Need for Afenifere to re-strategise
By Ayodele Fagbohun
The presidential election has come and gone. The winners, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and millions of sympathisers at home and in diaspora should take the victory as no victor and no vanquished; not from the position of weakness anyway.
But we will concentrate on thought processes and efforts to transform the economy from pedestrian; and embarking on ethical revolution to consolidate the nation on sure and virile footing.
However, the Afenifere, factional Yoruba Socio-cultural and political group whose major spokes persons, Chief Ayo Adebanjo and Yinka Odumakin, are advisedly dared not engage in bitter recriminations and diversionary tactics to rationalise the manifest of its adopted candidate, Atiku Abubakar the flagbearer of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the last presidential elections.
For backing the wrong horse, Afenifere has in plain terms not done justice to the martial ordour and staunch political ideal of the late sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo whose monumental works Ayo Adebanjo eagerly and profusely quotes extempore and always make allusions to deceive and hoodwink the younger generation not well versed in the contemporary political history of Nigeria.
Chief Obafemi Awolowo was paraphrased to have stated that whilst some politicians indulges in alcoholic beverages and busy carousing with women of easy virtue, Awo was at his post burning the midnight oil proffering solution to the nation’s problem.
These sterling attributes of hardwork and industry were exemplified in the political life of Chief Awolowo.
When General Olusegun Obasanjo as Head of State lifted ban on political activities in October, 1978 in preparation for the handover to the civilians after the general elections in October 1, 1979. It was on record that Chief Awolowo was the first political leader to announce his political party Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) along ideological line of “Democratic Socialism,” after twenty-four (24) hours of lifting the ban.
Awolowo alongside other party faithful work assiduously to package UPN as a vibrant and populist political machine to transform the political landscape of South West where it was in firm control and a catalyst of radical change in outlook of governance, rule of law and popular democracy in other parts of the country.
To amplifying my submissions, the UPN government controlled states of LOOBO namely Lagos Oyo, Ogun, Bendel and Ondo, floated a chain of schemes which free education took high priority, generated a new “revolutionary impulse” that was bound to pervade the entire federation of Nigeria.”
When the rabid and banal conservatives in the National party of Nigeria (NPN) dominated Kaduna State House of Assembly struck in the North. It spewed out deadly poison; instantly inflamed and destroyed the People’s Redemption Party (PRP) led Alhaji Abdulkardir Balare Musa administration; halted free education newly introduced to Kaduna and Kano States courtesy or Obafemi Awolowo led UPN controlled states in the South.
On the illegal deportation of Alhaji Abdulramah Shugaba, the majority leader of Bornu House of Assembly by the corrupt iron fisted NPN oligarchy. The UPN national leader, Chief Obafemi Awolowo moved swiftly, deployed a team of lawyers to fight the sheer illegality and ranked maladministration that was the hellmark of NPN federal administration.
That was that rear thoughtful mien and the martial ardour with which Chief Obafemi Awolowo conducted himself, equally imbued with super human and uncanny ability to organise the country if given the chance to become the president.
Awolowo dared not cut corners; nor compromised with crass political opportunists, morally bankrupt and financially corrupt individuals or group of strange bed fellows as a ploy to attain so called landmark project that is tantamount to mere “sound and fury” and many not stand test of time afterall.
It is very unfortunate and sad commentary that Ayo Adebanjo and his group do not take a cue from the avatar, Awo in the build up of invincible political parties like Action Group and Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) now banned as mustard seed that would grow to an oak tree where in a proverbial term, the birds of the air will find refuge.
Instead of being the rally point with the Cicero of Esa Oke, Uncle Bola Ige, the dynamo of Yoruba politics who singlehandedly was instrumental to the formation and drafting of the constitutions of the three (3) registered political parties namely the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), All People’s Party (APP) and Alliance for Democracy (AD) that ushered in the present Republic in May 29, 1999.
Alas’, Chief Bola Ige, Deputy leader of Afenifere was annihilated by forces of reaction occasioned by the internal dissension and wrangling traceable to rampant lack of fellow feeling, envy and avuncular animosity heightened within the Alliance for Democracy/Afenifere duo.
Restructuring or no restructuring, the national leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu must not suffer the same ill-fate that befell Uncle Bola Ige at the threshold of becoming the widely acclaimed leader of this country through the carelessness of Yoruba race.
Bola Tinubu is tested, trusted and astute political leader of Yoruba nation par excellence. He has the wherewithal and capacity to lead and became the next president of this country if God desires. He deserves our full support and accolades in all nooks and crannies of Yoruba nation.
The Afenifere should with dispatch come together and re-strategise for the good of Yoruba race as majority of them Pa. Ayo Adebanjo inclusive are at the evening of their lives. I urge them not to allow their rank be infiltrated with fake Awoists like Yinka Odumakin due to unguarded, garrulous and uncharitable press statements.
Afenifere should come to terms with the undying statement of one of them, the late Secretary Ondo State Government under Governor Adefarati’s AD/Afenifere (1999-2003), a lieutenant of Awolowo, Chief Wunmi Adegbonmire a.k.a Omo Ekun.
Wunmi Adegbonmire who died as Ondo State Leader of Action Congress (AC) openly commended Senator Bola Tinubu for saving Yoruba race from the embarrassment of the former president, General Olusegun Obasanjo.
The time for the Afenifere to run a well coordinated and mutual agenda for the common weal is now.