The leadership of the pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, has said there was no regret endorsing President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term bid in the just concluded presidential election, just as it congratulated the eventual winner, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The leaders of the group, who stated this in Akure, Ondo State capital, on Thursday, said the group still maintained its position on the perennial demand on the need to restructure the country, in order to witness development and peace across the nation.
The leader of the group, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, in a statement signed and read by him to journalists, commended President Goodluck Jonathan for congratulating Buhari and stressed that the group’s support for the incumbent was based on principles and not on financial gains as being speculated in some quarters.
The Afenifere leader recalled that Buhari, as the presidential candidate of the now defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, in 2007, enjoyed similar support after promising to convoke the constitutional conference.
“Government is continuum and the APC people know that Nigeria needs to be restructured. It is the desire of everyone that it is restructured.
“I have no doubt in my mind that General Buhari will implement the Confab report. We will engage him to implement the report. We met President Jonathan four times before he agreed to convoke the conference.
“We will continue to do our bit to persuade him to implement the report. What is paramount is that Nigeria should be restructured.
“We have no regret supporting President Jonathan for second term; we did same to General Buhari in 2007 Presidential election when he agreed to convoke the conference”.
The group commended Mr. Jonathan for displaying spirit of sportsmanship for conceding defeat when counting was still in progress, saying that he had saved the nation when it mattered most.
“While some were warming up to drag out the war drums, he doused growing tension, calmed down frenzied nerves and even though election were not all over yet, put to lie foreign soothsayers’ desire of the disintegration of Nigeria.
“As the first Nigerian sitting Head of state ever to magnanimously concede defeat, he had demonstrated exemplary courage, laid a precedent of uncommon statesmanship, rare demonstration of patriotism and sportsmanship. He has thus created a benchmark for our leaders to follow in whatever contest they may be involved in”, he said.
Afenifere also commended President Jonathan on his willingness to implement the 2014 Confab report, saying the reports captured most of the yearnings of the people of the country.
“We sincerely share your aspirations to tackle insecurity of lives and properties, stop insurgency like Boko Haram in our land, reduce unemployment, fight corruption in the body polity and bring our economy to an enviable standard. We want to assure you that we are partner in progress”, the group said.