Afenifere, PDP and South West

By Ayodele Fagbohun
It is curious to know that a section of  Afenifere, an otherwise vibrant  socio-political and cultural group founded by some progressive politicians, led by an elderstatemen,  Chief Ayo Adebanjo and its spokesperson, Yinka Odumakin have unilaterally constituted the group the chiefest and unofficial month-piece of the opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the fast approaching 2019 presidential polls.

Afenifere members are obviously divided and are in discordant tunes on some burning national issues the group ought to have taken decisive actions.

From the  nick of time, the national leader, the nonagenarian Pa (Chief)  Reuben Famuyide Fasoranti (OFR)  called for caution that Afenifere politicians, led by an elderstatesman, Ayo Adebanjo and its spokesperson, Yinka Odumakin  who have unilaterally constituted the group the chiefest and unofficial month-piece should not be stampeded into endorsing any presidential party standard bearer.

To the chagrin of all and sundry, Afenifere discountenanced the advice of the sage and went ahead to adopt the former  Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar ( a Fulani), a  spillover of the rank indiscipline and social malaise taken its tolls on the social fabric of the decadent society.

We must not forget in a hurry, the 16 years misrule of the People’s Democratic Party. Virtually alienated Yoruba race and the entire geopolitical zone with the criminal neglect of infrastructure especially the road networks in utter disrepair. The abysmal performance of federal government was very pronounced under the watch of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo/Atiku Abubakar (1999-2007). It  is galling and unfortunate that  the duo of Obasanjo/Atiku failed woefully to dualise Owo/Ikare, Akure/Ilesha major motorways and the rest in the South West which have become deathtraps. Lives and valuable property were lost almost on daily basis on the roads.

The Yoruba nation imbued with unique privilege and head start to espouse and  champion the  cause of dynamic progressive politics and thoughts which ultimately redounds to the intellectual advancement and political consciousness of the people.

We won’t relent on this much vaunted  cherished and imperishable legacy which the introduction bequeathed to the Western Region in 1955 our resources must be channeled to the utmost to regain our rightful place in Nigeria’s political arena. All hands must be on deck to work assiduously in  harmonious relationship with our vast pool of progressive and charismatic leaders with bias and affinity for political party of the “left” “progressivism” diametrically opposed to the right wing conservatism “Toryism”.

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This has been our major political battle cry and rallying point since the debut of the  epic political era of our late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

Bluntly put, the PDP  under the presidency of  Olusegun Obasanjo/Atiku Abubakar worked at cross purposes out of  envy and rabid jealousy and in a diabolical fashion to obliterate the legacies of Chief Obafemi Awolowo  in the  South West. Obasanjo and Atiku respectively floated Universities namely: Bells’ University at Otta and American University in Yola that are probably the most expensive  tertiary institutions in a poverty stricken but education loving society like Nigeria. The nefarious activities of the government run by Obasanjo/Atiku Abubakar was in the main responsible to much poverty, squalor and want the president Buhari administration is grappling with.

Look at the mood of the ordinary Nigerians like the plebeians in the ancient Roman Empire under Julius Caesar unable to hold their opinions due to the socio-political vicissitudes  of the era.

We should not forget in a hurry the financial and economic rip-off of  the nation’s economy,  monumental scandals, sharp practices flagrantly unleashed on government business and its total liquidation presided over by People’s Democratic Party 16 years’ regime of debauchery, profligation,  planlessness and impunity.

It is high time it was dawned on us that we cannot make the omelets without the breaking of eggs. It is most disheartening and sad that the nation still depends on importation of some staple foods like rice from countries like Malaysia less endowed both in human and natural resources than Nigeria.

It should be recalled, Malaysia came cap in hand to beg for palm oil seedlings from the progressive government of Western Region (1952-1959) under the auspices of Chief Obafemi Awolowo that put high premium on agriculture.

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Malaysia is now a fast growing and self reliant economy that provide for  the citizens and other immigrants around the world, Nigeria inclusive and a proud exporter of palm oil.

We can take a cue from Malaysia or  Singapore, a fast industrialized small  Island nation like Lagos State. We must halt the lazy trend of becoming a dumping ground for all sorts of imported goods that we can produce within our domain to boost our economy in the doldrums.

By all means, this is not by mere wishful thinking, folding of arms on blame games or ceremonial charade of partisan endorsement that will not promote the best interests of  South West, restructuring or no restructuring which in the main is gestated in ambiguity merely to hoodwink the electorate for electoral purposes.

It is unthinkable that  Chief Ayo Adebanjo,  a highly respected self confessed Awoist that wined and dined with revered Awo and implacable critic of Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo could either by proxy or otherwise took part in endorsing Atiku Abubakar in the palatial lodge of Obasanjo  in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.

What a political venality of the highest order, a palpable sellout and huge betrayal of Obafemi Awolowo’s undying political   legacies.

To say the least, this is a gross violation and disservice to the cause  of progressive politics over the years. It is  ludicrous that Afenifere  sold itself as the greatest and most vociferous champion in the puerile controversy that president Mohammadu Buhari has a lot to explain over school certificate palaver.

Afenifere should be shamefaced for Major General Mohammadu Buhari (rtd), former Military Head of State (1984-1985) has served the  nation at different levels in the commanding heights of the economy without blemish and indubitable excellent track record of probity and zero tolerance for corruption.

Probably, was it  not this same  Mohammadu Buhari in the defunct ANPP that this, Afenifere/Alliance for Democracy (AD) wanted to adopt in the run-up to 2003 presidential election at the instance of the progressives led by Chief Olu Falae and the then late governor of Ondo State, Chief Adebayo Adefarati (Baba Peace) right in the Government House, Alagbaka in Akure.

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Afenifere and all the right thinking Yoruba  populace must have a rethink at  this crucial phase of our nation’s development, either to cast our lots with a particular candidate whose joint ticket will benefit our own kith and kin, a distinguished and eminent Professor of Law, Prof  Yemi Osinbajo who doubles as a responsible and happy in-law of the late sage, the indomitable Awo.

For goodness sake, what ails this Afenifere, whose later day spokesperson, Yinka Odumakin likened to a fair-weather politician obsessed with filthy lucre and whose venal politics knows no bound.

Or shall we in the South West with our eyes wide open opt for another round of political servitude under a banal, reactionary plutocratic and ultra conservative People’s Democratic Party (PDP) administration that will be more arrogant, bestial and repressible than the present benign Buhari APC led administration.

It is preposterous for Atiku Abubakar and his ilk in the new found People’s Democratic Party to dangle the position of secretaryship euphemistically called SFG on the South West. We in the South West won’t play the role of second fiddle. The Yoruba in the South West have the wherewithal, and the electoral preponderance over and above any other ethnic group in the country.

It stands to reason therefore that by the grace of  God and based on Yoruba people advancement in education and enlightenment we humbly   espouse  we shall vote em-block for Mohammadu Buhari come February 2019 presidential poll.

We shall produce Senate President to be appropriately redesignated “Senate Leader” as practiced in advance democracy United States to be specific), as the nation cannot afford two presidents  in a Republic.

We shall produce senate leadership come next –political dispensation in order to restore sanity, party discipline and good governance that is elusive under the current experiment due to the inordinate  ambition and political avarice of  Dr Olusola Saraki’s presidency.

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