The leader of the pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Reuben Fasoranti, has resigned his position.
Mr. Fasoranti, who became the leader of the group after the death of Abraham Adesanya, said he had ceased being the chairman of the organization.
In the letter addressed to the Secretary General, Seinde Arogbofa, and made available to PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday, Mr. recalled a brief history of the group from its formation in 1951 under the leadership of the late Obafemi Awolowo.
“Considering my age, efforts and selfless dedication to my country, my state (Ondo), my political parties, my past leaders and my members in Afenifere both in Nigeria and in Diaspora, I hereby wish to inform you all that I have decided to step aside as leader of our great organization Afenifere,” he said.
In the letter which was also copied to other leaders of the group such as Ayo Adebanjo, Lanihun Ajayi, Olu Falae, Supo Sonibare and all state chairmen of Afenifere, the octogenarian noted that the group was formed to serve as an umbrella to be used to actualize the dream of a great nation and the Yoruba race.
“Over the years, Yorubas have tried to focus on a common goal. Chief Awolowo tried to ensure the oneness of our people with a lot of efforts notwithstanding the challenges he faced in the process. Unfortunately, he passed on without actualising this dream,” Mr. Fasoranti said.
“I joined Afenifere from inception with the following leaders of our race, Pa Onasanya, Alhaji Ganiyu Daodu, Pa Abraham Adesanya, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Sir Olanihun Ajayi, Chief Sam Sonibare, Chief Bola Ige, Chief Wunmi Adegbonmire and so on.
“The mantle of leadership fell on Late Pa Adekunle Ajasin and subsequently Pa Adesanya and then my humble self.
“As events have been unfolding in the past few years, the focus and goals of the founding fathers of our great organization ‘Afenifere’ were gradually eroded.”
He lamented that the erosion of the common focus and goals of the organisation equally made it difficult for members to work in unity.
“Several efforts were made to ensure the actualization of the Afenifere goals, but it appeared that we have not succeeded in achieving this,” He lamented.
“This is basically due to reasons best known to our members individually.”
Mr. Fasoranti also dwelt on the national conference, stating that the adoption of the national conference report had always been a focus and goal of the Afenifere group even long before the confab was set up by the last administration.
He said on the this premise, the group’s backing of President Goodluck Jonathan was not a mistake.
“The support of a leader who promised to implement this report was therefore not a mistake and inevitable despite all public insinuations,” he said.
Afenifere under the leadership of Mr. Fasoranti suffered a number contradictions as several of its members found new voices in different political parties.
The emergence of the All Progressives Congress and the anti-confab posture of its leaders including Bola Tinubu, also a Yoruba, did not help the Afenifere agenda.
The group then faced harsh criticisms from some Yoruba leaders for expressing their support for Jonathan.
The focus of the Afenifere group as it concerns the confab report include the restructuring the countries federal system, which would see the devolution of power from the federal to state governments.
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