By Clifford Ndujihe & Dapo Akinrefon
LAGOS—THE Alhaji Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign team and the Pan-Yoruba Socio-Political Organisation, Afenifere, yesterday, picked holes in Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s advice to the South-West zone to back President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election so as to produce the next president in 2023.
In a statement by its Spokesman, Prince Kassim Afegbua, the Atiku Abubakar Campaign took the criticism further by adding that the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, was hawking its 2023 presidential ticket because the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, made a similar offer to the South-East.
Describing Osinbajo’s 2023 succession plan as ridiculous, National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin challenged the vice president to reel out President Buhari administration’s achievement in the South West, adding that his remark is meant to pitch the Yoruba against other ethnic groups in the country.
Odumakin said: “It is a very ridiculous call by the Vice President. People like him can be excited over what the current presidency can offer because they are enjoying life all over the place but for the vast majority of people, the current structure is about suffering, and poverty. Our people have tasted better life under a federal arrangement and that is why they are concerned about restructuring Nigeria back to federalism.
‘’So, he should talk about 2019 and tell us what they have done for the Yoruba in the last four years. Now that they are looking for self-serving power, they now remember that they are Yoruba and are dividing Yoruba against other ethnic groups in Nigeria. He should tell us what they have done in the last four years that will warrant Yoruba people’s vote for them.
On its part, the Atiku Campaign accused the APC of resorting to trading with the lure of 2023 presidency, by promising both the South-East and South-West of the 2023 presidency in exchange for votes.
Afegbua said: “Giving out two promises has exposed the insincerity and dubious intention of the Buhari-led Federal Government with the people of the South-East and South-West geopolitical zones with empty promises of bequeathing power to the two zones at the same time in 2023. This is why Nigerians cannot take the APC and the Buhari presidency serious any longer, as we prepare for the 2019 elections.
“Speaking on behalf of President Buhari in Owerri, last week, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, told the APC campaign that the President would hand over the reins of power to a South-easterner, while calling on the people to support Mr. President.
Meanwhile, the Vice President also told leaders of the South-West to support the re-election of President Buhari so as to get the presidency in 2023.
“Two principal officers of the same government cannot be fooling Nigerians with vainglorious promises all in the name of re-election. Such discordant tunes by the first and second citizens of our dear country have exposed lack of synergy, and display of double