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Why we reject Tinubu as President – Comrade Elliot Afiyo

Comrade Elliot Afiyo, a fiery and no nonsense activist, is the National President of the Northern Youth Leaders Forum (NYLF) and Secretary-General of the Association of West African Monarchs (AWAM), in this explosive interview with journalists in Abeokuta, Comrade Elliot Afiyo, shared his thoughts on the 2023 general elections and states why Arewa Youth’s refused to recognize Tinubu as President.

Afiyo, a prominent figure in Northern Nigeria political and social circles shed light on various factors that impacted the election results and discussed the challenges faced by his Forum.

Sir, since 1999, your Forum secured victories for candidates you endorsed and supported at all levels. However, in the last presidential elections, former Vice President Atiku lost despite your support and endorsement. What went wrong?

Comrade Afiyo: Thank you very much. I want to categorically state that Atiku did not lose the 2023 presidential election because there wasn’t any candidate who met the constitutional requirements to be declared the winner. The election was marred by conspiracy and manipulations, aiming to declare Tinubu as the winner to avoid a rerun. It was a contest filled with betrayals, conspiracies, and deceptions.

But your Forum couldn’t make the difference like in previous elections since 1999. Why?

Comrade Afiyo: Our Forum performed exceptionally well in this election, facing the toughest and most challenging circumstances. We achieved positive results, particularly in the North-East and North-West geopolitical zones.

How tough was the election, sir?Comrade Afiyo: The election was exceedingly challenging. Two weeks before the elections, I held a press conference in Kano to draw our presidential candidate’s attention to organized deceptions and betrayals. Unfortunately, some APC governors who had initially promised to support Atiku changed their minds due to a reckless statement made by one of Atiku’s campaign spokesmen, implying that Atiku would investigate and jail them. Additionally, Atiku’s statement about restructuring the country, even at the cost of his life, caused the Fulani elites to work against him. Moreover, many of Atiku’s PCC members betrayed him by selfishly pocketing funds meant for logistics and mobilization. These factors, along with the sidelining of genuine supporters, influenced the election outcome.

Are you saying Tinubu did not win the 2023 presidential election?

Comrade Afiyo: Without fear of contradiction, I am telling you that Tinubu did not win the election in a manner that met the constitutional requirements, even after the results were doctored. Prof Yakubu himself knew it and intended to announce a rerun. However, the decision was changed at the last minute, leading to alterations and doctoring of the results. This act can be seen as a podiatric coup against democracy and Nigerians.

Sir, are you saying that Prof Yakubu staged a coup?

Comrade Afiyo: Prof. Yakubu is a Coupist by every reasoning. Coups are normally announced at early hours of the day and that what was he did. I will not be surprised if Prof Yakubu is arrested and tried for treasonable felony in the nearest future.

But the Northern Elders Forum and the Arewa Consultative Forum supported Atiku?

Comrade Afiyo: All these pressure groups are constituted for political relevance and financial patronage. They are far from translating to political victories. Unfortunately, the Aspirants and the Candidates patronize them at the detriment of the Youth groups. Some of these Individuals are not known in their localities. And if they are known, they cannot command political fellowship and followership which will translate to political voting and by extension, political victories.

So you agree with Governor El-Rufai that they don’t control votes?

Comrade Afiyo: I totally agree with him because he said nothing but the truth. How many of these Elders will secure a political victory for their Councillors not to talk of President? The Governors and the Youth Leaders control and determine the direction of voting in the North. The clerics are far politically better than these Elders. The only aspect that I disagree with EL-Rufai is denigration and localisation of the elders by calling them ‘so called elders’ and his statement on the Northern Christians which has caused major division among the Northerners. If care is not taken or more awareness created, it will be very difficult for a Northerner to win presidential election in the nearest future in a free and fair elections unless that Northerner is a Muslim and must come from one of the minority tribes.

President Buhari said that Atiku lost the election because of over confidence and complacency.

Comrade Afiyo: That’s very true, over confidence in the sense that PCC members were doing what they feel like. Even the presidential Candidate and his running Mate were deliberately ignoring some stakeholders. The support groups were ignored and downgraded. The G5 Governors were termed and considered inconsequential. The Governor of Bauchi who is very popular and influential in the country especially the Northern Youth, was isolated not until I decided to take an action that maybe so devastating, before he was visited and invited for negotiation. Let me tell you the truth, most of the key members of PCC of the PDP worked against Atiku because they have interest in 2027 and Atiku winning this election will block them. This is more reason why they pocketed the dollars, thereby frustrating the genuine efforts of Atiku’s supporters. Another factor that causes complacency was the appointment of his spokesmen who were caucus members of the APC. These were people verily known with Tinubu, whatever they said were not given any serious consideration.You can see Senator Dino saying ALLAH YA ISA to PDP in 2015. The same Dino saying ALLAH YA ISA to APC in 2019 and 2023. Spiritually, any Candidate that Dino becomes his or her Spokesman under PDP or APC, will never win the election because he has used the same tongue to curse the Parties.

Sir, we read in some National Dailies prior to the elections that some Emirs threatened to assassinate you if Atiku wins the election in their States. How true is this statement?

Comrade Afiyo: Absolutely true, two of them told our Co-ordinators that they will assassinate me if Atiku wins in their States. I personally called them to confirm the story and they affirmed it. These threats made me to relocate to one of the States and informed the Emir that I was in the State to ensure that Atiku wins in all the States. I called some of our Patrons who mobilised funds for us. When Atiku won in the State, I placed a call to the Emir who later invited me for a dinner in his palace. After the Dinner, he looked at me said “shege Batta jo”, and I smiled and said mi yeti barkama walla aibe”. And that was all.

Sir, we were also told that Tinubu’s camp is making overtures for you to join the team?

Comrade Afiyo: For now, I will not join them until the final pronouncement by the Supreme court. In fact, the Northern Youth will never recognize Tinubu as President of Nigeria even after the swearing – in until the final pronouncement by the Supreme Court.

Are you saying that the inauguration ceremony should be stopped?

Comrade Afiyo: Under common sense or literal reasoning, the inauguration should have been done after final pronouncement by the Court. But in a situation like this, one should not expect that to happen. Seriously, it is a major set- back to our Country. But I am quite sure that God’s will would prevail very soon.

There was a story in one of the daily newspapers that you led a Team of investigation from UN and EU to visit the six geo- political zones and the Team was sponsored by one of your patrons.

Comrade Afiyo: The Team was a fact-finding Team. I was just privileged to guide them.

What should we expect from you and your Forum from now?

Comrade Afiyo: For now, let us allow the will of God to prevail. This is our only country that we can call our home. Enough of crisis and shedding of innocent blood. Let us all be law abiding and give maximum support to the security agencies. Sooner or later, Nigerians will definitely rejoice.

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