Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has come under severe criticism from Afenifere and Ohanaeze Ndigbo for saying that Yorubas stood the best chance of producing the president in 2023 by supporting President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election in 2019.
Osinbajo had said this while addressing the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III at his palace in Oyo on Saturday.
He said, “Yoruba have a lot to contribute to Nigeria for the 2019 elections. It is for us Yoruba; if you understand, it is for us. We are not looking at 2019, but 2023. If we don’t get it now, it may take some time again.
“We have to look forward to that; that is before us. Though there could be some challenges, but what I know about President Muhammadu Buhari is that he is an honest man. If he says he will do something, he will do it.
“If you love Nigeria, you will vote for Buhari. Corruption is the reason Nigeria is not growing, a reason why they don’t want Buhari. They are out again; they are looters. Don’t allow them.”
But reacting to the statement, the spokesman of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, asked what Osinbajo had done for the Yoruba race in nearly four years as vice president.
He said, “In the four years that he (Osinbajo) has been vice-president, what has he done for the Yoruba people?
“All the things that are dear to the Yoruba, he has opposed including restructuring; he has sided with the oppressors of the Yoruba people.
“When they killed the Yoruba evangelist of theRedeemed Christian Church of God under his nose in Abuja as vice-president, did he say a word? But because he wants to contest election in 2023 — himself, (Asiwaju Bola) Tinubu and (Babatunde) Fashola are fighting for election — he now remembers that he’s a Yoruba man and he wants to come and spread division among us.
“In the midst of all that we are going through, throughout Yoruba land today, beggars are all over the place. There never used to be beggars in Yoruba land. That Osinbajo is getting people to queue for N10,000.00, which is insulting and a mockery of poverty, shows how much these people have destroyed the lives of our people.”
Odumakin added, “We have had an eight-year presidency. The Ijaw have had six years. The North have had more than everybody. But what is their lot? It’s poverty.
“We don’t want to stay under this arrangement. The arrangement we want is where we will have control over our fears and for every citizen of Nigeria to develop at their own pace.
“That is certainly what we want and that is what Buhari, Osinbajo and the All Progressives Congress have said they don’t want. We will reject that at the polls.”
Also reacting to Osinbajo’s comment, the spokesman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Uche Achi-Okpaga, said that Nigeria’s socio-economic and political development would continue to be impaired until an Igbo man emerges as president.
He said, “I do not expect Prof. Osinbajo to say a different thing. The 2023 Yoruba Presidency is a plot presumably well hatched and efforts are being exerted to win it successfully as dramatised in the public pronouncements earlier by Fashola and now the bleeding utterances of Osinbajo.
“However, l am dumbfounded that these are men that believe in the existence of God but, perhaps unwittingly, do not believe in the God factor.
“The Igbo are the descendants of King David, the man after God’s heart. Anything you do in Nigeria without the active cooperation and participation of the lgbo would always crumble as exemplified in the present administration of PMB. The Igbo are to Nigeria what Israel is to the world today.
“Take my word today, until an Igbo man leads, Nigeria will continue to wallow in abject socio-political, economic and developmental blindness. The late Prof Dora Akunyili was brought in and she did justice to NAFDAC’s perennial, protracted and seemingly intractable impasse.
“Prof. (Chukwuma) Soludo was brought in and he brought sanity into the banking system. Today, Nigerians can deposit their money and go to sleep with their eyes closed.
“Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was brought in and she spearheaded debt relief for Nigeria (already dismantled by the present administration.)
“You can attest to how Prof. (Onyebuchi) Chukwu, as Minister of Health, clinically dealt with the Ebola virus under Goodluck Jonathan.
“The list is endless. Simply put, the Igbo will lead Nigeria when the Lord decrees it, all clandestine plots notwithstanding.”