A Yoruba socio-cultural group, Yoruba Ronu Leadership Forum, has called on its sister organisation, Afenifere, to call to order Mr Yinka Odumakin, its national publicity secretary, over unfair profiling of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos, the Leadership Forum wondered why Mr Odumakin has continued without decorum to attack President Buhari.
The Forum stated that calling the President unprintable names was hardly a way of playing opposition politics, especially by someone of Odumakin’s stature.
“We have watched with great concern the role, utterances, and actions of Odumakin the spokesman to Afenifere.
“As an adult, he should be mindful of his descent into vulgarity in political matters,” the statement signed by Mr Akin Malaolu, the Forum’s secretary general, read in part.
Saying it cannot question Odumakin’s ambition as Afenifere spokesperson, the Forum insisted that Afenifere should however not be used as platform to belittle the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Indeed, his quest to help the opposition win 2019 presidential election is within his constitutional rights, but making mockery of the office of the President and of President Buhari is very unedifying,” the Forum said.
It reiterated that Odumakin must bear in mind that every right comes with corresponding duty.
“His choice of words on the President’s visit to the United States of America has fallen short of the edifying on some occasions.”
NAN, however, would not be drawn into repeating the choice of words in print for ethical considerations.
When NAN reached Odumakin for his reaction, he was attending a ceremony in honour of the former chairman of Afenifere, Sen. Abraham Adesanya.
However, the Leadership Forum insists that the choice of words amounts to vulgar abuse and hate speech, which is forbidden by the Constitution.
According to the Forum, that Odumakin had been tolerated so far is testament to Nigerians’ quest for peace and respect for Afenifere.
“Odumakin is however carrying it too far and needs to be called to order. If that cannot be achieved at home, we as guardians of our culture and tradition are compelled to do so from outside.
“We hasten to remind him that part of the fall of the First Republic in 1966 arose from unguarded utterances of people in public limelight.
“We also recall the genocide in Rwanda, Kenya and Sierra Leone, which attended similar hate speeches.
“Nigeria has shed much blood. It is not in the interest of anyone who loves Nigeria to want to send Nigeria on that path.
“Odumakin would do well to listen, lest he continue to bring odium and ridicule not only to Afenifere and the Yoruba people but also to the good people of Nigeria,” the Forum said.