Pa Ayo Adebanjo, leader of pan Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, on Wednesday, campaigned for the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
The nonagenarian, who briefly addressed the crowd at the Adamasingba stadium in Yoruba, said he does not hate All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu but the 2023 Presidency is not about tribe.
“To critics saying this one (Obi) is Igbo, that one is Yoruba, the Presidency of Nigeria is not about Igbo or Yoruba but the whole of Nigeria,” he said.
In his speech, Obi paid “sincere respects” to the late sage, Obafemi Awolowo and other respected Yoruba leaders including Adebanjo whom he said stands for equity and fairness.
The LP candidate said, “What Adebanjo and Afenifere is standing for today is what will make the future of Nigeria, they are standing for equity, they are standing for fairness. Justice, equity and fairness should be the foundation of which we will build a united Nigeria.”
Last month, Adebanjo had said Obi remains his choice despite the endorsement of Tinubu by his predecessor, Pa Reuben Fasoranti.
Tinubu had visited Fasoranti on October 30, 2022 at his residence in Ondo State where the nonagenarian ‘anointed’ him.
However, 94-year-old Adebanjo, who succeeded Fasoranti as Afenifere leader last year, said while he won’t want to join issues with his predecessor, Obi remains his choice candidate for the February 2023 presidential poll.
Previously, Adebanjo said to keep Nigeria one in 2023, every Nigeria should be “Obi-Datti compliant”. Obi is running for Aso Rock’s top job alongside Datti Baba-Ahmed.
He also said he won’t compromise his cherished principles of justice, equity, and inclusiveness.
“The South-West has produced a president and currently sits as vice-president, the South-South has spent a total of six years in the presidency but the Igbo people of the South-East have never tasted presidency in Nigeria, and now that the power is due back in the South, equity demands that it be ceded to the Igbo.
“We cannot continue to demand that the Igbo people remain in Nigeria, while we at the same time continue to brutally marginalize and exclude them from the power dynamic.
“Peter Obi is the person of Igbo extraction that Afenifere has decided to support and back, he is the man we trust to restructure the country back to federalism on the assumption of office.
“We will not compromise this principle of justice, equity, and inclusiveness because one of our own Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is a frontline candidate,” he had said.