Afenifere to APC: Give us Speaker with integrity if you’re zoning position to South-West

Ahead of the inauguration of the 9th National Assembly in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) where the leadership of both chambers would emerge, the pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere has charged the leadership of ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to ensure that person of impeachable character and high moral standing emerged as next speaker of House of Representatives if the party is zoning the position to South-West.

Afenifere said this in its plea with the APC, pointing out that though characters do not appear to matter anymore in the country and leadership had become some sort of criminal enterprise, notwithstanding it was on record that good character and integrity still mattered to people of South-West.

Spokesperson of the group, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, said this while speaking with the Tribune Online on the telephone, contending that these were the virtues the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo even pursued and also taught to people.

According to him, it was part of his (Awolowo) teachings that those who aspire to lead men and women must be men of impeachable character, and must be above board.

“Nigeria today is in a moral turpitude where characters don’t matter anymore, where there is no morality, where in fact today, leadership is some sort of criminal enterprise.

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“But we want to put it on record that for us in this part of the world, character still matters, integrity matters and if anybody is going to be picked from our zone, those virtues should be considered. If they are picking anybody from the South-West, they should pick somebody with character and not one with questionable character,” the Afenifere chieftain said.

“What Awolowo taught us in this part of the world is that those who aspire to lead men and women must be men of impeachable character, of moral standing with no but and must be above board,” he added, even as he recalled an encounter the sage had with an Action Group (AG) chieftain, who appeared to be wayward in his character.

“There was a time when Action Group won an election and they (leaders and members) were having a get-together party, a leading member of the group came to the party with his girlfriend and Awolowo was reading his speech when he saw him and he paused his speech. Then he said Chief so so, is that your wife that is staying beside you? The man was embarrassed and that was the reason why he left Action Group because he said Awolowo embarrassed him openly,” Odumakin said.

“But what Awolowo was saying at that moment is that men who want to lead must be of clean character,” he added.

“So if they (APC) are zoning the position to the South-West, they should look for a person with the character without blemish to represent our zone,” he reiterated.

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