By Wilfred Eya
Former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Segun Osoba has said that the Yoruba have not conceded or zoned the 2023 presidency to the South East region of the country.
This is even as he berated elder statesman and Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo for unilaterally conceding the 2023 presidential seat to the Igbo without the consensus of the Yoruba race.
Chief Osoba who reacted to a statement in which Adebanjo called him a ‘sellout’ on the issue of restructuring said the Igbo and Yoruba have equal right to fight for the presidential seat in the next general elections.
He described the Afenifere leader as a dictator who does not give room for alternative views
and also challenged Adebanjo’s authority to say that the Yoruba would boycott the 2023 general elections.
He said: “In his(Adebanjo) own dictatorial way, he said he has now zoned the presidency to the Igbo. I want to query him; who is he to zone the Yoruba out of the presidential race in 2023? “Where did we meet as Yoruba to say that we are ceding the presidency to the Igbo? Awolowo would not behave like that. There would be a meeting for consensus. Of course, the Igbo have a right to contest in 2023 just as I, as a Yoruba man would preach the right of us the Yoruba to contest.
“He(Adebanjo) has unilaterally zoned it to the Igbo; that is part of his dictatorial attitude. He is a dictator. He also said we would boycott 2023 elections, where did we sit down to decide that the Yoruba would boycott the 2023 elections?”
Chief Osoba noted that Adebanjo was instrumental to Afenifere breaking up into different subgroups and accusing him of speaking so annoyingly about different people.
“It is the likes of Adebanjo that made Afenifere to break into different groups. Let us first of all unite all the different groups within the Yoruba race. Can we go into war with these different groups? We have about 12 groups in Yoruba race today. Yoruba are intellectually endowed.
The former governor said the Yoruba have what it takes to articulate reports on a roadmap to self-determination.
His words: “What is wrong in getting all the big brains in diaspora forming a strong intellectual group to write a paper on restructuring and the roadmap to arrive at self-determination? Who is against self determination?
“Awolowo was able through regional system to create first class region in Nigeria. We should have sat together to organize an intellectual group to write different reports on Yoruba self determination; that is what we should be doing.”
On Adebanjo describing him(Osoba) as a sellout, he told the Afenifere leader that henceforth, he would return fire for fire.
“I have over time tried hard to give him respect because of the difference in our ages as a senior brother. I will now come out forcefully, to reply Chief Adebanjo any time he speaks. We were together on a programme about a month ago where he accused me of being a sellout and I challenge him that he knows me long enough to know that I have an impeccable character in terms of integrity and he admitted that he did not say I am corrupt but that I am not reliable as I sold out on the issue of restructuring.”