By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Leader of Afenifere Worldwide, Chief Reuben Famuyide Fasoranti yesterday, cleared the air on status of the Pan Yoruba socio organization.
Chief Fasoranti in a statement by Afenifere National Publicity Secretary of the organization, Comrade Jare Ajayi declared that Afenifere is ” a Philosophy and not a political party”.
According to the Afenifere Worldwide leader, the clarification at this time becomes very necessary in view of a wrong insinuation in some quarters that could mislead members of the public as to what exactly Afenifere is.
Pa Fasoranti stressed, ” rather than being a political party, Afenifere is a philosophy steeped in freedom for all and life more abundant for everyone. Thus, the social and cultural intent is greater than the political angle as all Yoruba people cannot belong to the same political party”.
” It is a fact that the defunct Action Group (the pioneer political party founded by Chief Obafemi Awolowo) went with the cognomen, Afenifere, when it came to campaign in Ibadan so that the average Yoruba men and women who were not so educated could understand what the party stood for”, he said.
Pa Fasoranti added, ” As a matter of fact, the Yoruba name for the party was Egbe Olope (a party with the symbol of palm tree). This was in line with the practice then whereby political parties were identified more with the symbols of their respective logos. Same thing is happening even now”.
“ Political parties are, of necessity, characterized by certain attributes, the crux of which is that they must be registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)”, adding, ” And for an organization to be so registered, it must fulfill certain conditions.”
The Afenifere Worldwide leader said, ” among these conditions is the need for any organization seeking registration with INEC to have members and offices in at least 24 out of the 36 states in Nigeria. Besides, such an organization must be ‘opened’ to all Nigerians irrespective of tribe, tongue, religion etc”.
Pa Fasoranti noted, “In the case of Afenifere, its membership is restricted ONLY to people of Yoruba extraction. Thus, even if it seeks registration with INEC, it would be disqualified on that ground. Second, since Yoruba people are naturally domiciling fully in less than ten states in the country, it means that it cannot meet another important condition for INEC registration’
” It is a known fact that Yorubas are 100 per cent indigenous in six states namely Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo and Lagos. They form very sizeable number in both Kwara and Kogi. They are also indigenous in some parts of Delta and Edo states. If all these are put together, they are just about ten! Far short of the minimum number of states required to be registered as a political party in Nigeria.”
He pointed out that were Afenifere to be a political party, each time INEC invites political parties, the organization would have been invited. Same thing holds when the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), the umbrella body of all registered political parties in Nigeria, summons a meeting. But, as we know, Afenifere was never invited to any IPAC meeting”
“To us, not only has the presidential election of February 25, 2023 produced a President for Nigeria, the person declared by INEC as the winner of the election is currently the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria until and unless otherwise declared by competent courts in the land. We are saying this not just because the individual in question, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is Yoruba and our preferred choice, but because he is the one that all legal apparatuses in the land declared as President.”