The pan -Yoruba socio -political group , Afenifere , has denied endorsing President Muhammadu Buhari.
The group also accused All Progressives Congress chieftain , Asiwaju Bola Tinubu , of being behind the “ fake ” endorsement of Buhari.
A newspaper had reported on Friday that some Afenifere chieftains , led by Senator Ayo Fasanmi , endorsed Buhari at a gathering in Ibadan on Thursday .
Others who attended the gathering include Lagos APC chieftain , Prince Tajudeen Olusi ; a former Deputy Governor to Tinubu , Prince Biodun Ogunleye ; APC chieftain , Dr. Abayomi Fini and a former Governor of the old Oyo State , Omololu Olunloyo .
Speaking with our correspondent on Friday , however , the spokesman for Afenifere , Mr . Yinka Odumakin , said it was “unfortunate ” that Tinubu , who had discredited Afenifere , could organise such a charade .
He said most of the people at the gathering where Buhari was endorsed were strangers to the group .
Odumakin said the “renegade” group was only taking advantage of Senator Fasanmi who was advanced in age .
The Afenifere , Odumakin said , “That is a fake Afenifere group powered by Bola Ahmed Tinubu . If you look at the names of the people at that particular group , the only person that was once with us is Senator Fasanmi and we believe they are just using him .
“The masquerade behind this entire show is Bola Tinubu , who has plenty of money. Why is he hiding under Afenifere ? Haven’ t he and his people been disparaging Afenifere ? Why has Afenifere suddenly become attractive to them ?
“When Afenifere was fighting for the rights of Yoruba people attacked by herdsmen in Ile- Ife and in Akure , where was Bola Tinubu ? Suddenly , he remembers Afenifere because elections are here .
“Let Tinubu come and meet us directly . Why is he hiding and using our name ?”
Odumakin said Afenifere had said many times that it would only be supporting a candidate who supports restructuring , especially true federalism.
He said the endorsement would be announced after a meeting with other socio – cultural groups such as Ohanaeze NdIgbo and the Northern Elders Forum .
The Afenifere spokesman said , “We are for restructuring . And when it is time to endorse a candidate , it will be a joint decision with Pan-Niger Delta Forum , Ohanaeze , Middle Belt Forum and the Northern Elders Forum. ”