"We never endorsed President Jonathan" - Yoruba Council of Elders

The Yoruba Council of Elders has said that the appearance of its National President, Brig- Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo (rtd), at a post-national conference summit in Ibadan, Oyo State, should not be mistaken for an endorsement of the candidacy of President Goodluck Jonathan in the March 28 election.

YCE, also known as Igbimo Agba Yoruba, said this at the end of its National Executive Council meeting in Ibadan.

The summit, which was convened by the Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, was attended by some Yoruba leaders where they endorsed the candidacy of President Jonathan.

The elders, however, explained, through the Assistant National Secretary of YCE, Bayo Olateju, that their leader attended the meeting because the theme was centred on Yoruba and based on that, he had to be there.

The YCE maintained that it had not shifted from its initial position that it would not enmesh itself in the murky waters of politics by endorsing any of the candidates.

On the rumoured intention of the Federal Government to further postpone the election, YCE said the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has reached a deadend’ constitutionally with the dates fixed for the rescheduled 2015 general elections and any further postponement could lead to constitutional crisis.

According to the apex Yoruba socio-cultural organisation: The Electoral Law prescribes the conduct of elections 60 days before the expiration of any tenure, there cannot be further shift of the election without causing constitutional crisis and with the assurances by President Jonathan that the handover date of May 29 was sacrosanct, there is nothing to fear.

“As the fathers and mothers of all in Yorubaland, we are above partisan politics and it is our advice to our sons and daughters to vote for any candidate of their choice.”

Though, the elders commended INEC for the distribution of the Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, they warned politicians against causing violence.

Credit: Ola Ajayi/Vanguard