The Organising Secretary of Afenifere, Chief Kole Omololu, has affirmed that Chief Reuben Fasoranti remains the sole leader of the pan-Yoruba socio-political group. This clarification comes amidst recent developments within the organization. Speaking to The PUNCH, Omololu emphasized that from its inception, Afenifere has been led by Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Adekunle Ajasin, Chief Abraham Adesanya, and currently, Chief Reuben Fasoranti.
This statement was made following a meeting convened by Pa Ayo Adebanjo, the erstwhile acting leader of the group, in Isanya Ogbo, Ogun State. The meeting at Adebanjo’s hometown declared him the leader and Oba Oladipupo Olaitan the Deputy Leader. However, Omololu’s remarks contradict this claim, asserting Fasoranti’s leadership.
The meeting led by Adebanjo also involved notable figures like Oba Oladipupo Olaitan, Senator Femi Okurounmu, and Senator Adegbenga Kaka. It aimed to reinforce Afenifere’s identity as a socio-political organization rooted in Awolowo’s school of thought, distinct from a socio-cultural representation of the Yoruba.
In contrast, a recent meeting at Pa Reuben Fasoranti’s residence in Ondo State led to scrapping the acting leader position, which Adebanjo had occupied since 2022. The Afenifere Elders Caucus was formed, with Fasoranti as the leader and Adebanjo as a member. This caucus now advises the Leader of Afenifere and Asiwaju Yoruba.
The recent developments within Afenifere, marked by differing leadership claims, highlight the complexities and challenges of managing legacy socio-political organizations. Affirming Chief Reuben Fasoranti as the sole leader by the Organising Secretary, Chief Kole Omololu, is a significant step towards maintaining the group’s unity and purpose.
Afenifere’s role in Yoruba socio-political discourse has been pivotal, and its leadership must reflect the values and principles upon which it was founded. The organization’s commitment to the Awolowo school of thought and its distinction from being a mere socio-cultural representation of the Yoruba people is crucial in maintaining its relevance and effectiveness.
Forming the Afenifere Elders Caucus, with a blend of experienced and respected leaders, is a positive move towards ensuring that the group’s decisions and actions are well-considered and representative of its broader objectives. This approach can help Afenifere navigate the evolving political landscape while staying true to its foundational ethos.
In echoing our initial sentiment, the leadership dynamics within Afenifere should be handled with wisdom and a deep understanding of the group’s historical and cultural significance. Through prudent management, Afenifere can continue to play a constructive role in shaping the socio-political future of the Yoruba people and Nigeria.
Did You Know?
- Afenifere, founded in the late 1940s, has been a prominent voice in Yoruba socio-political affairs for decades.
- The group played a significant role in the struggle for Nigeria’s independence and has influenced the country’s political developments.
- Afenifere is known for its advocacy for federalism and restructuring Nigeria’s political system.
- The organization has been a platform for some of Nigeria’s most notable political leaders and thinkers.
- Afenifere’s influence extends beyond politics, impacting cultural, educational, and economic aspects of Yoruba society and Nigeria.