Twenty-five Yoruba socio-cultural and political groups have called out their 20 million voters across South West states, Kogi, Kwara and Delta state not only to vote on Saturday but to vote for President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
The groups in an advertisement in The Nation on Thursday directed all the Yoruba in the states to come out “in large numbers to vote for President Muhammadu Buhari and his VP Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who is one of our own come February 23. The mountains shall depart and the hills removed”.
In the advertisement titled ‘Wake Up’, the groups said they took their ‘firm decision’ to back Buhari after exhaustive consultations with Yoruba farmers, artisans, workers, haves and have nots, people in the valleys, mountains, villages and homestead, toiling market women, children, the old and the young.
“We fully support President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, a professor of law, who has over the years built a credible reputation for himself, leading a clergy life of piety, truth, trust and humanitarian affection and based on our exhaustive deliberations with him which began in the past six months on what he has in stock for the Yoruba nation and peoples”.
The groups also said they are convinced that Buhari-Osinbajo ticket offers hope in place of despair and commitment to many of the political values that are crucial for the survival of Yoruba peoples across the world.
The groups responded to the opposition’s campaign programme of restructuring, with which it has wooed some Yoruba elements. They said the APC also has restructured in its manifesto.
“It has set up a committee and a bill in the offing, so the party can be held responsible on a documented expectation.
“We also trust the integrity of the two men at the helms more than we do of the main contender.
They warned: “Yoruba should not hang her hope on castles built in the sky where loose promises of restructuring are being made in the SW, but a complete negation of restructuring comes forth from their caustic lips when they are in the North. This is treacherous but in line with their past and present”.
The signatories of the clarion call are Adesope Oludare for Reformed Oodua Peoples Congress, Omoshola Omoshebi, Oodua Revolutionary Movement, Akintunde Akinsola, United Pan Yoruba Congress, Ijagbemi Folorunso, Alliance of Yoruba Vigilante Groups, Isaack Ajatiton, Itsekiri, Razak Arogundade, Oodua Peoples Congress(New Era) and Wale Alabi of Oodua Renaissance.
Among other other signatories were: Diran Obalola, Ibile Movement, Wale `Balogun, Yoruba Revolutionary Movement, Gbenga Soloki, Yoruba Media Forum, Goke Otunla, Network for Yoruba Alliance, Abgeteyiniro Teyinmi, Itsekiri National Youth Council, Taiwo Otitolaye, Okun United Congress, Aare Kunle Oshodi, Agbekoya.
In the run-up to the elections initially slated for 16 February, the umbrella Pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere at a ceremony in Ibadan on 29 January also endorsed Buhari-Osinbajo ticket.