New Dawn Nigeria

The problem with Afenifere-Osoba

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Former Ogun State Governor Olusegun Osoba has reflected on the protracted crisis in Afenofere, the pan-Yoruba socio-political group,saying the only solution us for its leaders to close ranks and embrace reforms.

The veteran journalist lamented that the organisation has closed its eyes to reforms which can foster dynamism and foster a sense of participation.

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The former governor, who blamed the chieftains for the protracted crisis that has enveloped the group, said the solution is attainable.

Aremo Osoba also wondered why Afenifere lacked succession pattern, a constitution and drive for youth inclusion and participation, which are critical to its solidification and survival.

He told reporters in Lagos that Afenifere had a good vision which can continuously be realised in the interest of Yoruba race.

The leadership of the umbrella body has split, with two elders, Pa Rueben Fasoranti and Senator Ayo Fasanmi, claiming to be leader. Fasoranti, former old Ondo State Finance Commissioner and Fasanmi, President of the defunct Action Group (AG) Youth Association, joined the political family in 1951. They were loyal to the former leader, Second Republic Senator Abraham Adesanya.

Efforts to bring the two camps together by the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), led by Olawale Oshun, at a meeting in the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Conference Hall, Ibadan nine years ago collapsed. Since then, there has been no renewal of reconciliation.

Two years ago, Fasoranti resigned as leader, alleging that members of the group lacked discipline. He complained that younger elements were not listening to the wise counsel of elders.

However, he was persuaded to rescind his decision to leave the apex leadership to avoid the effects his departure may have on the organisation.

In recent times, politics has further polarised the fold. While a section of the group has been suporting the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) since 2015, another section has teamed up with the All Progressives Congress (APC). Those suporting APC alleged that those suporting the PDP have derailed from the progressive ideology.

Osoba said: “The future of Afenifere is in the hand of God and the God of Yoruba will definitely not abandon His own. Our leaders, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Adekunle Ajasin, Chief Adesanya and Chief Bola Ige, will not die in vain.

“All of us must take the blame. We don’t have succession plan. We waste our time on acrimony. Up to now, we don’t have Afenifere constitution.”

The octogenarian politician traced the crisis rocking Afenifere to the mismanagement of the presidential nomination of the now weakened Alliance for Democracy (AD) at D’Rovans Hotel, Ibadan in 1999 and the deep seated rift between the late Chief Olawale Dawodu and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in the Lagos chapter.

Osoba lamented the weakness of the crisis resolution mechanism in the organisation and lack of youth enlistment in its structures and propagation of its vision and goals.

He added: “They claim to be Afenifere. No youth is with them

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