the expense of candidates from the North.
“During the 1993 elections, Bashorun Abiola contested on the platform of the Social Democratic Party, partly due to the influence of a northern force presented by the late General Shehu Yar’Adua.
“And at the polls, the Northern votes comprehensively went to Abiola to ensure his success over their own son, Alhaji Bashir Tofa, a prominent, respected personality.
“Record shows that of the 6.6 million votes that had been announced before the annulment, Tofa had received 2.3 million and Abiola 4.3 million of which more than half came from the North.
“Abiola won all the states of the south-west; three of the seven states in the south-east; five of the nine northern states including Kano, Tofa’s state; and four out of the seven states in the central middle belt.”
He further revealed that the gesture was replicated when Olusegun Obasanjo was released from prison by the northern establishment, made a candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party by the northern elite and voted for the presidency by the northern voters in 1999.
“On all these three occasions such self-professed Yoruba protection groups as the Afenifere and OPC were nowhere visible, in fact they only surfaced after the June 12 annulment to bask in the glory of what they did participate in.
“Also in 1999, Afenifere and the OPC led the Yoruba nation to favour Olu Falae while the North worked for Obasanjo’s victory against their son.
“And this time around, Afenifere openly declared opposition to Tinubu, OPC was missing in the field while the North did all the work.”
From its viewpoint, the OPF believes that by making it look like the OPC are protecting their son, the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, it has ended up exposing him in particular and the South-west several political vulnerabilities in the future.
“It is therefore the peak of insanity, shamelessness and ingratitude for the OPC or any Southwest group to reward the North with threats in the false presence of defending their son whom they rejected earlier.”
OPF, therefore, emphatically dissociates the decent Yoruba nation from these threats to the North in particular and to any other section of the country while condemning with all might the uncivilized action of OPC that threatens the long standing political friendship that exists between the North and the Southwest.
OPF further called on the President-elect not to fall for the dirty game of the OPC and Afenifere which only aims to pitch him against his most reliable traditional political allies.
“Asiwaju should as much as possible distance himself from agents of destabilisation operating in various guises and instead concentrate on governance and the task of nation-building with justice and equity to all.”