The crisis currently rocking the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has taken a new dimension as the two elder statesmen fighting for the soul of the group, Reuben Fasoranti and Ayo Adebanjo, have resumed a new round of war.
Pa Fasoranti, who handed over the reins of leadership of Afenifere to Adebanjo as acting leader in March 2021, on Wednesday, said he remains the leader of the group and that Adebanjo would no longer host meetings of the group, which he said would now be held in his base in Akure.
But in a swift reaction, Adebanjo countered Fasoranti and said the former leader of the group had no constitutional right to return because he had retired and officially handed over to him.
“He (Fasoranti) has handed over to me, that is the end of the matter. It is not an issue. He has retired. He wrote a letter and handed it to me. He said was tired but is now causing confusion,” Adebanjo said.
Both leaders fell out over the endorsement of presidential candidates with Adebanjo openly endorsing the candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, while Fasoranti endorsed the flag bearer of the All progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
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To further drive his point, Fasoranti in an interaction with journalists, said there would be no more meetings at Adebanjo’s home, adding that the report that he stepped down as Afenifere leader was a misrepresentation.
“It was a misunderstanding and misinterpretation from some people who thought I was going senile and couldn’t comprehend. When I heard that, I reacted and the person who said that regretted saying so,” he said.
“We have not deviated from the same principle. We still stand for the good of the people. I didn’t retire from the leadership of Afenifere. I was misinterpreted. I am still the leader of Afenifere.
“From now going forward, Afenifere meetings will be moved to Akure as soon as the secretary and I put our heads together and the leaders too,” he added.
On the endorsement of Obi by Adebanjo, Fasoranti said Afenifere as a group, did not endorse the former Anambra State Governor.
“Afenifere is not endorsing Obi. We are endorsing Jagaban Tinubu. As you can see the trend, the followership, the approval and the acceptability.
“Adebanjo cannot warn me not to welcome Tinubu. Adebanjo took a stand and I took a stand. We did not speak about Tinubu’s visit. It goes without saying that Jagaban is accepted and we approve of it. Obi has no standing in our mind at all.”
Source: Ripples Nigeria