As the battle to stop the National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu from pursuing his ambition to contest the 2023 presidential election continues, a leader of the party in Lagos State, Alhaji Moshood Salvador, has said that those fighting Tinubu and any other Yoruba leaders from contesting are fighting a lost battle.
He condemned the leaders of the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, the Afenifere, saying if it is the wish of God for a Yoruba man to be the next president of Nigeria, the group cannot stop him.
Salvador, a former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, said it was wrong for any Yoruba leader or elder to oppose a Yoruba man from becoming the president, adding that such action amounted to treason against the people.
Addressing journalists yesterday against the backdrop of the statement reportedly made by a leader of the Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, that the 2023 presidency should be ceded to the South-east, and that Tinubu would be day-dreaming if he thought he would contest or be the president in 2023, Salvador said rather than speaking on the 2023 presidency which is a premature discussion, the elders should proffer solutions on issues affecting the country and the Yoruba race in particular, which was the reason for setting up the Afenifere in the first place.
He said any Yoruba leader opposing the aspiration of a fellow Yoruba man or South westerner is not worth being called a Yoruba leader. According to him, it was the same set of Yoruba leaders who supported the opposition against their son, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo in the last general election.
He said the argument of Adebanjo that the South-east has never produced a president was false, noting that it is on record that the first President of Nigeria, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, was from the region. He described the posture of the Yoruba leaders as “rabble-rousing, inciting, offensive, illogical and terrible”.
Salvador stated that no Yoruba leader has empowered the people more than Tinubu, saying it was Tinubu who brought the South-west to the “centre of governance.”
He reiterated that it is the people and not the Afenifere leaders that would decide who becomes the President. “These leaders forget that Nigeria is practicing party politics and in a party politics, any candidate can emerge.
“It is left for the party and the presidential candidate to reach out to other tribes for support. It is the people who now decide who becomes the president not an individual or group of people,” he added.