Afenifere: Yoruba divided house of discordant tunes – By Olapade Agoro

Afenifere leaders after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari
Afenifere leaders after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari

It becomes obvious a reality of our life that political interest in whatsoever form, negotiation, calling and persuasion cannot in anyway be divorced at all from power seeking for fame, authority, and or relevance.

Therefore when late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and others in his political interest group like Dr. Akinola Maja, Dr. Oni Akerele, Chief Akintola Williams, Professor Saburi Biobaku, Chief Abiodun Akinrele,Chief D.O.A. Oguntoye, Chief Ayo Rosiji met in London in1945 and established ‘Egbe Omo Oduduwa’ with the catching theme ‘AFENIFERE’ with the primary aim and intention of achieving political power relevance and relativity for Yoruba Race in an emerging nation- Nigeria.

The stated aim and intention of ‘Egbe Omo Oduduwa’ was to bring together the Yoruba race under one umbrella of a united front and well founded political organization like say Ibibio State Union, Ibo Federal Union .

Roving simultaneously about between years 1944, 1945 and 1967 was also the formation of many political organizations like National Council of Nigeria Citizens (NCNC) 1944, Northern Peoples Congress (NPC) Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU) Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM) and Kano Peoples Party etc,

Sooner than later from Obafemi Awolowo own led ‘Egbe Omo Oduduwa’ emerged a political party known and called ‘Action Group’

Nigeria Independence notably was won October 1 1960 from Britain by the newly emerged Nigerian political leaders. Unfortunately however the drumming for the Independence celebrations was hardly finished when January 15 1966 a coup detat by Nigeria soldiers took place led by Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu and Emmanuel Ifejuna claiming at least 22 lives including that of Nigeria’s first Prime Minister Sir Tafawa Balewa.

In 1998 Afenifere a Yoruba socio- cultural organization, primarily and intentionally founded to project the political interest of the Yoruba race and with its first principal officers being late Chief Abraham Adesanya its Leader, late Chief Bola Ige deputy Leader, and other founding members being Papas Onasanya, Reuben Fasoranti, Adegbonmire, Femi Okunroumu, Ganiyu Dawodu, Olanihun Ajayi, Olu Falae, Adebayo Adefarati, Alhaji Adeyemo and Ayo Adebanjo.

In 1998 when the political party Alliance for Democracy (AD) was formed, it took the agenda of ‘AFENIFERE’ as its official manifesto


The political carrier of Bola Tinubu can be traced to 1992 when he was a member of Peoples Front led by Shehu Musa Yar’Adua a faction on the platform of the Social Democratic Party “SDP” representing Lagos West constituency as a Senator. After the results of the 12 June 1993 presidential elections were annulled, Bola Ahmed Tinubu became a strong and founding member of the pro-democracy National Democratic Coalition “NADECO” a political group fighting for the restoration of June 12 and during which agitation he in 1994 fled into exile and only to return back to Nigeria in 1998 after the death of then military Head of State General Sani Abacha.

As one of the followers of late Chief Abraham Adesanya Bola Tinubu year 1999 contested for and won the gubernatorial election on the ticket of Alliance for Democracy “AD” to become Executive Governor of Lagos State. The fact stand clear cut that Bola Ahmed Tinubu was from inception of his political party affiliation, importance and relevance an AFENIFERE perse.

“And, in all fairness, while no one is denying the fact that Nigeria’s socio-political firmament still dramatizes ‘buying and selling’ typical of Oyingbo market, neither ‘rice and soup’ criticisms nor ‘pepper-soup’-joint insinuations should be the desired recipe in getting us back on track. In my own candid view, deflating any new thinking or ideas about Yorubanness will be tantamount to depriving the Yoruba nation the ample opportunity of accessing the Next Level in her socio-political and economic dream. In essence, the struggle is not – and should not be – about who leads the Yoruba nation but how she is able to proactively access the abundant opportunities at her disposal” Abiodun Komolafe Ijebu Jesa Osun State.

Possibly encouraged by the type of aforementioned statement by Abiodun Komolafe, year 2008 Bola Ahmed Tinubu then having become financially buoyant and politically knowledgeable with good and reasonable intention came up with the formation of an “Afenifere Renewal Group” ‘ARG’ primarily aimed to unite the two Afenifere factions and their ancillary factors.

Read This:  Hausa-Yoruba clash: Death toll in Ile-Ife crisis rises to 10

Sadly enough for the Yoruba race and colouration neither of the two factions of Afenifere are timeously thinking and or planning how best to capitalize on prevailing socio economic situations for the best interest of their own people. It becomes pertinent to mention that when Olusegun Obasanjo a Yoruba man and leader was in political power of Nigeria those that one could say mostly benefitted from his presidency were non Yoruba people.

When thereafter Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s PDP was in power those who can rightly say largely benefitted from his Presidency were some Yoruba of Reuben Fasoranti faction who participated in the 2014 CONFAB and got largesse of licenses, throw about money and appointments.

Interesting therefore now that Muhammadu Buhari led APC is in power, the visible fact that those one can see benefitting and or capable benefitting are no doubt Yoruba mostly in the favour catchment of Bola Ahmed Tinubu the Jagaban and renowned APC leader and Asiwaju of Yoruba leader.

With the APC political party being in power in almost all of Yoruba speaking States, the reality of purpose on ground one can say is for good reasoning to prevail on the Yoruba people coming together now to remove the unnecessary and unreasonable wall of division partitioning our peace and candor of family lines of our existence to enable the coming together of all the entire Yoruba race under a winning code and veritable strong engine capable withstanding the force Gail wind against our sailing. This in effect to thwart the abusive language of a Yoruba adage says that “Ohun ta fe je ko je ka gbon” literarily meaning that “ what we are aiming and seriously eager to eat is beclouding our good sense to reasoning’

Lastly the time is now for the entire Yoruba race to allow for the Echo of peace to ring loud and clear throughout the land and far beyond in honour of late Mrs Funke Olakunrin and grace to pa Reuben Fasoranti, this in effect turning our mourning to joy and our enemies to shame. The structure of Afenifere should be allowed rebuilt in the spirit of peace and accommodation coming under one leadership of no doubt pa Reuben Fasoranti and recognizing publicly Bola Ahmed Tinubu as Asiwaju of all the Yoruba race all over the world.

Dr. Olapade Agoro (Aladura Patriarch)
Owa’Tapa of Itapa Ijesa land,
Former Presidential Candidate National Action Council

Share this story

Post your comments below