Pa Ayo Adebanjo, the head of the pan-Yoruba socio-political organization Afenifere, has been the subject of a vote of no confidence by a group of young people operating under the auspices of the Yoruba Afenifere Youths Organization of Nigeria.
“Please step down as the interim head of Afenifere in the sake of the organization and the entire Yoruba race,” the group urged Adebanjo.
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On Tuesday, following a joint meeting of Afenifere Youth National leaders in Yoruba territory, including Kogi and Kwara states, they announced their decision at a news conference held in Lagos.
In a communique, the group condemned the suspension of two national officers of Afenifere by Adebanjo. This, they said, was done without the approval of the leader of the group, Pa Reuben Fasoranti.
According to the group, Afenifere has been derailing since Adebanjo became acting leader because he allegedly abandoned the uncompromising pursuit and defence of the interest of the Yoruba people.
“We noted, sadly too, that rather than rally the Yoruba people behind their son, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, now the President-elect of Nigeria, to emerge as President of this great country, Baba Adebanjo campaigned vigorously against him, and even after his (Tinubu’s) well-deserving and hard-earned victory through a credible presidential election, he (Adebanjo) still wants the Presidency out of Yoruba land.
“We noted for the purpose of clarity that Pa Ayo Adebanjo is not the leader of Afenifere, but the acting leader authorised by Pa Reuben Fasoranti. We make bold to say that the action of making Pa Adebanjo the acting leader is in line with the precedence in our rich history.
“We will not allow our future to be mortgaged by Pa Ayo Adebanjo. We condemned in totality the gross insubordination of the acting leader of Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo. A vote of no confidence is hereby passed in the acting leader of Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, forthwith and he should stop parading himself as leader/acting leader of Afenifere,” the communique read.
Reacting, Adebanjo said, “Their fathers cannot talk to me; yet they are telling me to step down. If they have gotten some dollars from Tinubu, it is their affair, let them carry on.”
On claims that he had been working against Yoruba interest, Adebanjo said, “Tinubu himself won’t talk to me like that. We have been fighting for Yoruba interests before their grandfathers were born. I don’t know them. Everybody wants relevance, they want to have a say that’s why they are asking me to step down. Who are they? They just gathered them to say I should step down after they had used Fasoranti which couldn’t work.”
Meanwhile, Adebanjo, on Tuesday, played host to an Igbo socio-cultural group, Anya Ndi Igbo, at his house in Lekki, Lagos.
In his remarks made during the tour, he claimed that Nigeria ought to be in mourning instead of celebrating the results of the general elections, which were marked by racial and religious profiling.
The Igbo Presidency, he continued, represented justice, equity, and fairness, and he had no remorse about doing so.
“I have received various attacks on my person because of my stance on this issue but the fact remains that my integrity is intact, and that has been the only thing saving me,” he said.
The Chairman, Board of Trustees , Anya Ndi Igbo, Dr Uma Eleazu, remarked that “Elections have come and gone but the consequences are still on.”
Eleazu asked Adebanjo to plead with “our Yoruba brothers and sisters not to succumb to the insinuations in sections of the press and social media that there is a battle for Lagos between Ndigbo and the Yoruba.”