The Ekiti State chapter of the pan –Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, has distanced itself from the purported endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election bid by the group.
The organisation, led by Reuben Fasoranti, had last week announced that it had endorsed the president for a second term in office.
Its spokesperson, Yinka Odumakin, told journalists after a meeting with Mr. Jonathan in Akure, the Ondo State capital that it decided to support the president because he “convoked the National Conference and is ready to implement the report”.
The Ogun State chapter of the organisation had earlier dissociated itself from the endorsement. Its spokesperson, Kunle Famoriyo, said it “does not think the performance of the President Goodluck Jonathan since May 2010 is worth the endorsement of any patriotic citizen.”
Similarly, in a statement by its chairman, Ibidapo Awojolu, on Monday, the Ekiti State chapter of the Afenifere said it did not take part in the decision to endorse Mr. Jonathan for the February 14 election.
It said the purported endorsement was hastily done and that it was merely the reflection of the mindset of a few leaders of the group that attended the meeting with the president.
Stating that though it had tremendous support for Mr. Fasoranti’s leadership, Mr. Awojolu, however, said it disagreed with him on the issue of Mr. Jonathan’s endorsement.
The chairman of the Ekiti State chapter of Afenifere insisted that the group was yet to take a decision on the coming election and on who to support.
He said it was embarrassing for a few leaders of the group to impose their personal choice on the entire members.
Mr. Awojolu also faulted the claim by the Afenifere leaders that the Jonathan administration was committed to the restructuring of the polity simply because it convoked a national conference, which many believe was a mere window dressing.
He insisted that the Ekiti chapter and a few others did not partake in the decision and that the position of the general body of the organisation on the choice of who to support in the presidential election would soon be made public.
“For now, we are still studying the programmes of the various political parties and their candidates. Our position would be made known later,” Mr. Awojolu said.
“The February 14 presidential election is too important for the future of our dear country and its people and any decision on it could only be taken after a careful analysis of the situation on ground coupled with extensive consultation.
“Despite our respect for Chief Fasoranti’s leadership of Afenifere, we are of the opinion that Afenifere cannot afford to lead its members and the Yoruba nation to endorse any candidate based on mere sentiments and selfish interests of a few,” Mr. Awojolu said.