The Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) has called for the completion of the ongoung 2023 electoral process.
The call followed a recent statement made by former Head of State, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo (rtd.) regarding the credibility of the electoral processes.
The Chairman of the group, Mr Olawale Oshun in association with Yoruba Assembly, made the call at a news conference held on Tuesday at the ARG House, Alagomeji, Yaba, Lagos State.
Oshun said that Obasanjo’s statement was a call for undue interference in the constitutional responsibilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as an independent institution under our Laws.
“We read the Feb. 27 statement of Obasanjo about the 2023 presidential election with grave concerns.
“We will not join those who argue that Obasanjo be ignored, after his latest political tirade on the yet to be concluded 2023 presidential elections.
“We will not, because, he had always postured as the only Nigerian patriot whose views must hold sway all the time,” the ARG chairman said.
Oshun, however, said that Obasanjo was a well respected figure in Yoruba land but lacked the moral right to serve as a guiding beacon regarding his role in the 1993 general elections.
“First, he is as politically partisan as any other Nigerian, which is his right but cannot at the same time, be pretending to be father of the nation.
“Obasanjo’s hand was heavy in the institution of the failed 1993 interim government, a process that ultimately led to the restoration of the military and Gen. Sanni Abacha murderous regime
“This ultimately led to the death of the President-elect, MKO Abiola; Obasanjo’s townsman,” the ARG chairman said.
Oshun said that Obasanjo’s attempt at wanting to render the elections inchoate as that of 1993 might be that he wanted to remain the only Yorubaman to ever attain leadership of the country.
The chairman once again called for the completion of the 2023 electoral processes, starting with the already held national elections and ending with the state executive and legislative elections.
“If Obasanjo succeeded in intervening in the elections held under him, he should, at least, grant the present President the full prerogative of wishing to bequeath a free and fair election in our country.
“Nigeria is at a crossroad and whoever emerges of the candidates, has a great responsibility to set the ship of nationhood on the right path.
“We, as a people call on the incoming government to set itself on the task of restoring unity of all the peoples of the country,” the ARG chairman said.
He said that this, however, would be predicated on building a nation where all the diverse people remained equitable members in the country.
“This can only be precipitated with a wholesome reform and restructure of the constitution of the country.
“We no longer can pretend that the 1999 Constitution can see or aid the peace, amity and development of the country. That Constitution cannot,” Oshun said.
He said that any party or candidate could as provided for in the Electoral Laws, seek justice in the courts after the electoral processes had been completed.
“Whoever emerges, however, has great unifying tasks ahead if Nigeria is to remain one,” the ARG chairman reiterated.
Oshun also added that the military should completely steer clear of whatever temporary impasse that could occur as this was not unusual in all democracies.
“The military should also turn a deaf ear to any possible incitement be it from retired generals or their rank and file.
“The world has moved on and the Yoruba people will resist with other Nigerians any misguided intervention to take place in our polity,” the ARG chairman said.