Yoruba leadership: No rancour in Afenifere

Members of the pan-Yoruba sociocultural group, Afenifere, on Saturday, paid an unscheduled visit to the leader of the group, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, in Akure, the Ondo State capital.

The members included elder statesman, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Professor Banji Akintoye,   Yinka Odumakin, Chief Sola Ebiseni and Demola Folarin, among others.

They were said to have arrived in Akure on Friday to check on Fasoranti after the burial of her daughter, Mrs Funke Olakunri, who was killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen along Benin/ Ore road.

It was gathered that the members, who converged on Fasoranti’s residence on Saturday morning, deliberated and resolved on some issues.

According to a source, one of the major issues resolved by the leaders was the election of Professor Akintoye as the new leader of Yoruba nation by a group

Akintoye was said to have expressed surprise over the development as he confirmed that some group contacted him some months ago, but he never agreed to the plan to pick him as the Yoruba leader.

Sunday Tribune gathered that Akintoye learnt about his election as the new Yoruba leader on the pages of newspaper, but informed the meeting that he never decided on the decision of the group to make him Yoruba leader.

According to a source within the meeting, “Akintoye said he would not do anything that will affect the unity of the Yoruba nation and its leadership.”

The source, however, maintained that Akintoye remained a member of the Afenifere group saying “the fact that Akintoye attended the meeting presided by Chief Fasoranti is enough that he succumbed to the leadership of Fasoranti as Afenifere leader.”

“We came to see our leader and used the opportunity to iron out some issues and that was all.”

The 84-year-old professor of history, Akintoye, was elected Yoruba leader in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Thursday, and the development has since generated a lot of controversy.

The development was said to have unsettled some members and leadership of Afenifere, as it was seen to be designed to break Afenifere’s popularity in the region.