Afenifere urges politicians with different ideologies to exit group
As it marks its 70th anniversary today, the Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, has said that those who may still desire to pursue political ambition outside whatever the ‘progressive’ political camp adopted as close to the Action Group’s (AG) tendency should be bold and honest enough to leave the group.
In an address delivered in Lagos, yesterday, the former Secretary-General of the group, Mr. Ayo Opadokun, said that since it was historically and factually established that AG was the registered political party, while Afenifere had always been a movement in Yorubaland in the times of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, those whose present political ambition differs from the original philosophy of the organisation, should take their exit from the group.
According to Opadokun, “it was based on the political philosophy of AG that the defunct Alliance for Democracy was registered as a political party in 1998.”
While contending that Afenifere as a platform should no more be used for political expediency, Opadokun said: ”The unfortunate inconsistencies of some of those who are associating themselves with the organisation when it suits them only to railroad themselves into Afenifere again after their political misadventures and or miscalculations have negatively impacted on the credibility and acceptability of the movement.
“After all, Yoruba tradition and culture support plurality of views and opinions but that the best of such should lead our nationality. We all must be mindful of the Yoruba proverb, which enjoins our people not to sleep and position their heads in the same direction. The others should be free to present their programmes along with others from which our people should be free to make their choices.”
Opadokun, who is also the former General Secretary and Spokesman of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), said the most important pre-occupation of any serious-minded political group in Yoruba Nation today is to make room for reconciliation so as to unite their ranks.
He said what should be paramount to various political platforms in Yoruba Nation at present is to appreciate that their focus must be on how to legally and legitimately secure freedom and liberty for the people to pursue their individual and group ambitions to showcase their talents and ingenuity to benefit themselves and the society.
MEANWHILE, in a telephone interaction with The Guardian, incumbent leader of Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, said the group has remained consistent with the agitation for true federalism in the last 70 years of its existence, saying: “When we first started, we were branded as separatist group but today, what we advocated is still very germane.”
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