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Fasoranti at 98, a political colossus

By Ayodele Fagbohun

At 98, Chief Reuben Famuyide Fasoranti (OFR) remains the astute national leader of the Pan Yoruba Socio-cultural and political group, Afenifere and the best governor Ondo State never had.

Indeed, he is a colossus, leader in the millions; and galaxy amongst the radiant stars, a strong personality to be relied upon and trusted at any point in time especially at the inauspicious time of political crisis fomented by our political actors which periodically loom large on the political horizon.

Baba Fasoranti would promptly as a true leader and democrat evinced rare virtue of equanimity; doused the unnecessary tension and restored peace and amity on the frayed nerves in a bid to move Ondo State forward.

In the course of his long political exploits and peregrination, Pa Fasoranti, ever calm, serene and unperturbed remains constant like the Northern Star not minding where the pendulum would sway having mapped out his own strategy and resolutely forged ahead, no matter the asses that brayed and are still braying in the field.

Perhaps, the rare attribute of statesmanship, nationalism, honesty of purpose and industry which Fasoranti harnassed to nurture and nurse Afenifere as a big political family.

Unfortunately, some chieftains in the group led by Pa Ayo Adebanjo thought differently and sang a discordant tune of open betrayal to the lofty fiscal discipline and party loyalty handed down by the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo/Action Group in the days of yore.

Ayo Adebanjo and his splinter group unceremoniously fall by the way side.

They could not muster enough courage and staunch party discipline extant over decades to sustain Afenifere platform.

Besides, Chief Fasoranti was the undisputable governorship material for Ondo State after the former governor, Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin.

Fasoranti was the preferred candidate of Governor Ajasin to be his running-mate, instead of Chief Akin Omoboriowo who eventually became the deputy governor.

It is pertinent to recall that Chief Ajasin, an ascetic politician who lived a Spartan life was himself an epitome of unimpeachable integrity.

Even though Chief Fasoranti was geographer and an educationist, he was trusted with ministry of Finance ahead of people with requisite and cognate professional affiliation on the weight of his integrity and commitment to probity.

Governor Ajasin further eulogized Fasoranti in high epithets as follows: “I have known Chief Fasoranti for a long time within and outside politics.  He was by any standard a solid personality.

“He was solid in capability, integrity, dependability, efficiency, effectiveness and loyalty for this reason, I decided to put him in-charge of Finance as my Finance Commissioner.”

Chief Fasoranti always decry the implications of disunity in Yoruba land especially amongst the Afenifere members.

This amongst other intrinsic qualities of leadership are the attributes of Pa Fasoranti organize men and materials with a view to providing Ondo State with good government in all ramifications, second to former political icon, Governor Michael Adekunle Ajasin.

However, due to lack of foresight and outright political miscalculation, some Akure elite within the Alliance for Democarcy (AD)/Afenifere traded off Pa Fasoranti’s experience gathered over the years, and sheer merit in pursuit of shadow, Alice-in-wonderland.

In spite of the political and personal vicissitudes ranging from political persecution, frequenting one jail house to the other across the country and petty intrigues, squabbles, ill-fellow feeling and avuncular animosity, Fasoranti bears the calamities with rare fortitude, courage and equanimity.

Baba continues like a pilgrim to soldier on undeterred on the onerous task and mission of nation building even at 98.

Behind the thick cloud, there is always a silverlining , the president, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State under the platform of Alliance for Democracy (AD)/Afenifere while Pa R.F. Fasoranti was one of its national leader.

During the last presidential campaign, Bola Tinubu visited Baba Fasoranti in his Omolere residence, Fasoranti prayed and wished him a resounding victory and triumph at the polls.  And it came to pass!

For a better society and new Nigeria, Chief Fasoranti should be a role model to the ever growing rank of political aspirants and politicians gallivanting all over the place, if they are really convinced of making any success in the call to service.

They are strictly enjoined to cultivate and imbibe the rare virtue of honesty, probity, hardwork which personify Chief R.F. Fasoranti as a public figure and foremost educationist par excellence.

Daddy, I wish you a happy eventful and glorious birthday!!

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