Afenifere: Oduyoye Expresses Confidence in Adebanjo’s Leadership


The recent emergence of the Foremost Awoist and Lawyer, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, as the leader of the Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has been lauded as a positive development for the Yoruba race.

Former Minority Whip of the House of Representatives and Special Adviser on Strategy and Political Matters to the Oyo State Governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde, Hon. Babatunde Oduyoye, declared this yesterday in a statement he signed and made available to newsmen in Ibadan.

Oduyoye, who once served as National Publicity Secretary of the Afenifere, maintained that the choice of Adebanjo as Afenifere Leader is a step in the right direction for the Yoruba nation.

He added that the Yoruba people needed Adebanjo’s wealth of experience, versatility and unassailable courage.

Oduyoye noted that the challenges facing the South-West states and the Yoruba nation as a whole in terms of leadership, insecurity, slowed pace of economic development, among others could only be surmounted with the vision and passion of individuals like Adebanjo, who have made their voices to count at every moment that mattered the most over the years.

He prayed for more strength and good health for Adebanjo, who he described as a worthy model and fearless leader.

He also declared that he (Oduyoye) has never regretted following a leader like Adebanjo for more than two decades.

Oduyoye, however, called on Yoruba sons and daughters to support Adebanjo and the Afenifere towards the emancipation and progress of Yoruba land, saying that the Yoruba would need to speak with one voice before it would overcome its struggles.

He said: “I have heard and read several things said and written since my leader, and someone for whom I have a deep personal respect, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, emerged as the leader of Afenifere.

“I make bold to say that the emergence of Adebanjo as Afenifere leader at this period in our history is a welcome development, as his fearlessness, courage and wealth of experience will come in handy in helping to surmount the challenges facing the Yoruba nation.

“At a period that Yoruba states and Yoruba people are breathing heavily under the burdens of an ‘un-federal federalism’ of Nigeria, at a period that insecurity, including herders-farmers clashes, kidnapping and banditry have reached a peak, at a period that external forces are seeking to weaken the Yoruba nation, the coming on board of Adebanjo as Afenifere leader is, indeed, momentous.

“For anyone who knows Adebanjo, it will be clear that he is up to the task and apparently well-prepared for this position, having undergone tutelage from the most visionary and most insightful Pa Obafemi Awolowo.

“Similarly, Adebanjo has spent over seven decades of his life fighting the Yoruba cause.

“Someone like me, who became close to him over two decades ago, can testify to the fact that he is an unrelenting fighter whenever it comes to the cause of the Yoruba people, so I have no doubt that he will succeed in this task.”