The Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) has distanced itself from the endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan of by the pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere.
Afenifere had last week publicly endorsed Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Jonathan for a second term in office ahead of he February polls.
The YCE, rising from its National Executive Committee meeting on national unity and solidarity which was held at its Bodija, Ibadan office on Thursday, declared that caution should be taken in this electioneering time, describing itself as an apoliical association and the Afenifere as a “political party”.
The meeting was presided over by Major General Adeyinka Adebayo(rtd).
Reading the communique issued after the meeting, Prof. Bayo Olateju said: “YCE is not a party to any purported endorsement given by any group or groups to a presidential candidate and so dissociates itself from such action as YCE did not at any time sit with any group of people to consider and come to such decision”.According to the council, “Nigerian presidency should go to the best candidate who has the vision and mission of taking Nigeria and Nigerians from poverty to wealth; from insecurity of lives and property to living secured, prosperous and in abundance; regardless of party affiliation, religious, or tribe”.
It also urged political parties to forbid their supporters from making provocative and inflammatory public statements which could create a crisis that could snowball into another civil war.
The YCE explained that parties should base their campaigns on issues such as economy, security, stable electric power, industrialization, employment education for all, sustenance of democracy, good healthcare of the aged and other salient issues.On alleged plans to shift the coming polls, the elders said INEC should take a stand that it was fully ready and prepared to conduct the election this month.The group also warned the new Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Lagos and Ogun states, Mbu Joseph Mbu, not to carry out his duties with professionalism and fairness.