The faction of the pan Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere loyal to the current Head, Chief Ayo Adebanjo has kicked, saying that the endorsement of the All Progressive Party, APC, presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in Akure,was political, therefore did not represent the group’s position.
This is coming hours after Pa Reuben Fasoranti-led a meeting of the group with Tinubu in his hometown.
The statement maintained that the Akure declaration support for Tinubu could not stand as those at the meeting were retired, distant and inactive members of Afenifere.
A swift reply scripted by Prof. Akinyemi Onigbinde Sunday, said: “looking through the list of those present at the Akure ‘blessing’ of the presidential bid of Bola Tinubu, they are majorly people whose ties with Afenifere is so distant, as to be non existent. Many of them, supposed Afenifere members, have not been at any of Afenifere monthly general meetings in the last two years.
“They are at best functional APC members, who should be in the company of their party candidate to seek support from anyone that may be willing to give it. Yet, one or two who definitely went to Akure to honour Pa Reuben Fasoranti’s invitation, out of respect for the old man” statement read.
Prof. Onigbinde insisted that Afenifere’s opposition to Tinubu’s presidential ambition “stands”.
Statement by Prof. Onigbinde’s reply reads: “Not a single member of Executive Committee of Afenifere,under the leadership of Pa Ayo Adebanjo, as duly put in place by Pa Reuben Fasoranti when he handed over the leadership to Pa Ayo Adebanjo, was present at the Akure meeting. Not even Afenifere General Secretary who is from Ondo state, and probably lives in Akure dignified the crowd of APC faithfuls at the premises of Pa Fasonranti with his esteemed presence.
“Unknown to many, Pa Fasoranti called Pa Ayo Adebanjo and informed him of Bola Tinubu’s request to pay him a visit, and wanted to know if he should go ahead to grant him an audience. Pa Adebanjo advised that it would not be proper to not receive the APC presidential candidate, as others would still come on such visits.
“I am a member of Afenifere EXCO, I am a member of the Caucus, and I am also on the political committee, and I was duly invited to the Akure meeting, through a telephone call by Alagba Seinde Arogbofa. I declined, and I informed him that he should inform Pa Fasoranti of my apology to not honour his invitation to join him in receiving Bola Tinubu.
“I look through the list of those present at the Akure ‘blessing’ of the presidential bid of Bola Tinubu, they are majorly people whose ties with Afenifere are so distant, as to be non-existent. Many of them, supposed Afenifere members, have not been at any of Afenifere monthly general meetings in the last two years. They are at best functional APC members,who should be in the company of their party candidate to seek support from anyone that may be willing to give it. Yet, one or two who definitely went to Akure to honour Pa Reuben Fasoranti’s invitation, out of respect for the old man.
“On Bola Tinubu’s presidential bid, Afenifere’s stand is clear, and it is not an Ayo Adebanjo personal position.”
The National Organising Secretary of Afenifere, Abagun Kole Omololu, had earlier Sunday evening issued a statement, affirming Tinubu’s meeting with Pa Fasoranti and other Yoruba Leaders, as well as their endorsement of his presidential ambition.
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