Several Pan Yoruba groups have vowed to ensure that the 2023 Presidential election produces a candidate that will restructure the country and resolve the lingering National Question.
The Pan Yoruba groups said the forthcoming Presidential election must produce a Yoruba Presidential candidate or risk popular uprising. The groups said political parties should know that the coming election will be different, that it is not going to be about All Progressives Congress, (APC) or the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) but about the people on the streets adding that the pan Yoruba groups will take over the process and the campaign to ensure the will of the people triumph in the entire Yoruba territories. The groups warned that multiplicity of Presidential candidates in Yorubaland will be counter productive.
The coalition said it is aware of Presidential aspirants like Prof Yemi Osinbajo SAN, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and Dr Kayode Fayemi, adding that the Yoruba people must make the choice of who should represent the interest of the Yoruba people at the national level and not for the candidates to impose themselves as representing the Yoruba slot.
“We shall ensure this does not happen. The Yoruba people must decide their Presidential candidate and work genuinely for him” the groups said.
“We wish to see the National Question resolved immediately before the next election, but given the balance of strength, the Presidential election may still hold without the country addressing the critical issue of self-determination. If this happens, Yorubaland will rise up to mobilise for any candidate that genuinely wants to restructure Nigeria in the first six months of the post Mohammed Buhari era” the groups said in the communique signed by Sunday Akinnuoye, Femi Agbana and Mrs Ganiat Toriola.
The groups said consultation is on-going with ethnic nations across Nigeria to ensure they speak with one voice during the forthcoming election. The groups said the Yoruba have been taken for granted by the political elite who think the people do not matter. The groups said Presidential aspirants in Yorubaland usually rely on money not ideas adding that political leaders have emerged with absolute contempt for the people making it difficult for them to address the fears and aspirations of the people.
“We are meeting with other nationalities across Nigeria and the human rights community. We do not want the next election to be determined by the oppressors, but by the oppressed, not by the slave owners but by the enslaved with a new defiant spirit of resistance against unjust system’ the group stated.
The coalition said elections have been held by giving cash to voters which legitimized the right of the elected to look down on the voters and even turn against them;
“We have studied what happened in Latin America and in Europe lately. The people rose up and voted according to their conscience. They voted for their true representative. This seldom happen in Nigeria but in 2023, there will be a radical change. The people will speak and the world will hear them loud and clear. If a popular election is annulled or the candidate delisted, the resistance will be more than June 12.”
“We have resolved to ensure only one credible Yoruba candidate emerges, a decent person that we can hold to his or her words, a responsible family man who fears God and respects the people, a candidate that is of high moral standing who is genuinely committed to resolving the knotty National Question,” the groups said.
The groups, numbering some 57 Pan Yoruba groups said any Presidential candidate emerging from the South West will meet the fury and rage of the people if restructuring is not considered as the topmost priority. Over 300 delegates attended the meeting held in Lagos on Tuesday.
“We want to assure Nigerians that the people can change the narrative of the 2023 election. This is possible. We can reignite the flame of liberty using the mass-based approach beyond political party divide”, the group in the communique signed by 57 groups said. The groups drew representation from the O’odua Peoples Congress, (OPC), Oodua Nationalist Coalition, (ONAC), Agbekoya, South West Students Coalition, (SWSC), Oodua Muslim-Christian Youth Dialogue, (OMCYD), Oodua Liberation Movement, (OLM), Oodua Self Determination Alliance, (OSDA), Itsekiri Salvation Front, (ISF), Network of South West Vigilante, (NSWV), Oodua Hunters Union, (OHUN), Yoruba Automobile Technicians Association, (YATA-South West), South West Tailors Union, (SWTU), South West Professionals, (SOWPROF),Convenant Group among many others.