Politics

Fasoranti steps down as Afenifere leader, Adebanjo takes over

fasoranti steps down as afenifere leader adebanjo takes over

Pa Reuben Fasoranti . Photo: UGOBESTIKY

The National Leader of the Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, has relinquished power due to old age.

Fasoranti, who is 95 years old, disclosed this during the group’s monthly meeting held in Akure, the Ondo State capital, yesterday, saying it is appropriate for him to yield ground for a more youthful and energetic person after 13 years in the saddle.

He named the former Deputy Leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, as the Acting National Leader, while the former Financial Secretary, Oba Oladipo Olaitan, the Alaago of Kajola Ago, will serve as the new deputy leader.

According to him, the development became necessary because the group needs an improved organisation with more effective approach to combat the challenges facing Yoruba people.

MEANWHILE, Secretary General of Yoruba Council of Elders, Dr. Kunle Olajide, who was in the meeting where Fasoranti named Adebanjo as his successor, said: “It was commendable of the immediate past leader of Afenifere to name Adebanjo, who is also one of the right hand men of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo as his successor.”

“Fasoranti needed someone younger and energetic that can add to the political template of Nigeria. To support Adebanjo, we appointed Chief Olaitan as acting deputy leader.

Also, Senator Femi Okunrounmu said Adebanjo would definitely bring his activist nature to bare as head of Afenifere, saying: “Although the new leader is in the best position to explain how he wants to run the organisation, it is expected of him to really continue to agitate for true federalism and change of the current unitary constitution, which has always been the position of Afenifere.”

While lauding Fasoranti’s decision, Yoruba Ronu Leadership Forum said it was not surprising the former Afenifere leader stepped aside.

In a statement yesterday, President of the forum, Mr. Akin Malaolu, said: “We are not surprised at the decision of our foremost Yoruba leader to take a bow. He has never betrayed the great Awoists of Yorubaland. Awolowo would have done the same for age reasons but he died before attaining very old age.”

Adebanjo told The Guardian: “I heard the news on the media just as you because I wasn’t part of the meeting. But I can tell you that there is no change at all. The principle upon which Afenifere stands remains and we will insists on restructuring and true federalism.”



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