Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and a chieftain of the Pan Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Chief Olu Falae, has denied throwing his weight behind the endorsement of the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
This is as the former SGF said he was never aware of Afenifere’s position on Obi and his Labour Party ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
Falae in a statement signed by his Personal Assistant, Captain Moshood Raji (rtd) said there was no iota of truth in the report and that he has thrown his weight behind LP Presidential candidate, Obi.
It will be recalled that the leader of Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, openly declared Afenifere and support for Obi
But Raji in the statement said the statement became necessary to correct the impression that Falae is supporting Obi and not to mislead the public.
The statement read: “The attention of Chief Olu Falae has just been drawn to a publication that has gone viral in which the former Secretary to the Federal government is quoted as saying that he is supporting the candidature of Mr Peter Obi as his preferred choice in the 2023 Presidential race.
“Although Chief Falae admitted that he said that it was true that the South East had not had the opportunity of being Nigeria’s President, it’s for them to persuade other Nigerians that they can offer something better than candidates from other geopolitical zones
“It’s not an automatic slot that can be filled without other important considerations, Chief Falae never canvassed or claimed to be supporting Mr Peter Obi of the Labour Party for the 2023 race.
“As a responsible leader, Chief Falae will consider all important parameters, including capacity, experience and proven track record before endorsing a candidate.
“This correction is necessary in order not to mislead the public that Chief Falae is supporting any of the candidates yet.
“It is necessary to await the programmes and manifestos of the political parties and their candidates before arriving at a particular candidate to support”
Adebanjo, on Monday, said Afenifere decided to back Obi, for equity and inclusiveness, saying the Yoruba had taken the first turn of the zonal arrangement in 1999, which led to the emergence of President Olusegun Obasanjo.
He said, “The current President is a Fulani from the Northwest and by virtue of the zoning arrangement that has governed Nigeria since 1999, power is supposed to return to the south imminently.
“The southwest as I have pointed out has produced a president and currently sits as VP, 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.”