Osinbajo rubbished restructuring advocates, denial notwithstanding, Afenifere insists
PAN-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, on Wednesday insisted that despite the U-turn, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo actually described those asking for the restructuring of Nigeria to end cries of marginalization in the country as appointment seekers.
Afenifere reiterated this position in a release titled, “Rubbishing of Restructuring Advocates: Osinbajo’s Denial okay but he said so- Afenifere,” issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yinka Odumakin, in response to the denial by the office of Acting President that he never described those agitating for restructuring as political jobbers.
The group, while saying that its attention had been drawn to the u-turn by the Acting President on the statement made by him, affirmed that it would have allowed Osinbajo the right of every politician to cleverly take back words they did not want to stick in the public but for the disingenuous attempt to cast Chief Ayo Adebanjo, who it described as a a leading light of the group, a rumor monger.
This was just as the group also tackled Acting President Osinbajo on his attempts to diminish the sage, Chief Obafemi Awo, on three occasions, a charge which the group said was not in dispute.
“The attention of Afenifere has been drawn to the u-turn by the Acting President on his categorization of those asking for the restructuring of Nigeria to end cries of marginalization in the country as appointment seekers. We ordinarily would have allowed him the right of every politician to cleverly take back words they don’t want to stick in the public but for the disingenuous attempt to cast a leading light of the group, Chief Ayo Adebanjo as a rumor monger,” Afenifere said.
Afenifere said it found confounding the statement by the Acting President saying that no medium quoted him of using the derogatory remarks on the agitators as indicated in Chief Adebanjo’s response, recalling that about two national dailies and a popular online media also published such report.
“It was on the basis of the quoted reports that a reporter asked Chief Adebanjo what was his reaction to the Acting President’s take on advocates of restructuring upon which he responded that while he would not want to appear as attacking the Acting President, he should be reminded that he was born into restructuring campaign as he and his father followed Awo as he led the battle for federalism in Nigeria out of his foresight that running Nigeria along unitary lines would be conducive of cries of marginalisation,” the group said.
“We must put it on record that Afenifere deals with issues no matter whose ox-is gored, it has enough to deal with and would not fabricate lies against any political personality,” Afenifere added.
On oft-reference by the Acting President that the sage, Chief Awo was not the original owner of oft-quoted line about Nigeria being a “mere geographical expression,” Afenifere said, “Though Prof Osinbajo did not dispute Afenifere charge that he has tried to diminish Awo on three different occasions in the last 3 months, we must point them out for the sake of those who are not aware.”
The group recalled that such instances occurred first on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Biafra on May 24, 2017, where Osinbajo delivered a speech, with the second occasion taking place when he equally spoke at the Command and Staff College in Jaji on June 22, 2017, while the recent outburst occurred just last week at the security summit in Abuja where he delivered a speech.
“Like we said earlier, a denial should put the issue at rest but we owe the truth the duty to set the record straight,” Afenifere reiterated.