Put Yoruba interest first, Afenifere’s former scribe tells Adebanjo, Fasoranti
The warring leaders of Afenifere have been urged to sheathe their swords and allow peace to reign in the overall interest of the Yoruba ethnic group and its progress.
A former National Publicity Secretary of the organisation and former two-term member of the House of Representatives, Chief Babatunde Oduyoye, in a statement, in Ibadan, called on the leadership of Afenifere, now divided along Pa Reuben Fasoranti and Pa Ayo Adebanjo factions, to put the interest of the Yoruba people first at this moment in history.
Oduyoye, who also served as the Minority Whip of the House of Representatives during his tenure in the chamber, spoke against the backdrop of the disagreements within Afenifere, especially the ambition and eventual victory of the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in the February 25 presidential election.
He maintained that it was saddening that leaders, who should be the moral compass of the Yoruba nation, were allowing division in their ranks, warning all sides to cease fire until a common ground can be reached on the issues.
Oduyoye equally called on well-meaning Yoruba elders, traditional rulers, and men of reason to wade into the crisis rocking the Afenifere, noting that if allowed to fester, it would end up consuming the organisation and eventually affect the Yoruba nation.
According to Oduyoye, the evil intentions of the enemies of the Yoruba ethnic group, who have always tried to bring down the Afenifere over the years, would materialise unless well-meaning Yoruba leaders rally to save the organisation.
The former lawmaker equally warned individuals taking sides in the ongoing face-off to desist from fanning the embers of discord within the Afenifere, noting that it was untoward for any Yoruba man to insult elders because of political cleavages.
Oduyoye said: “One has heard and watched with much pain the brickbats and unsavoury attacks within and against the leadership of the Afenifere in the last few weeks and it becomes imperative to wade in.
“I call on all well-meaning Yoruba indigenes, especially our royal fathers and elder statesmen, to rise at this point and bring together the different interests, which now threaten the continued existence of the pan-Yoruba sociopolitical group, Afenifere.
“The Afenifere, as a brainchild of Papa Obafemi Awolowo, has fought for the interest of the Yoruba nation at different points in history and it remains the only surviving umbrella body that can unite all Yoruba and protect its interests.”