*Says Pastor still interested in 2023 Presidency
*As Bakare’s body language described as Tinubu’s last card
The Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, has dismissed the notion that former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has done more for the Yoruba people.
It said the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain is not the focal leader of the Yoruba people and so that it cannot endorse him for 2023 Presidency.
The DEFENDER gathered that the National Publicity Secretary of the group, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, said this in a media interview on Wednesday.
Responding to a question bothering on status of Tinubu, Odumakin said, “No, there is no doubt that Asiwaju is a leader in Yorubaland but he is not the leader of the Yoruba people,” adding with note that, “To say Asiwaju has done more for the Yoruba people is debatable”.
He also hinted that Afenifere has not endorsed Tinubu, the Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, or any non-Yoruba aspirant for the 2023 presidency, although it is not clear if Odumakin would admit reality that its endorsement of any candidate for Presidency has mattered not since 1999, when, as stronger organisation then, it refused to endorse Olusegun Obasanjo and Obasanjo still won.
The group, openly, disowned President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 and 2019, yet, Buhari won both repeatedly.
The Afenifere spokesman also claimed that the Serving Overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church in Lagos, Pastor Tunde Bakare, still wants to run for president in 2023, adding that the group has not given support to anyone.
Recall that Bakare compared Tinubu to Jephtah in the Bible, saying he fought many battles for the Yoruba and “delivered Lagos State and nearly all the South-West states from the onslaught of the PDP from 1999 to 2007”.
Mixed reactions trailed the message, as many wondered why Bakare, who once spoke against Tinubu turned around to praise him.
Commenting on Wednesday, Odumakin said those who have the cathedral right to express views on the pulpit should be careful of what they say.
“Those who have the cathedral right to express strong views on the pulpits of God and whose words are taken very seriously by their congregation should be careful of what they say to those who listen to them,” he said.
“No, there is no doubt that Asiwaju is a leader in Yorubaland but he is not the leader of the Yoruba people,” Odumakin added, noting that, “To say Asiwaju has done more for the Yoruba people is debatable”.
The Afenifere spokesman further stated, “You will not earn our support because you are a Yoruba man but we will examine what you stand for.
“We have not given support to anyone at the moment. We are watching those who are interested in the 2023 presidency including Fayemi, Tinubu, and even Bakare himself and other non-Yoruba people.
“Where each candidate stands on the issue of restructuring and federalism will determine who gets our support.
“Afenifere is not afraid to state our support for any candidate and any party.”
In the meantime, a source told The DEFENDER that “Just wait, watch and see the game as it unfolds. It is obvious that Tunde Bakare’s presentation as Presidential Candidate will be the card by Tinubu. Don’t allow Afenifere and politicians to receive you.
“If you don’t know, this is the analysis. Tinubu knows well that the game for him us over. He cannot get the APC for 2023 and he is quite aware of the reasons. He also knows that fear of Muslim-Muslim is main reason. So, since he knows that Kayode Fayemi is being touted, that is if Babatunbde Raji Fashola will not be pushed forward by the Abuja Boys, Asiwaju is more disposed to Tunde Bakare and his being a Pastor is the kite he will fly.
“Anyway, how that works out remains a matter of time but, you can have it from me that only Buhari knows the workings of his own mind concerning whom he hands over Nigeria to in 2023. Except God.”