A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Olu Falae, has distanced himself from Afenifere’s endorsement of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
Mr Falae’s position is coming a day after the Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo, announced the pan-Yoruba group’s support of Mr Obi.
Mr Adebanjo had explained that Afenifere was backing Mr Obi for reasons of equity and inclusiveness.
He said the other geopolitical zones had produced leaders of the country, saying it was only fair that the next president should emerge from the South-east.
“We cannot continue to demand that the Igbo people remain in Nigeria, while we at the same time continue to brutally marginalize and exclude them from the power dynamic,” Mr Adebanjo had stated.
But Mr Falae disagreed with the endorsement, saying it was still too early to pick a candidate when a proper assessment had not been done.
In a statement on Tuesday signed by his Personal Assistant, Raji Moshood, Mr Falae said it was too early to endorse any candidate without going through the programmes he had for the masses.
“The elder statesman said he has to consider all important parameters, including capacity, experience and proven track record before endorsing a candidate,” the statement said.
“Falae admitted that the South East had not had the opportunity of being Nigeria’s President, stressing that it’s not an automatic slot that can be filled without other important considerations.
“As a responsible leader, Chief Falae will consider all important parameters, including capacity, experience and proven track record before endorsing a candidate.
“This correction is necessary in order not to mislead the public that Chief Falae is supporting any of the candidates yet.
It is necessary to await the programmes and manifestos of the political parties and their candidates before arriving at a particular candidate to support.”
Mr Falae agreed that although the South-east region had not had the opportunity of being Nigeria’s president, it was for them to persuade other Nigerians that they could offer something better than candidates from other geopolitical zones.
”It’s not an automatic slot that can be filled without other important considerations. Chief Falae never canvassed or claimed to be supporting Mr Peter Obi of the Labour Party for the 2023 race,” the statement added.
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