The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has said, the self-professed leading Yoruba groups, OPC and Afenifere had never worked for the victory of Nigeria’s President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
CNG was replying to the statement by the OPC that tends to threaten the North from demanding what is due to it describing the development as unguarded and empty in a statement signed by its Spokesperson, Abdulazeez Suleiman.
The statement said, “without the need to give the OPC more reasons to feel important, the CNG is however compelled to respond to the fact that both the self-professed leading Yoruba groups, OPC and Afenifere never worked for the victory of the Asiwaju.
“While Afenifere, through its leader, Ayo Adebanjo, openly, directly and actively opposed the Tinubu contest, the OPC was completely silent throughout and for any of these groups to now turn around and assume the right to speak against the North, from where the President-elect extracted the bulk of his winning votes, is the accurate personification of crass opportunism.”
Basing their response to facts and figures, CNG extends invitation to the OPC to stop being lazy and instead, dissect the data from the 2023 presidential election to get the idea of how Tinubu was able to overcome strong opposition thereby coasting to victory and where the Northern claim to commensurate reward comes from.
“For a start, Tinubu got more votes from the north-west — the largest voting geo-political grouping in the country — than from the south-west, his home zone. In raw numbers, Tinubu beat Atiku in the north-west, scoring 2,652,824 votes compared to his opponent’s 2,197,824. Not only were Atiku’s margins in some of the states narrow, Tinubu took a whopping half a million votes in Kano alone.
“In fact, Tinubu got 30 percent of his total votes from the north-west alone. That is almost one-third. The entire south-west gave Tinubu 2,542,979, second to the north-west.
“Another vital context is that his second highest votes came from Kano where he also came second. The third was also from a state where he came second, Katsina and coming second in certain states is better than coming first in others. Tinubu was first in Ekiti state, for instance, but he got only 200,000 votes while he got more than double the figure in Kano to place second.
“Tinubu got a miserable one percent of his total votes from the south-east with a total of 127,605 votes from the five states and did not score 25 percent in any of them. If these verifiable figures mean anything to OPC regional jingoists, they should by now understand that the North is only making a legitimate case for appropriate recognition of its efforts.
“No one expects that the incoming president will run an administration that will give to the North what it does not deserve, but no one also can deny the North the right to speak for what is legitimately due to it.”
CNG further made its ground that no amount of threat or hooliganism will stop northerners such as Abdulaziz Yari, Abbass, Betara, Gagdi, Wase and Jaji from exercising their right to contest for the positions of their choices.
“Any other interested candidate from whatever section of the country should be free to contest so that in the end the matter is sorted through democratic election by the legislators themselves.
“In case OPC needs a tutorial on elementary political principle that participation is always, and everywhere, a matter of give and take, contrary to their orientation in uncoordinated brigandage and grandstanding.”
The statement therefore cautioned the incoming President to be wary of the way he relates with what it termed as “proliferated regional jingoist associations like OPC and the Afenifere, lest they drag him into an unnecessary misunderstanding with other sections of the country by pretending to be his kith and kin.
“It is no longer news that neither Afenifere nor OPC played any role in bringing about the Tinubu presidency, what is clear however, is they both expressly and impliedly opposed his bid for the presidency right from the primary to the secondary stages of the race.
“For the OPC and all other merchants of mindless threats and hate campaigns, we say, the North is neither afraid nor apprehensive of their designs and we will remain resolute in protecting our legacy and inherited responsibility to all northerners.
“The OPC and all those who have no other useful vocation other than attacking northerners under the slightest of pretexts, should know that the North’s reticence in speaking out or taking action is not born of fear or ignorance of how to respond in kind.
“We are aware that a few regional political opportunists have made an entire career out of demonizing and insulting the North and all it stands for. We will not feed these people with more reasons to be important. What the North will do, as it has always done, is to insist that justice is done to it and to everyone else.
“The North shall henceforth respond to any provocation coin for coins and we dare say: Shege Ka Fasa for those who have ears to hear.”