Elder statesman and Afenifere chieftain, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, on Saturday warned Southern politicians, especially those in the South-West not to allow Northerners cause division among them on the issue of who becomes President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor in 2023.
Speaking with SATURDAY INDEPENDENT, Adebanjo who accused the Northerners of using ‘divide-and-rule tactics’, said while the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has been clamouring that the presidency should be zoned to the South in 2013, it has been dangling its presidential ticket among prominent politicians in the region so as to cause confusion among them.
He mentioned former Lagos state governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former president Goodluck Jonathan, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State and Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation as some of the politicians the northerners are trying to pit against one another so as to cause division in the region.
He said: “The North is not sincere about the presidency coming to the South in 2023. They are saying ‘let the presidency come to the South’. And some of their people are saying Tinubu is the right choice. While they are doing that, they are also setting up Fayemi. Their tactics are divide and rule.
“They are not only dividing the South-West, they are causing division in the entire South. Now, they are dangling the presidency before former President Goodluck Jonathan. Tomorrow, they will say it is Amaechi or Umahi”.
“The strategy is that while the South is quarrelling among ourselves, they are going to bring in a northern presidential candidate. We have dealt with their forefathers and we know the mischief.”
Speaking further, Adebanjo also faulted the action of President Buhari who invited the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi to Aso Villa on the crisis in Ibarapa, Oyo state while ignoring the Alaafin of Oyo, the paramount ruler of Oyo state where the crisis occurred.
“Look at what happened in Ibarapa in Oyo state where we have a paramount ruler, Alaafin of Oyo. But President Buhari sent for Ooni of Ife who is in Osun state”.
“Is Oyo in Osun? He didn’t send for Alaafin because that one had already written him a letter that should his government fail to arrest the brazen criminality and impunity by killer herdsmen, the Yoruba people may resort to self-help.
“So, he deliberately invited Ooni of Ife to spite Alaafin and cause disaffection between the two rulers. That is why I have been talking to Yorubas not to allow themselves to be divided.”