Fasoranti Becomes Afenifere Leader

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





Fasoranti Becomes Afenifere Leader
From Omololu Ogunmade and Jaiyeola Andrews in Ijebu Igbo, 11.21.2008



Six months after the death of former leader of Afenifere, the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Senator Abraham Adesanya, the organisation yesterday named Chief Reuben Fasoranti as the substantive leader of the group in Ijebu Igbo, home of the late Adesanya.
At a well attended congress comprising members across the six South-west states and Kwara, participants said Fasoranti, who had acted in that capacity for four years, was deemed fit to take over the baton of leadership, having proved himself as a worthy and dutiful leader capable of steering the ship of the group.
Present at the meeting were  former presidential candidate of All Peoples Party (APP) and Alliance for Democracy (AD) in 1999, Chief Olu Falae, two respected leaders of the group, Sir Olaniwun Ajayi and Chief Ayo Adebanjo, the group’s General Secretary, Senator Femi Okurounmu and leader of  Lagos State chapter of the group, Chief Supo Shonibare.
Others were Senator Mojisoluwa Akinfenwa, Chief Wumi Adegbonmire, Chief Kole Omololu and former deputy governor of Ogun State, Alhaji Adegbenga Kaka.
After about two hours of deliberation,  former leader of Pro-National Congress Organisation (PRONACO), Baba Omojola, moved the motion for the confirmation of Fasoranti as Adesanya’s successor, saying: I hereby move the motion that the acting leader who had been doing well be confirmed as leader of Afenifere.”

The motion was seconded by Chief Lere Adebayo, a member from Osun State and ratified by the entire congress.

Speaking after the confirmation, Okurounmu said the confirmation  was well deserved, saying: “one of the things that has endeared him to us in his acting  capacity was his efforts to re-unite us and see that all of us come under one platform.”

He narrated how all efforts to reconcile the faction led by Senator Ayo Fasanmi proved abortive, despite the constitution of a committee led by a prominent Yoruba personality, Justice Kayode Eso (rtd).

According to him, the Fasanmi faction shunned all  meetings called by Eso’s committee, disclosing that rather, they requested to see Eso in privacy, during which they told him that they were no longer interested in their membership of Afenifere.

He also recalled how further efforts by the first military governor of the old Western Region, General Adeyinka Adebayo(rtd), to achieve reconciliation was futile, saying the rival group would either jettison the meeting called by Adebayo, or come to be excused from the meeting.

In his acceptance speech, Fasoranti said he was overwhelmed by the  support of the people present at the gathering and their willingness to confer the position of that magnitude on him.

He said  he had acted as  leader of the group with tears and anxiety, expecting regrets that  persons expected to give maximum co-operation in the pursuit of the well-being of Yoruba people turned against him and other leaders of the group.

He assured that  leaders of the group have refused to be discouraged, pledging that he would continue to extend his hands of fellowship to the dissident group.



Fasoranti confirmed Afenifere leader

Written by Kolade Larewaju and Olasunkanmi Akoni   
Friday, 21 November 2008
A faction of the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, yesterday proclaimed Chief Reuben Fasoranti its leader to succeed the late Senator Abraham Adesanya.

Rising from its meeting, the first to be held at the Ijebu-Igbo country home of its late leader, Adesanya, since his death, the group said Fasoranti was adopted as leader considering all he has done since he became acting leader.

Briefing newsmen after the meeting, Secretary of the organisation, Dr. Femi Okunrounmu, said a motion for the adoption of Fasoranti as leader was moved by Baba Omojola and was unanimously adopted.

He said: “One of the things that endeared Pa Fasoranti to us as a competent leader is because of the efforts he has being making in the last two years to reunite everybody under the umbrella of Afenifere.”

He added that eight meetings were called to reconcile the two groups but that while the Fasoranti group attended all the meetings, the senator Ayo Fasanmi group did not attend any.

“We don’t want to waste time; we must move forward and must make progress. Those who have left Afenifere are those whose presence has been retarding the progress of the group.”

Addressing newsmen later, Fasoranti said his acting leadership in the last four years had been with a lot of work, adding that he had dealt with people in the hope that they would work with the organisation only for them to turn their back on it.

He said that for three years he had tried to unite Afenifere but that all efforts were in vain.

“But we are not discouraged because Awolowo (late Obafemi) experienced worse situations than that; his closest friends betrayed him.




‘Spirits Of Awo, Ajasin, Adesanya Are With Me’—New Afenifere Leader

By Abiodun Onafuye

Chairman of Afenifere, the yoruba socio-political group, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, has declared that the spirits of the founding fathers of the group are with him in his onerous task to move the yoruba race forward.

Speaking with P.M.News after his ratification as the new leader of the group, at Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun state, the home town of its former leader, Pa Abraham Adesanya, the septuagenarian stated: “It seems that as I stood up, I saw Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Pa Adekunle Ajasin and Pa Abraham Adesanya around me. The feeling of their presence around me will spur me on to perform and surpass Pa Adesanya.

“I give thanks to the everlasting God who has made today a reality. I have been in the acting capacity for the past four years and I got the confirmation today. I promise to continue from where my predecessor, Pa Adesanya, stopped.“

Commenting on the factional group in Afenifere, the Ondo state-born Afenifere leader said: “We have been trying to bring them back into the fold, but they have not been responding. Several meetings have been called in the past but they failed to turn up. I can assure you that my first duty is to mend all the cracks in the group, as that would enable us move forward.

“I am not fighting with anybody. I have dealt with difficult people and people have promised to work with us, but at the end of the day, they turned their back on us.

“It is not a new thing. Chief Awolowo experienced same. Pa Ajasin and Pa Adesanya also experienced the same thing but in the end, they agreed with their ideologies. I will set up machinery to see that the crisis rocking the group is settled. I assure you of that.”

Another yoruba leader, who was at the occasion, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, promised to give total support to the new leader so as to lead the yoruba race to the promised land. Adebanjo condemned the view of some people, who are claiming that the group has become a PDP group.

The Ijebu chief said: “We will never succumb to pressures. The group is not a PDP group. Many of us are from different political parties and are of different political affiliations, which has nothing to do with Afenifere.

“The group is a socio-cultural group that is out to protect the interest and rights of the yoruba people. There is no iota of truth in the fabricated rumour. We are still on the track laid by Chief Awolowo, polished by Pa Ajasin and Pa Abraham Adesanya. No cause for alarm”.

General Secretary of the group, Senator Femi Okuronmu, said the choice of Chief Fasoranti, as the new leader, was informed by his leadership qualities.

The motion to adopt the septuagenarian was moved by the president of Apapo Omo Odua, Baba Omojola, from Lagos state and was seconded by Senator Lere Adebayo, from Osun state. It was unanimously supported with a thunderous applause from all members present at the congress, which was the first in Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun state, after the demise of Pa Abraham Adesanya.

Members of the factional group, Afenifere Renewal group, including Wale Oshun, Yinka Odumakin and Wale Adebanwi, have vowed not to have anything to do with the new leader.


How Fasoranti emerged new Afenifere leaderFrom MOSHOOD ADEBAYO, Abeokuta
Friday, November 21, 2008

The late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo

The General Assembly of the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere yesterday in Ijebu-Igbo, the home of its former leader, Pa Abraham Adesanya adopted Pa Reuben Fasoranti who functioned in acting capacity for four years as its substantive leader.

The late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, former governor of Ondo State, the late Pa Adekunle Ajasin and Senator Abraham Adesanya who died earlier this year were past leaders of the Yoruba group that had lately been factionalized.

The motion to adopt the septuagenarian as new leader of the group was moved by the President of Apapo of Omo Odua, Baba Omojola and seconded by Senator Lere Adebayo from Osun State with thunderous applause from members who attended the congress.

The congress was the first in Ijebu-Igbo after the death of its former leader, Senator Adesanya.
Briefing the press after the event, the Secretary-General of the group, Senator Femi Okunrounmu said the choice of Fasoranti who hails from Ondo State was informed by his sterling performance and good leadership qualities while acting as protem leader.
In his acceptance speech, Fasoranti promised to continue the good work of his predecessors, noting that leading a cultural group like the Afenifere was not easy.

His words: “Although I have been acting for the past four years, it has been with a lot of work, a lot of fears, a lot of anxiety. I have dealt with difficult people and people also vowed to work with us but at the end of the day turned their back on us, but we were not discouraged because Awolowo experienced more worse situations than that. Even his closest friends betrayed him.”

Fasoranti decried the education policy in Nigeria, lamenting the perceived bastardization of the foundation laid by Awolowo. “We are looking forward to the day when the past glory days will be restored.”

According to him, “people in government today think they have money to spend, they are destroying the whole system not only education, our tradition, our moral being together.”
Speaking on the reconciliatory efforts, Fasoranti noted that in the past three years, the group had been trying to win back those who left the group.

He assured that under his leadership, Afenifere would not relent in its efforts to bring all members together. “The best is not yet out, we will continue to stretch our hands of fellowship to those that had alleged that we are working for the Peoples Democratic Party, but this is a laughable matter. We will continue to work with others.”

Okunrounmu who also addressed newsmen said the Justice Kayode Eso Committee, comprising about 16 distinguished Yoruba leaders set up to bring about peace among the two factions tried its best.
“We called eight meetings and attended all the meetings, but the Fasanmi group failed to attend any of the meetings. We don’t want to waste time. We must move forward. Afenifere must move forward and we must make progress.

“Those who have left Afenifere were those whose presence has been retarding the progress of the group. We shall continue to work on reconciliation now that we have substantive leader who can represent us anywhere.

“A lot of reactions has been trailing our actions. One of the things that endeared Fasoranti to us is the efforts he has been making in the last two years to unite everybody under the umbrella of the Afenifere.”

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