The Afenifere Renewal Group has tasked the politicians of South-West extraction on the imperative of unity and the need to coalesce efforts with the remaining five geo-political zones to actualise the presidential bid of former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, in the 2023 general election.
The ARG Publicity Secretary,
Michael Ogungbemi, lauded President Muhammadu Buhari, the All Progressives Congress Northern Governors’ Forum; the APC presidential aspirants who withdrew for Tinubu and party members for making his emergence as candidate possible, saying, “It is now time for the South-West to display uncommon unity to complement the patriotic and progressive efforts of the APC members.”
Ogungbemi, who spoke at a press conference in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, on Sunday, said, “This is not the time to put up the toga of ego and sulk in the enmity of the past. We must chart a new course and work hard with other five zones of the country for Tinubu to ascend the throne.
“The trajectory of election in Nigeria since 1999 clearly presents an unassailable narrative that no zone can singlehandedly produce Nigerian President without recourse to the sensibilities and cooperation of others.
“With this reality, we must jettison primordial sentiments and divisive comments and form a formidable coalition with the Igbos, Fulani, Hausa, Kanuri and other ethnic nationalities to galvanise support for Tinubu in the forthcoming election.
“We hereby, humbly task Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Bisi Akande; the Chairman, South-West Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu; Nigerian Governors’ Forum Chairman, Kayode Fayemi; Ibikunke Amosun; Rauf Aregbesola and other bigwigs in the progressive fold to midwife sincere and genuine reconciliation among contending forces and unite for Tinubu.
“One thing is certain, failure is not an option for us in this election as the APC has done us a great deal of favour by voting for a worthy and enigmatic leader of the South-West progressives politics to take over after President Buhari.
“We must start putting our house in order and form a strong synergy with other zones to be able to deliver the presidency to Tinubu. This is actionable.
“Working hard to get the ticket makes other uphill tasks ahead of us easier. Without unity, particularly in the South-West, sabotage and other treacherous acts may surge and hinder the actualisation of this dream and that would be an unpardonable mistake that may haunt the region for many years ahead,” the ARG warned.
The ARG, however, exuded confidence that with strong political networks, structures and contacts that Tinubu had erected over the years “coupled with his cosmopolitan political stature that towers above other contestants, the APC is set and more than ready to win the 2023 presidential poll.”
The group was however silent on the workability of a Muslim-Muslim ticket.