– Says It’s Not Election Umpire To Declare Otherwise
Afenifere has finally accepted all results and outcomes of the just concluded elections as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, until otherwise decided by competent Court in the land.
The Pan-Yoruba social-cultural group in a statement signed by its Leader, Chief Reuben F. Fasoranti, OFR, on Wednesday, March 28, 2023, also distant itself from a communique allegedly issued by the group after a meeting held on Tuesday, March 27, at Isanya Ogbo, Ogun State.
Section 2.02 of communique had claimed that “the results of the lawful votes at the just concluded Presidential election available to Afenifere through credible sources confirm that the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Peter Obi, won the said election”.
Reacting to the statement, Pa Fasoranti said Afenifere could not have asserted that someone, other than the person declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, was the winner of the February 25, Presidential election, held in Nigeria.
He noted that the body mandated by the constitution to conduct elections in Nigeria, after the completion of the Presidential election had declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, as the winner of the election, and Afenifere – as a law abiding organization, could not have declared otherwise.
He insisted that the group was aware and down with the congratulatory message sent by its National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Jare Ajayi to the President-elect, after receiving his Certificate of Return.
Pa. Fasoranti said contrary to the communique, which cited the congratulatory message, as an ‘uncouth activity’ and subsequently suspended sine die the two signatories – Abagun and Ajayi – on the message, without any disciplinary hearing, Afenifere believed the message is inline with its traditional and the suspension is alien.
See full message of Afenifere:
*AFENIFERE IS A LAW-ABIDING ORGANISATION* – PA FASORANTI*
“My attention has been drawn to the Communique purportedly issued after a meeting that held on Tuesday, March 27, at Isanya Ogbo, Ogun State. This statement is being issued because of the content of the said document.
Section 2.02 of the document claims that “the results of the lawful votes at the Presidential election available to the Afenifere through credible sources confirm that Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, won the said election”.
Afenifere could not have asserted that someone, other than the person declared by the body duly authorized by the Constitution and other extant laws of the land, is the winner of the presidential election held on February 25, 2023 in Nigeria.
The body mandated to conduct elections in Nigeria, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), after the completion of this year’s presidential election on February 25th, has declared the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu as the winner of the said election. Our National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Comrade Jare Ajayi, issued a congratulatory message to the President-elect after he had been issued a Certificate of Return by INEC. This was cited as an ‘uncouth activity’ by the Communique mentioned above which further stated that Abagun and Ajayi were ‘suspended sine die pending further decisions after their appearance before and recommendations by the Disciplinary Committee’. Meaning that the two were pronounced guilty and consequently sanctioned even before their appearance before a Disciplinary Committee.
This type of position is alien to us in Afenifere which does not conduct itself as an agent of the state let alone as an electoral umpire. We accept the results of the elections at all levels as declared by INEC until otherwise decided by competent courts in the land.
Presently, the whole world knows that Nigeria has a President-elect in person of Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, a true Yoruba son and nationalist. We in Afenifere not only acknowledge this, we take delight in his in-coming Presidency and are confident that he will, by the grace of God, return Nigeria to the glorious position that all of us will be proud. Which was why I also congratulated in a personal letter I sent to him.
The whole world is aware that I personally blessed and anointed Ahmed Bola Tinubu on October 30, 2022 in the presence of notable people from all parts of Yorubaland right here in my place in Akure. How can we then turn round and condemn the election of such a person? We never did.”
I also read in the said Communique, the purported removal and suspension of the National Publicity Secretary and the National Organising Secretary of the organization in persons of Comrade Jare Ajayi and Abagun Kole Omololu.
“At no time was any of these officials reported to me as doing anything against what Afenifere stands for or doing anything against the interests of our race, the Yoruba. Thus, at no time was I informed that they were queried, warned or sanctioned for conducting themselves in a manner contrary to what Afenifere or the Yorubas stand for.
“Being an organization that believes in justice and fairness, being an organization that always maintains that those at the helms of affairs should follow the rule of law, Afenifere, our organization, cannot just wake up and pronounce some officials removed and suspended without telling them what their offences are and without giving them the opportunities to defend themselves.
“Such a step is not only against natural justice; it is also in clear defiance of the law of the land. Afenifere believes in the rule of law and in the fundamental rights of all, including right to fair hearing. For these and other reasons, the purported removal and suspension are null and void. The two officials should be commended rather than condemned for the selfless services they are rendering to Afenifere, to the Yoruba race and to Nigeria and humanity. They are hereby so commended”.
*Chief R. F. Fasoranti, OFR*
*The Leader, Afenifere*
Wednesday, March 28, 2023.