By Ayodele Fagbohun
The recent visit of the national leader, All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu to the Afenifere leader, Papa Reuben Famuyide Fasoranti (OFR) in his Akure country home should be taken as an eye-opener to usher in groundswell of political re-alignment amongst the progressives forces within the Yoruba enclave.
Again, Senator Bola Tinubu, the former Alliance for Democracy (AD) governor of Lagos State (1999-2008) alongside some Yoruba chieftains in the progressive traditional mould were right inside Omolere residence of Chief Fasoranti, the living legend and personification of progressive politics in Yoruba.
This is a welcome and good phenomenon in the quest of the much needed unity and progress of Yoruba. This new and needful development should be strategic and be a lodestar this time around to effectively checkmate and foil the perceived gang-up of returning the country come 2019 presidential polls to the dastardly and dark days of sixteen (16) years of the notorious People’s Democratic Party (PDP) misrule.
Towards this end, all hands must be on deck to resist and halt the an tics and wiles of the immediate past federal government to further entrench corruption as a way of life and the normative objective of governance.
This myth must be exploded. By so doing, no part of Yoruba soil should be trampled upon by any political interlopers whose programmes in government run palpably in conflict with the cherished socio-political and cultural ideals of Yoruba.
To be beaten once, twice shy, Both the Afenifere leader, R. F Fasoranti who doubled as Ondo State leader of Alliance for democracy (AD) were comrades-in-arms passed through the crucible in the AD/Afenifere saga vis-à-vis the intransigence of President Olusegun Obasanjo led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led federal government.
The politics of guile and the unruly behavious of some AD young turks which led to the party being infiltrated by agents of violence and destabilization allegedly sponsored in the PDP led federal government.
As sitting president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo rabidly coveted and in deadly jealously of the rising profile of the AD popularly elected governors vowed to put them on the rout.
To accomplish the dastardly act, political gangsterism and disorderliness were unleashed in Yorubaland. The flash of violence more horrendous in Osun/Oyo states as a target being the political base of Uncle Bola Ige (SAN) the political dynamo of Yoruba politics.
The gruesome and unresolved murder case of the late Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Bola Ige under the presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo remains a jigsaw puzzle and albatross on the incessant cry and strident clamour for justice in Nigeria.
Eventually, AD governors were walloped and ignominiously exited out of power under circumstances that were unseemly and unfair, save for the resilience of the then governor Bola Tinubu of Lagos state who stood strong and survived the PDP onslaught.
In the wake of blitzkrieg desperately launched by the then ruling PDP to overrun the legitimate and progressive governments in the South West geo-political zone, all efforts to re-strategise, geared towards reviving and rebranding Alliance for Democracy (AD) to serve the best interests of Yoruba and to extend its tentacles across the other parts of the country always met brick-walls; masterminded and fuelled by the divide and rule tactics of the powers that were.
The end result was the several changes in nomenclatures of various political parties, alignment and re-alignment of elements of irreconcilable strange bedfellows until a destination was reached in the all conquering All Progressives Congress (APC).
Ondo State was the hardest hit from this political imbroglio and earthquake that swept across the south west. Some leaders in the AD imbued with stout constitution vowed to sink or swim with the party having strong affinity with the banned Awolowo led Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN).
Prominent amongst them is Chief Femi Aluko, a former lawmaker, former commissioner in the political think tank, the brain behind the success of Baba Peace, governor Adebayo Adefarati AD led administration in Ondo State. It should be restated here that some of our leaders like Femi Aluko and Dayo Duyile teamed up with Chief Oluyemisi Falae, a well-known presidential hopeful to organize some political parties like Social Democratic Party (SDP) which suffered untold electoral reverses. Some of the AD leaders rocked the boat and unashamedly joined forces with PDP on purely self interests and in the pernicious rip-off of our common patrimony and national assets.
Ondo State was left in the lurch. Things fell apart and the centre could no longer hold. This had been a pain in the neck of the progressive family giving fillip to PDP to ride roughshod on the people and making mockery of the past genuine efforts in enthroning good government and parliamentary democracy. Here, we lost our bearing. Divided we fall: there is strength in unity of purpose.
It is against this scenario that searchlight must be beamed on the much orchestrated south west intergrated agenda otherwise known as Development Agenda of Western Nigeria (DAWN) mooted by some inimitable elite in the south west. This gargantuan project still resides in the minds of those who conceived it with virtually no political will and staunch ideological commitment solely on the part of the governors to implement the laudable project for the transformation of the geo political zone.
Probably that was the raison d’etre behind the sunrise call of our Asiwaju to knock at the door for dete-‘a-tetes with the revered political warhorse and nonagenarian for guidance and prayers to reposition Yoruba race for good governance as hitherto for only the deep can call the deep.
Both the old and the young must be truly mobilized to make amends, regain the lost grounds for the nation to move forward on the progressive path.
As the National Secretary of Afenifere has said, it was a private visit. Well said. It goes beyond that. It must portend a great and bright future for the uplift of Yoruba nation after natural departure of the sage turning mortality to immortality.
Yoruba as a matter of course must retain its forefront role as a pacesetter for the country where any political brigand will no longer hold sway in the commanding heights of our economy.
Fagbohun writes from Akure.