- Yoruba Youths Weigh In On Tinubu, Osinbajo, Fayemi, Fashola’s Aspirations
- Warn About Political Implications Of Hike In Fuel, Electricity Tariffs In 2023
By Gbenga Abulude (Politics and General Desk)
As conversations for the 2023 presidency continue to gather momentum, with different parts of the country attempting to make their case for the nation’s number one job, the Yoruba Council of Youths Worldwide (YCYW) has said in the Southwest realms of the calculations, certain names being bandied around in the region are beginning to cause concerns.
President of the group, Barrister Oladotun Hassan who exclusively spoke with The New Diplomat, said many Southwesterners are becoming uncomfortable with a few names listed among Yoruba big wigs whose supporters and allies have openly or secretly shown interest in the race for the presidency.
According to him, Nigerians are frustrated with some of the names currently in circulation from the region. He said while one or two of the would-be aspirants have proven their mettle in government with high electoral value and acceptability across Nigeria, the remaining would-be aspirants seeking the nation’s top job from the region carries serious political baggages, having been in the corridors of power for too long, making them to be easy target in the political chess game ahead.
Hassan said this is not making the 2023 presidency to get the required push in the region, creating confusion and division among the Yoruba race.
The President of YCYW — the apex Yoruba youth socio-cultural organisation also weighed in on the purported presidential ambitions of some politicians of Yoruba extraction, including: Former Lagos Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Minister of Works and Housing and a former Lagos Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola as well as the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
Hassan’s words: “The argument for the Yoruba presidency is not really gaining that required push. And you could see it from different opinions.
“We’re not just too comfortable with the players that are coming up. People are frustrated with the players that coming up. Realistically speaking, a lot has been said about Asiwaju (Bola Tinubu) running for election. For me, and that is always the situation in our political clime that once you’re opportuned to be at the forefront of political interest as a gladiator, all heads must bow and everything must rest on your feet.
“The Vice President (Yemi Osinbajo) has been tipped also to be eyeing the post of president. By virtue of protocol in governance he should get some support. And that was one of the things that nailed Obasanjo era for not allowing his vice (Atiku Abubakar) which has now made him to turn it into a reoccurring ritual of running for the post every four years. By now he would have served and left.”
Hassan, who is the Chairman of the Eti-Osa Bar Forum in Lagos, drummed support for Osinbajo, saying, being a Southern Christian, his candidacy will strike a national and religious balance in line with the presidential zoning arrangement for the All Progressives Congress (APC) as President Muhammadu Buhari, a Northern Muslim, would have served out his term in 2023.
“By virtue of protocol, the Vice President being the most senior official should be supported. Also why do we always push out persons who we cannot trust to go for higher position? There should be hierarchical progression in leadership. We all know what we are talking about. Not that it should be by chance, power is not served a la carte.
“But if the party (APC) is to reason deeply, why can’t they bring forward a Yoruba man from the Christendom. Even by virtue of rotational presidency, a Muslim is about to leave, do you expect another Muslim to take over? The whole thing should be balanced.
“There should be balancing in the political alignment of the nation. And that I would want to hold as far as my own field is concerned. In as much as Osinbajo is running, yes he is free to contest. He has the confidence of the President as a trusted vice (president).
“(Mr Babatunde) Fashola and Dr (Kayode) Fayemi have also been heard, doing their thing in their own little corner, although there has been denials and counter denials from Fayemi’s side, and that does not deny the fact that he’s eyeing it. Politicians have a way of denying what they are aiming at. When a politician denies something, people should think twice, that may the beginning of his interest.”
Hassan, however, said the YCYW was more concerned about the development of Yorubaland and the well-being of the entire nation expressing that danger lies ahead with the way the country is being governed and the state of insecurity in different regions.
“For now, our agitation should be for the development of the Yorubaland viz-a-viz the state of the entire nation, as far as insecurity is concerned, as far as opinions are being jettisoned by various stakeholders. The way people are being kowtowed to believe that this country is well. It’s like we are feigning ignorance of reality of the dangers that are before us.
“But as far as the nation is concerned, the rallying point for discourse for anyone of them is to show interest and stand by the side of Nigerians. It is to see how they can really rescind the economic pandemic that is really hitting us hard,” he said.
Speaking further, the President of the Yoruba youth group also decried federal government’s decision to increase fuel price and the electricity tariff at this time, adding that this and other policies of the government was a far cry from the ‘Change’ mantra or ‘Next Level’ it promised the people during his campaigns in 2015 and 2019 respectively.
He said these policies if unchecked could hurt the party (All Progressives Party) when they come to solicit for votes again in the 2023 presidential election.
Hassan, while backing former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, over his labelling of Nigeria as a failed state said all hands must be on the deck to rescue the country.
“All these harmful policies will come back to hurt them in 2023 when they start to beg Nigerians for vote and nobody will listen to them. So this is their own time to really correct the anomalies. If they fail to do so, Nigerians will also have their time which it might be too late. It will be too bad at that time no matter how good the candidate that is running or whoever is given the ticket.
“But we hope the whole quagmire does not lead to a crisis or war because there are a whole lot of issues that people have been clamouring for of recent. There are some groups that have been clamouring for a Yoruba exit.
“Some have also been clamouring for Biafra exit. The whole Nation is on strike. The police are in the mood of arresting protesters.
“These are elements of a failed state as claimed by President Olusegun Obasanjo. It is not just a failing state but a failed state. We are only trying to pick up its debris,” Hassan added.