“The “Afenifere” of Awo’s Dreams is now out of his depth, to oppose the creation of Oodua Nation if true?”
Chief Reuben Faseide Fashoranti (94) the longest-serving Akure Community leader who now heads the group is my benefactor and the political associate of my father who shed his blood and lost a leg in 1955 at an Action Group Rally to welcome Chief Obafemi Awolowo to Akure in front of the Deji’s Palace.
I have great respect for Chief Fashoranti and I treasure my association with him but I must tell the truth.
I was 11 years old at the time but the first son of my father, a Second World War veteran named the Hero for the rest of his life by the same Obafemi Awolowo when he visited him on his sick bed at the Akure General Hospital as I recall.
I met Pa Obafemi Awolowo for the first time in my life in that Hospital when my father introduced me to Awo and telling Awo that the white doctor who performed the amputation surgery had refused to let me sign for the surgery because the doctor said I was damn too young to understand the import of what I was signing for. My father was ready to preserve and even die for the ideals of his leader and the Action Group.
I am therefore a product of Afenifere as any one can be even though I was never a card- carrying member of any political party in Nigeria at any point in my life journey.
Obafemi Awolowo while consoling my father about the loss of his leg had assured my dad not to worry and that if he had to be flown to the UK to get him an artificial leg that the Afenifere Group would pick up the tab. Awo delivered on his promise.
Obafemi Awolowo Kiniun Onibudo and Lion of Ikenne was a leader among leaders and a breed apart whom I later served directly under 20 years later when I was picked to be the Secretary to the Special Task Force on Student Financing in Nigeria that he was picked by Head of State General Yakubu Gowon to chairman.
Among the 4 members of the Task Force were Shehu Shagari as Commissioner or Minister of the Interior, Wenike Briggs as Commissioner or Minister of Education and Shettima Ali Monguno as Commissioner or Minister of Trade.
I got close to Pa Awolowo and I got to know him better than many people in my generation who only knew him by name and reputation.
Pa Awolowo methodically explained to me in some details why the Yorubas were not mentally and strategically ready to collaborate with Biafra from 1967 to 1970 to break away from Nigeria.
The sage was not totally against the break up of Nigeria if the Yorubas were pushed to the wall and under the right circumstance.
I get into all of details to tell you how I come to know that the Afenifere of today is no longer the Afenifere of Awo’ dreams
I would stop short of calling it “Afenifebi” if it continues to oppose or subvert the yearnings of the Yorubas to break away from Nigeria, if the Hausa/Fulani Feudalistic Oligarchy refuses to cut us some slack by giving the Oodua and Biafra Nations some worthwhile accommodation and deference in the Commonwealth of Nigeria based on the tragic moves they are making today to infiltrate our lands and to forever keep us under their yoke or bondage.
I cannot understand why the Afenifere would be so opposed to the selection of one of their own in Professor Banji Akintoye to be the leader not of the Afenifere Group per se but of the Yoruba World Congress and ipso facto the Leader of the Yorubas in succession to his predecessors like Awo himself, Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin. Chief GOK Ajayi, Chief Abraham Adesanya and Chief Reuben Faseide Fashoranti.
Carving Oodua and Biafra Nations out of Nigeria is an ideal whose time has come based on some of the analysis of General Olusegun Obasanjo, the longest serving Nigerian Head of State and some Yoruba Patriots and descendants of Oodua.
Professor Emeritus of History and former Senator in the Third Republic and a member of the Think Tank that Obafemi Awolowo had used to transform the old Western Region has earned his wings to be the leader of the Yorubas and we all should rally round him to get to our Destination and not gang up against him like the Jews did to Moses at a point in their long journey to freedom from Egypt.
Our leader has taken exactly the right step to have the Yoruba World Congress/ the Oodua Republic registered and accredited as the 45th member of UNPO, an Affiliate of the United Nations based in The Hague to begin our journey to self actualisation, emancipation and freedom from Nigeria if the Hausa/Fulani Oligarchy refuses to let wiser counsel prevail this time around. A journey of a thousand miles begins with one solitary step.
This article is only the tip of an iceberg. More would be forthcoming in the future if needed to shed more light on why the Yorubas must not let this golden opportunity pass us by.
Awareness and solidarity are all we need. We can do it if we address our minds to it with acclamation and consensus without allowing anyone to distract or divide us,
United we stand and divided we fall.
“Abo oro la nso fun Omoluabi”
I rest my case.
Dr. Wumi Akintide.
New York New York.