Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Contrary to the position canvassed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that President Muhammadu Buhari is too old to stand for re-election in 2019, a leader of the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Senator Ayo Fasanmi, has maintained that the president is still strong to recontest the presidential race.
Fasanmi, a former National Assembly member, also warned some Yoruba leaders, who have taken delight in condemning all the policies of President Buhari to desist, saying the South-west has benefited from the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government and that such tendencies were unexpected from the zone.
In a statement in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday, Fasanmi said some young politicians, who were elected for higher positions of responsibilities have messed up and disappointed the people through unbridled quests for money.
He described the widespread notion that Buhari is old and weak as mere emotion that has no relevance in the present Nigeria’s political situation.
The elder statesman stated: “On the issue of his age as being canvassed by some groups, that President Buhari should not re-contest, many elderly people are leaders of their countries, such as United States. Though Buhari has advanced in age, he is still capable and agile to lead Nigeria.
“’Many younger people have led this country in the past, and yet what is the result?’ To be old as a Leader of government business should not be the issue, but whether such person is delivering the expected services.
“I therefore advise the Yoruba nation to seek for more relevance with the national government for more infrastructural intervention, more so our sons and daughters are placed in critical positions in the Buhari administration.”
The former lawmaker commended the former Lagos State governor, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu, Chief Bisi Akande and Niyi Adebayo for their leadership roles in making the Yoruba nation more relevant and acceptable in the Buhari’s administration.
On the consistent criticism of President Buhari by some factional Afenifere leaders, Fasanmi warned that the alleged divisive politics being practised by the elder statesmen won’t benefit the Yoruba race.
“Let me warn some so-called Yoruba groups to desist from the attempt to draft the Yoruba race into unwelcome national opposition and negative narratives on national events by their destructive criticism of President Buhari.
“It has come to our notice that certain groups have appointed themselves as opposition spokesmen on behalf of the Yoruba nation as if they were elected to do so. This is not the right thing to do.
“How can a group decide never to see anything good in this government? How can a group decide to pit the Yorubas against a government that has its son as number two ?” He queried.
Fasanmi added: “President Buhari should be eulogised for fulfilling his campaign promises with particular references to critical sectors like security, war against corruption and economy.
“He has even done much more particularly, in global politics. Nigeria is no more a pariah and a disdained nation where people think a president can be derogated by few to make him lose election.”