The Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council has reacted to the position of the Leader of Ilana Omo Oodua, Prof. Banji Akintoye, on the ambition of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to govern the country from 2023.
This was made known by the Director, Media and Publicity Tinubu-Shettima PCC, Bayo Onanuga, in a statement.
In the statement on Thursday, Onanuga said: “Our attention has been drawn to an unfortunate, misdirected, misplaced and divisive statement credited to Professor Banji Akintoye, in which his group threatened to pull the South West out of Nigeria.
“To be candid, there are several agitation groups in the South West and in other parts of Nigeria who wrongly think the best way to demand for justice and fairness is through break-up of our country.
“And since there has been no referendum held in Yorubaland about whether to stay in Nigeria or not and no such referendum has been held in any part of Nigeria, it is then appropriate to assume that this separatist idea is basically Akintoye and his group’s sole idea.
“We join other bona-fide and critical stakeholders in Yorubaland to advise Professor Akintoye not to plunge our people into a needless and precipitate crisis or create another Rwanda.
“We find it quite preposterous the professor’s sweeping outlandish accusation that Asíwájú Bola Ahmed Tinubu is only pursuing his personal interest in running for the presidency of Nigeria. Such statement is malicious and unwarranted. It is pertinent to state that Asiwaju Tinubu is contesting for Nigeria’s presidency because of his readiness to render unflinching service to Nigerians and because of his abiding faith in a strong, united and prosperous Nigeria where every man and woman, regardless of their ethnicity and religious beliefs, can be proud and prosperous.
“Most of the issues around the structure of our federalism raised in Professor Akintoye’s poorly thought-out statement have been sufficiently addressed in Asiwaju’s Action Plan with his promise to address some of the problems plaguing our federalism and the will to make the states to be more viable as federating units by devolving more powers to them.
“We quote from Asiwaju Tinubu’s Action Plan for Professor Akintoye and his group’s enlightenment: ‘Since our nation’s inception, too much power and resources have been lodged at the federal level. This has come at the expense of state and local governance. This is problematic because state governments are closer to the people and must be more responsive to local needs and aspirations. A Tinubu administration will rebalance the responsibilities and authorities of the different tiers of government. We will collaborate with the National Assembly and State Governments to amend our national governance architecture such that States are afforded the autonomy and resources needed to better serve.’
“From the foregoing, it is inexplicable that a Professor Akintoye who once served as Senator of the Federal Republic under the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) from 1979-83, will in the twilight of his life on earth at 87 years old, wants to leave a legacy of hatred, bitterness, intolerance and acrimony in our country when he should be a voice of reason, wisdom and stability.
“The Yoruba aphorism states that ‘the head of a newly born baby cannot be lopsided in the presence of market elders’. These immortal words of our forebears appear to be lost on Professor Akintoye who should be a centripetal force rather than a centrifugal figure or a totem of anarchy.
“Professor Akintoye claimed that Asiwaju Tinubu is using his old video to campaign. This is most untrue. Asiwaju Tinubu and his campaign organisation have neither used such video nor need to use it in any form. Asiwaju Tinubu’s towering figure, intimidating credentials, unparalleled track record of achievements, his remarkable political sagacity, demonstrable managerial capacity, and nationally acclaimed transformative vision, knowledge and courage all eloquently bear testimony to his qualification for the presidency of Nigeria.
“It is worth reiterating that Asiwaju Tinubu is contesting to be President of Nigeria because he is a nationalist, a bridge builder and a man with a well-thought-out Action Plan to make Nigeria work for all.
“Tinubu is not a hopeless tribalist and definitely not delusional ethnic irredentist. Tinubu believes in Nigeria and its manifest great destiny and he is prepared to provide the required leadership to make our country one of the best nations on earth.”