Ahead of the 2023 elections, about 120 Pan-Yoruba groups, community-based and civil society associations will meet in Lagos next week to take a common position on the presidential candidate considered best for the people of the South West.
This is coming amidst a widening gulf in the rank and file of South-West/Yoruba leaders over the presidential candidate to support next year.
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Foremost Pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, had queued behind the candidate of Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, in line with the decision of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) which Afenifere is a member.
The adoption of Obi by Afenifere is already unsettling the Yoruba race as a prominent Yoruba man, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is also in the race as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
However, on Tuesday, popular Afenifere chieftain and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae, distanced himself from Afenifere’s endorsement of a presidential candidate.
Amidst the brewing discordant tunes, groups under the banner of All Yoruba Democratic Movements (AYDM) made up of 120 groups, are set to meet in Lagos and take a position on their choice of presidential candidate.
The Yoruba groups include the Network for Yoruba Alliance (NEYA), Oodua People’s Congress (OPC New Era), Oodua Nationalist Coalition (ONAC), South West Professional Forum (SOWROF), Agbekoya Solidarity, Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC Reformed), South West Progressive Women Coalition, Ibile, South West Hunters Union, ANACOWA representing Okada riders unions in the South West and Itsekiri Progressive Youth Forum, among others.
General Secretary of the group, Mr. Popoola Ajayi, said the meeting will be the largest gathering of Pan-Yoruba groups in recent times.