A group under the auspices of Yoruba Afenifere Youth Organisation of Nigeria (YAYON) yesterday staged a peaceful protest calling on the acting leader of the pan-Yoruba organisation, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, to step down and stop parading himself as the national leader of Afenifere.
Adebanjo and Pa Reuben Fasoranti recently disagreed over the outcome of the 2023 general election, and despite the move aimed at resolving the crisis, there’s a protest against the leadership style of Pa Adebanjo, calling on him to immediately step down on his capacity as the acting leader of the foremost Yoruba group.
However, the protesters, who stormed the country home of the National Leader of Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, in Akure, Ondo State capital, passed a vote of no confidence on Pa Adebanjo.
The leader of the Afenifere Yoruba Youths led by Eric Oluwole claimed that Fasoranti is the authentic national leader of the mainstream Yoruba group.
Armed with placards of various inscriptions, the youths alleged that Adebanjo, since he became the acting leader, has been taking decisions to soothe his political leanings, which they said has continued to polarised the group.
Some of the inscriptions on the placards read: ‘Pa Fasoranti, Pls Revoke The Mandate You Gave Pa Adebanjo Now’; ‘Our Vote of No Confidence Stands’; ‘Afenifere Must Be Restructured Now’; “Pa Fasoranti Please Rescue Afenifere’; “Ayo Adebanjo Must Go’; ‘Pa Ayo Adebanjo: Time to Step Aside from Afenifere’, among others.
According to Oluwole, “We cannot allow one leader to mortgage our future. We cannot continue like this. The only person we recognise in this Yoruba nation is Pa Reuben Fasoranti, as the national leader of Afenifere, and he still remains the national leader.
“We hereby call on Pa Adebanjo to step down immediately, and he should stop parading himself as the national leader of Afenifere. He has been acting, and we have the letter because Baba (Fasoranti) wrote him a letter then that he should act on behalf of him. But now, the whole drama has changed, and the youths are involved and we want to make sure we are part of the restructuring of Afenifere.
“We can only depend on Baba Fasoranti as the national leader to immediately call him (Adebanjo) to order to step down immediately. We believe that this protest can still yield a good result, but we are going to come back again massively in Yoruba nation. What we need is sanity in Afenifere and we believe in Pa Fasoranti’s leadership.”
Reacting through his Chief Security Officer, Sunday Ogunkalu, Pa Fasoranti who sued for peace, assured the protesters of lasting solutions to the crisis.
When contacted for reaction, Pa Adebanjo, said: “I don’t know them, and I have repeatedly said I don’t know their fathers. I don’t know their parents. They are only encouraging them to be talking.
“I have told you they don’t exist. I think some people just gathered them and give them money to make them start talking as if something is happening in Afenifere.”