Afenifere Splits: Younger Elements, Akande Reject Adebanjo

No Comments » November 30th, 2008 posted by // Categories: Yoruba Affairs



November 19, 2008

Afenifere Splits: Younger Elements, Akande Reject Adebanjo’s Group

By Jide Osokoya / Moyo Fabiyi

The decision of a faction of the Pan-yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, to instal Chief Reuben Fasoranti as the new chairman of the group, in Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun state, tomorrow, has split the group.

The late Chief Abraham Adesanya was the last chairman of the group. P.M.News gathered that some prominent members of the group, especially the youths, have rejected the move and would not attend the meeting.

Most Afenifere chieftains contacted on the development, like Chief Bisi Akande, Mr. Wale Oshun and Yinka Odumakin, told P.M.News that they were not aware of the planned installation of a successor to the late Adesanya.

An elder of the group, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, had announced at the weekend, that a meeting of Afenifere had been fixed for Ijebu-Igbo, tomorrow, to ratify Chief Reuben Fasoranti as the new leader of the group.

Reacting to the development, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, National Publicity Secretary of the group, said: “I belong to the renewal group which will not have anything to do with the agenda or decisions taken at such a meeting.

“My group of Afenifere is not aware of such a meeting, and I believe it will be an agenda in futility, because a part of Afenifere cannot claim to be the entire body. We are not part of such an arrangement,” Odumakin declared.

Another chieftain of Afenifere, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, told P.M.News that he was not informed officially of such a meeting, adding that he learnt about it on the pages of newspapers. The Chairman, Afenifere renewal group, Hon. Olawale Oshun, said there was no consultation whatsoever.

“Efforts to reconcile the group, as far as I am concerned, had failed, and instead of these elderly members of the group to try and bring everybody together for a peaceful co-existence, they are aggravating the matter.

“How can you bring and instal a leader without bringing all the aggrieved parties together first, and rebuild the house. I wonder what they intend to achieve with this plot,” Hon. Oshun told P.M.News.

In a statement entitled: “Afenifere: It’s renewal time!”, jointly signed by Hon. Wale Oshun and Mr. Yinka Odumakin, the Afenifere renewal group described the proposed Ijebu-Igbo meeting and ratification of a leader as “a recipe for another round of sabre-rattling, factional squabbles and abandoning the vision of the founding fathers of Afenifere for personal quarrels, inward throwing of punches and open rounds of acrimony.

“It is a weather-beaten path that has substantially distracted from confronting the challenges facing the yoruba nation. We must put on record that the late leader of Afenifere, Senator Abraham Adesanya, spent the last five years of his active life resolving internal disputes among his followers till he collapsed in the middle of the crisis and never recovered.

“To resume that line of action six months after his death, would appear to us as dancing on the grave of Adesanya, whose last earthly regret, was not leaving one united Afenifere behind, like Awolowo and Ajasin did. For us in the Afenifere Renewal Group, it is a big tragedy that while a Barrack Obama was able to spend just two years to mobilise America for change, we spent the last eight years of our lives settling crisis,” the Afenifere renewal group stated.

In his own reaction, the national chairman of the Action Congress and a chieftain of Afenifere, Chief Bisi Akande, blamed the Fasoranti group for the crisis in the group.

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