The leader of the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo has said the North cannot dictate who becomes Nigeria’s president.
Speaking on Monday, during a public lecture themed ‘Nationalism and nation-building in Nigerian history,’ held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs on Victoria Island, Lagos.
Mr Adebanjo stated that the different tribes in Nigeria were not brought together peacefully to form a country but by force.
According to him, “It was said that the South-East must come to negotiate with the North because politics is a game of numbers. My case is – and I told people yesterday – the case for the East is not to beg for a favour; it is their right.
“Yet, each time I hear that they should go around because the North has the population, what fraudulent population? You can’t sell that to me.
“They tell us to work together but unfortunately because they now have produced a president at the helm of affairs, they say ‘no one can become president except you come to the North and unfortunately, some southerners have been brainwashed that they can’t do anything except they bow to the North. I don’t believe it.
“What right has the North to dictate who will become our president? We were brought together not by peace, not by agreement, they forced us together and we agreed, so to continue to live together in peace must be by agreeable terms.
He, however, said the East has the right not because he is Igbo but because it is in Nigeria. The principle of Afenifere is on ideological basis and principle of rightness, inclusiveness and not any sentiment.”