Monday, May 5, 2008

Nigeria: Afenifere And Politics of Succession -

Ademola AdeyemoLagos

Last week, Afenifere leader, Head Abraham Adesanya departed to the human race beyond, leaving a leading vacuity in the group. In this report, Ademola Adeyemo composes on the sequence competition which attaches to Adesanya's decease and the machinations and contentions between two cabals of the group

Afenifere, the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, was established in Owo, in the old Ondo State in 1951 by the late Head Obafemi Awolowo and his political associates as a platform for the chase of the well being and extremist socio-political transmutation of the Yoruba state in all its ramifications.

Besides, the introduction of the arrangement also aimed at providing a cultural umbrella for the people of Yoruba race. Indeed, the grouping played active roles, fighting the Yoruba cause and simultaneously achieving a extremist transmutation of its people in footing of education, agribusiness and industrialization.

When Awolowo, the group's first leader eventually died in 1987, the mantle of leading drop on the late Head Adekunle Ajasin, the first executive director governor of the Ondo State. In the dark years of military rule, Ajasin led the National Democratic Alliance (NADECO), a pro-democracy group, which fought the military authorities of the late General Sani Abacha to a base still.

However, the decease of Ajasin resulted in the outgrowth of Head Abraham Adesanya as Afenifere leader, while the late Head Bolo Tie Immunoglobulin E served as his deputy. And because of Adesanya's resolute stance on the well being of the Yoruba, he earned for himself fame. To this end, a figure of people referred to him as Yoruba leader. During Adesanya's tenure, Afenifere clamoured for political agenda, true federalism, important control of resources by the states concerned as well as the convocation of a Autonomous National Conference (SNC).

Like his predecessor, the contiguous past times Afenifere leader was always at the head of the fighting against dictatorship, especially during the dark old age of Gen. Ibrahim Babangida and Abacha's regime.

But when Adesanya was 81 years old, the courageous octogenarian took ill. And because of the strength of his illness, the vivacious Adesanya could no longer supply the effectual leading for the group. The development created crises of monumental proportionality in the group, which resulted in a division in the rank and register of the organisation.

Although Adesanya had earlier marked Head Reuben Fasoranti as the acting leader of the group, this new assignment did not travel down well with some other members of the group. Other members of the group, notably Senator Ayo Fasanmi, the then Lagos State governor, Bolo Tie Ahmed Tinubu and former governors on the platform of Alliance for Democracy (AD), described Fasoranti's assignment as a breach of Afenifere's fundamental law and went ahead to make their ain faction. As at the clip the late Adesanya made the pronouncement, Fasanmi was the deputy sheriff leader of the group.

Since then, things have got got fallen apart in the group, while respective efforts to accommodate the two cabals have failed. The up-to-the-minute of such as moves was the fundamental law of a rapprochement panel led by a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Kayode Eso in Ibadan. Like other former moves, it also drop through.

The degree of division within the grouping reached an alarming charge per unit recently, when members of the two cabals drew a line of limit at the entombment of the married woman of Afenifere's former leader, Mrs Babafunke Ajasin, in Owo.

The division within the grouping became conspicuos as members of the two cabals refused to neither sit down nor confabulate together. Outstanding members of the Fasanmi grouping are former Tinubu and his opposite number former governors such as as Segun Osoba (Ogun), Bisi Akande (Osun), Otunba Niyi Adebayo (Ekiti), Alhaji Getaway Adesina (Oyo).

At the other end is the Fasoranti-led cabal which consists Sir Olaniwun Ajayi, Head Olu Falae, Head Ayo Adebanjo, Senator Femi Okurounmu, Head Supo Shonibare, Alhaji Adegbenga Kaka, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, Yinka Odumakin among others.

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However, the decease of Adesanya have thrown up the inquiry of who steps into his place as the significant leader of the group, who will also get by with the duty of uniting the factions. From every indication, the pick procedure will be tasking, in place of machinations and political maneuverings among members struggling for the position

The choice of a leader in Afenifere will no doubt be a herculean undertaking because the three past times leadership of the grouping - Awolowo, Ajasin and Adesanya commanded the love and regard of the Yoruba, which the present harvest of leadership lacks, at least for now. When Awolowo held sway, anybody who claimed association with him would win election in Yoruba land. But today, this is all tense as Afenifere, the hitherto vivacious platform looks to have got lost focus. The grouping no longer bids the regard of the Yoruba as was the lawsuit when it served as a consolidative military unit in the full South-west zone.

This became much more than evident when barely 24 hours after the decease of Adesanya, the two cabals of Afenifere commenced ill will on the issue of succession.

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