A presidential candidate of the PDP, President Goodluck Jonathan, was asked to put into writing his promise to give key positions in his government to Yoruba if elected.
As part of last efforts to win the March 28 elections, President Goodluck Jonathan is set to sign an undertaking with leaders of the South-West.
The Punch reports, when Jonathan held a meeting with he traditional rulers behind closed doors on Friday and Saturday, he has asked them to support him in his desire to be re-elected.
According to the thinking of the Peoples Democratic Party top echelon and campaign organisation, for President Jonathan to emerge winner in the rescheduled polls, he needs to win the South-West which is the geo-political zone with the second largest number of voters. It has over 13 million voters.
The North-West, where the APC presidential candidate, Maj.Gen Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), hails from, is the largest geo-political zone with not less than 18 million registered voters.
During the recent four-day tour, the President visited the South-West (Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states) to ensure that he gets the majority votes in the zone especially in the face of the fact that former President Olusegun Obasanjo had dropped his support for him.
Reportedly, a former Minister of Works, Chief Adeseye Ogunlewe, said that the Yoruba elders lamented that the people of the South-West had been marginalised in the Jonathan administration.
He said the Yoruba leaders asked Jonathan to put into writing that if he wins the March 28 elections, Yorubas would be given key positions in his government.
Ogunlewe said: “The President was here for our support in the South-West which he will need in order to weaken the effect of the North-West. He met with our leaders and Obas and discussions and negotiations are on-going.
“The President has been asked to put it into writing that Yoruba will be given top positions during his next term and also implement the resolutions of the National Conference with regards to the Yoruba. I was not part of the meeting which is being held by the most senior Yoruba elders but I am aware that discussions are still on.”
The founder of the Odua Peoples Congress, Dr. Fredrick Fasehun, also said Yoruba elders had decided to support Jonathan based on his promise to implement the National Conference report.
Fasehun said: “The promise he gave us is that if he comes back for a second term, he will ensure that the decisions of the Confab are perfected and implemented as soon as he comes in. The Yoruba want self-determination within the federation that will ensure their form of government and politics and want to be able to develop their own region.”
Jonathan visited: monarchs in the Ogun-Central Senatorial District which are of Egba extraction, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi II and the Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Ajagungbade in Oyo State.
It was gathered that the Obas felt that the marginalisation of the zone was glaring as it was not represented in top eight positions in the country.
Currently the President is from the South-South; Vice-President, North-West; Senate President, North-Central; Deputy Senate President, South-East; Speaker of the House of Representatives, North-West; Deputy Speaker, South-East; Chief Justice of Nigeria, North-East and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, South-East.
Source: The Punch.