2023 Presidency: Osinbajo Playing to the Gallery – Adebanjo, Okupe
Yoruba leader and elder statesman, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, and Dr. Doyin Okupe, former senior special assistant on Public Affairs to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, have picked holes in Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s wooing of the South-West with the presidency in 2023, if President Muhammadu Buhari is re-elected, next year.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha, while representing President Muhammadu Buhari in Owerri, Imo State at the flag-off campaign of Senator Hope Uzodinma, Imo APC governorship candidate, made a similar promise to the South-East, if they back Buhari to win a re-election.
While Adebanjo said Professor Osinbajo was playing to the gallery, Okupe said Osinbajo’s position was a big error.
They spoke as human rights lawyer, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, and National Chairman of the United Progressives Party, UPP, Chief Chekwas Okorie, disagreed over who the South-East zone should vote for in 2019. Agbakoba said the APC does not deserve South-East votes because it has not done much for the zone, a position Okorie vehemently disagreed with.
According Adebanjo, who is also an elder of the Afenifere, “Osinbajo does not mean” what he said.
His words: “I do not understand the kind of politics the ruling party is playing. How can the All Progressive Congress promise two people the same thing at the same time? They are not truthful. Who should both regions believe on this empty promise? The Vice president or Secretary to the Government? It is obvious they are not serious and the Vice President is just playing to the gallery. All they want is just our votes in 2019. Nigerians should vote massively against Buhari. I am not saying it because I am a Yoruba man, I am saying it for the good of Nigeria.”
In like manner, Dr. Okupe described the Vice President’s promise as ‘unfortunate and parochial.
“It is very unfortunate and a great error the Vice President won’t recover from in a long time. People are groaning and complaining and what they are after is just power-grabbing. That is not how we are going to build this country.”
What the Vice president implies is, no matter how bad this administration is, we should just endure it until it gets to the Yoruba in 2023, if we vote massively for Buhari. It has never been for a Yoruba man to have a mentality of what do I get in it. It’s parochial and selfish. 2019 is a national referendum.
Is the country better now than it was in 2015? Will the nation move forward? Will the parochialism cease? Are we going to have a direction? If the answer is no, there is no need to retain this administration. It should not be partisan, it is about national patriotic desire. That is if we really want to move forward as a nation or want to remain stagnant or go backward. It is beyond PDP and APC affair, it’s a national concern.”
Also speaking, Dr. Agbakoba said Osinbajo is making efforts to deliver his zone to his party, which in turn favours him, adding that it is for the South-West people to decide what they want.
For the South-East, he said the PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar promised to do a term and hand over to the South-East, which he described as a political statement.
Nevertheless, he advised the South-East to vote for Atiku. “I advice the South-East to vote for the PDP. What has the APC done for the South-East? Atiku has promised to restructure the country. PDP may not be a better party but the vice presidency and promise of restructuring are major attractions,” he said.
However, the UPP national chairman, Chief Chekwas Okorie, who has thrown his weight behind Buhari said: “The South-East has waited for their turn since 1999 when the late Alex Ekwueme was short-changed. PDP has never made a categorical statement on when it will be the turn of the South-East. Atiku said the APC is deceiving the South- East but the PDP had never made a commitment to the South-East not to talk of deceiving them.”
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