Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, speaks with BAYO AKINLOYE on the alleged gang-up against the All Progressives Congress National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and the leadership style of President Muhammadu Buhari.
What do you make of the rift between the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, and the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu?
(Asiwaju Bola) Tinubu allowed himself to be used by people who do not have the interest of the Yoruba at heart. He chose to follow President Muhammadu Buhari sheepishly.
I warned that Buhari has not changed. I knew his antecedents. But Tinubu chose to follow him. He and his group blindly supported Buhari.
I am not concerned about the All Progressives Congress’ party politics. What is happening in the party is more than a gang-up against Tinubu.
My concern is that the undermining of Tinubu’s influence by the party he fought hard to bring to power is making decisions and taking steps that are not good for the Yoruba.
I am looking beyond the superficial affront against Tinubu by his party people. The attack against him is an attack against Yoruba people.
People would have expected me to be happy about the way he is being treated now, but I am worried because he’s the voice of the Yoruba in the ruling party.
My own argument in all this is purely ideological. It is not personal at all.
Is there any link between it and the socio-political crisis in Nigeria?
That’s the reason we are having problems all over the country – you have the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, the Niger Delta Avengers, and the Indigenous People of Biafra.
It is a question of the constitution of the nation.
We feel strongly that the report of the National Conference should be examined and implemented as necessary but the confab report has been thrown into the dustbin.
Unfortunately, some sheepish Yoruba people are following him (Buhari) and hoping that he’ll share power with them.
But we will not allow the Yoruba masses to be trampled on – no man will chase away his child for a lion to devour.
If the Yoruba in the ruling party don’t understand what is happening, we’ll continue to speak out.
I agree with people who say Tinubu didn’t do well (by supporting Buhari to emerge as Nigeria’s president).
Yet, one’s child can’t be so badly behaved that he will be chased away into the waiting claws and jaws of a lion. That is my position.
The APC is a melting pot of various interest groups; you have the Tinubu group and you have the Buhari group – and other groups.
If the ruling party is fragmented then we are in a mess.
The mess was evident from the beginning of this administration when the party could not agree on who should take what positions in the National Assembly.
The APC is an association of strange bedfellows. I had criticised the party because of its lack of a meeting point among its leaders.
Their lack of cohesion began with (Bukola) Saraki who emerged against the party’s wish.
The party is characterised by personal reasons, selfishness, and narrow-mindedness. They came together without a definite purpose of what they want to do at the federal level.
What is the way forward?
I wish Tinubu can get things right, regroup and get out of the unholy alliance he got himself into, for the benefit of the Yoruba nation and the South.
In 2019, there will be no APC. If there will be APC%is form.
Is that a prophecy?
Go and write it down. I am prepared to be abused by people who think contrary.
Why do you feel strongly that by 2019 there won’t be APC or that the party would have been weakened by that time?
Are you not a journalist? Can’t you decipher it? The signs are there. It is common sense.
Some of us have been in the game (politics) for a long time. There is no unity of purpose within the party.
Where is the unity when Tinubu said the chairman of the party is a traitor? He accused him of treachery; that he’s not acting alone because he has the backing of the leaders of the party.
I don’t like the crisis I am seeing in the APC because it is the masses that would suffer.
It is the masses that are looking for good roads and other amenities. It is the masses that are looking for good governance.
If they are quarrelling with one another, when will the ruling party settle down to deliver dividends of democracy to the masses?