#Editorial

Pa Reuben Fasoranti @98

THERE are men in this world, but not many leave their footprints in the sand of time. Pa Reuben Famuyide Fasoranti, OFR, an elder statesman and Afenifere leader, is one of the men who will forever be remembered and has left his footprints in the sand of time. He clocked 98 years on Saturday  May 11, 2024.

PA Fasoranti who is the leader of the Pan Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, is a great man who has the interest of the Yorubas and Nigeria at heart and has achieved greatly before becoming leader of Afenifere following the death of Chief Abraham Adesanya, his predecessor. The dominant character of Chief Fasoranti’s life has always been his calmness, his cool striving to understand fully the nature and turns of events, and his calm but unwavering courage in the face of calamity.

BORN on May 11, 1926, in Uso, Ondo State,Pa Fasoranti’s academic journey laid a strong foundation for his future exploits. He commenced his elementary education in Uso and later attended Ondo Boys’ High School, Ondo. He furthered his studies at Yaba Higher College in Lagos and the University College, Ibadan, where he studied English/Geography.His commitment to education extended beyond his own learning. As a teacher in his alma mater, Ondo Boys’ High School, he reflected his dedication to education and service to his community.

PA Fasoranti’s career trajectory as a teacher demonstrates his commitment to education. He also served as a Principal at educational institutions like Oyemekun Grammar School and Anglican Grammar School, Iju-Itaogbolu, all in Ondo State where he imparted knowledge and values to countless students.Even after retiring from formal teaching roles, his dedication to education persisted. He established Omolere Nursery and Primary School and Akure High School, leaving an enduring footprint in education.

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IN addition to his educational contributions, Pa Fasoranti was deeply involved in politics. He aligned with the Action Group (AG) and later the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), both founded by the esteemed Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Under the Unity Party of Nigeria UPN,  he served as the Commissioner of Finance in Ondo State from 1979 to 1983, focusing on improving financial management and development in the state.

HE faced lots of challenges in his political exploits. In 1996, he faced an assassination attempt orchestrated by the General Sani Abacha regime. Despite these threats, his resilience and fortitude remained unshaken, symbolizing the spirit of resistance against tyranny and oppression.

FASORANTI is one of the brightest lights illuminating the Yoruba race who is calm in most challenging situations, diligent in ascertaining the facts of every development, brave in battle, selfless, self-effacing, and never running away from making sacrifices, for ever ready to accept the Yoruba failings in whatever mistakes the group might make. Forever capable of leading to provide answers to such failings, always solid as a rock no matter what the Yoruba’s adversaries might throw at them or at him, Fasoranti has led the Yorubas in these parts through the political life of Ondo Province, the larger Ondo State, today’s smaller Ondo State, and through the nation’s successes and vicissitudes in the rocky politics of Nigeria.

HE is a pride to the Yorubas. It is imperative for all Yoruba both home and abroad to recognise the activities of Pa Fasoranti and also to commend him for purposeful and unbiased leadership in his capacity as Afenifere leader in Nigeria. His conduct since he chose to tread on the noble path charted by the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, ultimately elevated him to the pedestal of a statesman.We urged young ones to emulate the attributes and the lifestyle of the nonagenarian.

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DESCRIBED by many as an extraordinary personality, Fasoranti is a leader in Akure community; and a notable leader in his church. In his birthday message to the elder statesman, Ondo State Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa described him as a great leader and a rare symbol of integrity, statesmanship and patriotism whose virtues of contentment, sacrifice, devotion and loyalty have contributed in great deal to the longevity that God has blessed him with.

DURING his 97th birthday, a former governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, remarked that Pa Fasoranti is a Yoruba leader, being the leader of Afenifere, the foremost socio-political organisation of one of the most notable ethno nationalities in the black race.Also, the late Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, once described Fasoranti, as a reference point for quality leadership.

THE HOPE join millions of Nigerians in celebrating Pa Fasoranti’s remarkable life and legacy, and we wish him a happy 98th birthday. We also reaffirm our34332 commitment to the values of unity, progress, and development that he has championed throughout his life.

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