What is Afenifere?

The purpose of this article is two fold.

1 The first is to contribute to the general quest to ‘reinvent' and redefine issues-based political party system in our country.

2 The second is to attempt to clarify political positions and beliefs within the broad political spectrum in the southwest geo-political zone. There are two questions here that need to be answered. [A] Is the Afenifere  an umbrella grouping , inclusive of all identifiable political tendencies in the southwest, thus by this definition, a mere socio-cultural organization? [B] Is the Afenifere the Yoruba socio-linguistic abstraction/interpretation of a definable political praxis/beliefs and thus a political party made up of members who identify with and subscribe to these beliefs and positions of the party?

We should take it granted that for a person to understand a phenomenon, particularly a social phenomenon, one has to study its origin and history. So, to history we must go.

In 1951, the year of self-government in Western Nigeria, the Yoruba were largely illiterate. In that same year, a political party was born in Owo, which gave itself the name, ‘Action Group'. The chiefs and elites who formed this party had specific objectives in mind, to wit, to embark on a radical socio-economic transformation of western Nigeria, particularly in education, health, agriculture. Pursuant to this singular agenda, they commissioned among themselves, position papers that would form the fulcrum of the transformative agenda if the political party were to win elections in western region and become the government in power. But the leaders faced a dilemma, how to inform and propagate the ideals and positions of the Action Group to a people who do not speak nor understand the foreign language. So they came up with the name, ‘Egbe Afenifere' . The group [political party] that ‘loves you and wishes good things for you or wishes you well' And the ‘good things' this [egbe] party wishes you include ; [a] all school age children in western region  will now be enrolled in primary school at government expense [b] medical expenses in the hospitals for all children from birth to the age of eighteen will now be free, that is borne by the government.

These epoch-making policies, needless to say were unheard of in the annals of the political history of colonial Nigeria. The British, starting from 1861, in a hundred years of colonialism never came up with any plan to transform Nigeria, in education, health, agriculture etc. Theirs was for Nigerian produce, to feed British industries, with scattered church- missionary driven education. To demonstrate how radical and all-encompassing in transformative impetus  the Action Group agenda was, ‘schools for Adults' literally translated ‘Ile Eko Awon Agba' were established in western region to teach artisans, farmers, market women etc to read and write; the goal being to eradicate illiteracy in this region within two decades! The Action Group believed that it will be difficult to misrule a literate people because they will defend their rights. I know people in southwestern Nigeria today who are products of these schools, they are able to read and write the Yoruba language today because they went to the ‘Ile eko awon agba'. One of them told me the biggest thing for her is that she could go to the bank and sign her name today, fifty years after.

The propagation and enunciation of these policies by the emergent government of Nigerian nationals attracted thinly-veiled hostility, derision and ridicule from the colonial government and Obafemi Awolowo , the leader of this group was dismissed as a mere ‘flash in the pan', that is, until the party won the election and commenced the implementation of what it had promised the electorates.

The policies of the Action Group ‘The Egbe Afenifere' set the party apart from OTHER parties.  It was ONLY in Yorubaland that the Action Group was known as the ‘egbe afenifere' for easy translation and identification in the mind of the largely illiterate people and to DIFFERENTIATE the Action Group from all OTHER parties in the region.  That is to say the Egbe Afenifere was NOT an all-inclusive umbrella for all political tendencies in Yoruba land, it was an umbrella ONLY for those who subscribe to its ideology and praxis. There were many outstanding Yoruba political personalities that remained outside the Afenifere ‘The Action Group', like Chief T O S Benson, Chief J M Johnson, Chief Kola Balogun, Chief Olu Akinfosile, Chief Adeniran Ogunsanya, Chief OsuOlale R. Akinjide, Chief Babatunji Olowofoyeku, Chief Richard Akinyemi and Sir Odeleye Fadahunsi etc, all who were members of the National Council of Nigerian Citizens, the OTHER party that was in parliamentary opposition in the western region.

The Action Group was the ‘Egbe Afenifere' in Yorubaland only for obvious reasons but it was the same Action Group that was in opposition in the regional houses of assembly in Enugu and Kaduna, and after the federal election of 1959, in the federal legislature too.

From the onset of self-rule in Nigeria in 1951, to the termination of the first republic, the Action Group government set the pace in Nigeria; the free education and free health scheme for all children from birth to the age of eighteen are well-known, but it also brought minimum wage to Nigeria, the British paid one shilling and six pence, the Action Group made it five shillings; it set up the pilgrims welfare board for western Nigerian muslims; the agricultural settlements; the industrial, housing schemes and western Nigerian radio-television [wnbc/wntv]. These were all Action Group firsts, to be copied by other regional governments after first deriding the policies or describing the content of the party manifestoes as ‘impossible' to achieve. There was no magic to the Action Group, its success was that it would NOT promise the electorates what it could not deliver; and it could deliver the promises because it had done its home work and the costs of these schemes BEFORE the commencement of electioneering campaigns. Nonetheless, the Action Group faced a fastidious and highly skeptical electorate, eventually its performance gave it its name and its leaders their reputation, but even then, the Action Group lost the 1956 election to the NCNC.  Policies even when well-intentioned, still had to be tested in the realm of popular acceptance and against hostile interpretation by adversaries. The leadership of the Action Group made the free education program compulsory initially [Awolowo et al, who had canvassed the non-compulsory option lost the debate within the party]. The NCNC seized upon this compulsory aspect of this laudable scheme to tell the electorates that the Action Group wanted to destroy livelihood of the farmers by forcing them to withdraw their children from the farms to send them to school. Facing revolt and electoral reality, the Action Group reversed course and made the educational scheme non-compulsory. Of course nothing succeeds like success; once the skeptics among the electorate saw the success of the scheme, they sent their children to school in droves.

The problem as I see it today is that because the Afenifere lives in the hearts of the Yoruba. as a result of its socio-economic and educational exploits in the past , many naturally want to be identified with its historical aura, sense of nostalgia and most importantly uncommon and unparallel commitment and service to the people.

However there is a problem. As a result of the fractured natured of our political system today, there are elements in the southwest, who want to be seen as Afenifere when they do not subscribe to its beliefs and praxis. What Afenifere stands for can be distilled thus;

1 The idea of social contract between the government and the people.

That is, Afenifere will take clearly-staked out positions on socio-economic and political issues and canvass for votes on the basis of such positions. Once voted into power, the people will hold the party accountable to translate these positions into policies for the welfare of the people. NO EXCUSES. The Action Group position paper on education was prepared by Chief M A Ajasin, Oladipupo E Alayande et al, and adopted by the inaugural conference of the party in Owo, in 1951. Positions that a political party takes on public issues SET the party apart from others, so the voters can decide.

2 Afenifere does NOT subscribe to the idea that the purpose of being voted into power is to ‘come and eat' or share perks and patronage. Obafemi Awolowo put it bluntly, ‘Do not enjoy in government what you cannot provide for yourself in private life'. This is why many of our politicians cannot conceive of life outside government.

3 The Afenifere believes in a virile opposition as a bulwark against a ruling party's excesses. The political space must be contested for through robust debates and ideas tested in the public domain.

4 The Afenifere believes in the electorate as being rational and is best left to make what it considers its best informed decision. The late Canon Oladipupo E. Alayande was Obafemi Awolowo's personal preference to be governor of Oyo state in 1979. Chief Bola Ige won the primary and became the governor. The party will not subvert the democratic process by imposing candidates against the wish of the people.

5 The Afenifere does NOT believe in government of ‘national unity', ‘broad-based government' [except perhaps in time of war], and is not afraid of being in the opposition. Indeed a political system must have  credible opposition parties ready and waiting to sell its programs and ideas to the public and thus win elections on the merits of positions canvassed.

6 The Afenifere  does not believe in a unitary system of government masquerading as pseudo federalism where the component states are so dependent on the federal government that they become its mere outposts.

7 The Afenifere does not subscribe to the false consciousness of mainstream politics where indolent politicians, unable to win elections in their locale, masquerade as ‘national' leaders because the party they belong to happens to be the party in power at the federal level.

I am aware that the above may sound idealistic and utopian to some reading this article given the vulgar and farcical that go for party politics in our country now, where little distinction can be made among the fifty odd parties we have. But it is clear from the above that the Afenifere CANNOT be an all-inclusive organization , it is NOT a socio-cultural organization but a socio-political one, the Yoruba language interpretation of what the Action Group stood for, from 1951 to the termination of the first republic. Back then as I stated above, NOT all Yoruba subscribed to the ideals of the Afenifere and NOT all Yoruba do today. We must keep this firmly in mind, especially in the consciousness of the electorate.

The challenge of today as I see it, is to

[a] develop a national party with clearly-defined goals and objectives like the Afenifere of old. The ideals of Afenifere are  pan-Nigerian, translatable in any language. Many who are fed up with what goes for party system today in our country can embrace these ideals and propagate them all over Nigeria, among our different ethno-linguistic groups.

[b] I am aware there are personalities in many parties in Nigeria who subscribe to the Afenifere credo, who for sundry reasons have migrated to other parties where they co-exist uneasily with people of totally divergent views. For example, Gbenga Daniel, the intellectually resourceful governor of Ogun state whose Afenifere inspired ideas on Nigerian federalism are well known, is in the same party with Professor Jubril Aminu who believes Nigeria's future lies in a unitary government. So the likes of Daniel and former Edo state governor John Odigie-Oyegun who is of the ANPP, who are comfortable with what the Afenifere means and stands for can be identified and coming together can form a truly issues-driven political party. The yearning in our country today is for our politicians to truly provide leadership in establishing credible and issue-driven political parties where voters can see distinctions among alternatives. This was what Afenifere was, is, and should be.

Feb. 2008

Ibiyinka Solarin is a professor of political science at Texas College, Tyler, Texas

isolarin@yahoo.com

 


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Re: What is Afenifere?
Spaco posted on 03-08-2008, 01:05:37 AM
That was during Great Awolowo's time.
Not now
Re: What is Afenifere?
Spaco posted on 03-08-2008, 01:09:39 AM
Yoruba Peace Initiative Suffers Setback,

There is no let up yet in the crisis of confidence that has in the last few years thawed the Yoruba unity, as the efforts by the Justice Kayode Eso-led seven-man committee to forge unity among the progressive elements in the South West appear to have hit the rocks.
Saturday Independent sources revealed that the group, which met with several stakeholders in the Yoruba mainstream group in the past three months, met a brick wall about four weeks ago when a meeting it called to address the erstwhile leaders of the Afenifere could not take place over refusal of former governors in the defunct Alliance for Democracy (AD) to show up at the meeting.
Only the elders attended the Lagos meeting convened towards the end of January this year.
But Afenifere spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, thinks otherwise. According to him, the refusal of the former governors to agree on certain terms will not prevent other initiatives to achieve unity. He said the process to achieve peace in the fold would continue. "It has not failed; it is an ongoing process and we are determined to explore other areas of unity," he insisted.
It was gathered that former governors, including Bola Tinubu of Lagos, Chief Olusegun Osoba of Ogun, Lamidi Adesina (Oyo), Bisi Akande of Osun, who is now National Chairman of the Action Congress (AC); and Otunba Niyi Adebayo of Ekiti State did not show up at the meeting.
They were all invited by the Eso panel to explore ways of working together as a group to protect the interest of the Yoruba in the post President Olusegun Obasanjo era. Sources told Saturday Independent that in order not to be seen as spurning Eso, the five former governors met him in Lagos about two weeks ago and told him their reasons for not honouring the invitation. During the meeting, they told him point-blank that under no circumstance would they be in the same party or work together with the Afenifere leaders and other people in the other parties.
Saturday Independent sources said that their grouse was on account of the closeness of the elders with some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors in the South West and the open support given to them when it was apparent that the governors were used in the 2003 general elections to uproot them from the zone's power base.
The former governors were said to have tendered their apologies to the retired Justice of the Supreme Court, but insisted they could not be in the same group or party with the Afenifere leaders and some other characters in the South West.
Now bent on not having anything to do with the Afenifere leaders and some other groups in the South West, it would appear that the much sought unity may elude the region known for its robust position on issues, which affect its relationship with other ethnic groups in the country.
Meanwhile, in the face of the failure of the elders and youths in the Afenifere and other groups to settle their differences, the youth in the group, who late last year organised a Yoruba Summit in Ibadan, have mapped out a new programme of activities aimed at rejuvenating the group and make it relevant to influence political direction in the South West prior to the 2011 general elections.
One of such initiatives is a planned tour of the region to sensitise the people on the way forward. Said one of the brains behind the planned tour: "We have decided to take our destiny in our hands in view of the failure of the elders and the dramatis personae in the Yoruba leadership to put their acts together to rescue our people from the shackles of poverty, ignorance and bad leadership, which have been our lot these past years of so- called democratic rule."

From Independent newspaper
Re: What is Afenifere?
STTOPP posted on 03-08-2008, 09:12:04 AM
I want to thank you for asking this question "what is Afenifere?". My answer goes like this, they are a bunch of self serving, greedy oppurtunist individuals who pay lip service with their so called design solutions to our social and community development. Our streets and social structures are still in shamble, while they are carring on with their grandstanding. I can't wait till some credible and courageous group of people will standup for us.

STTOPP
Re: What is Afenifere?
Ibiyinka posted on 03-08-2008, 10:31:28 AM
Thank you Spaco for forwarding the article from the Daily Independent. This article itself and the one you forwarded are directed at people like you who evidently care about what is going on in our country. It is up to you and such liked minded people to come up with strategies and tactics on how to 'reinvent' the party system in our land so good political leaders can come up... Please permit me to state that I do not agree with your statement' That was Awo's time. Not Now' Our country has the kind of money that the Awolowo generation can only dream about, yet our standard of living is so absymally low. The Awolowo generation you referred to was dissatisfied with the conditions of their time and they came up with what to do about it. Please do not be discouraged.
Re: What is Afenifere?
Mikky jaga posted on 03-08-2008, 12:17:01 PM
Going by the ideals of the original Afenifere as you listed below, it will be a miracle if we can get enough politicians that subscribe to such ideals to form a National Party. Unfortunately, politics in Nigeria has been turned into you chop, I chop. Nobody is talking about issues again.

The AD governors were hoodwinked by OBJ with a promise to support their re-elections if they supported his re-election too. A true Afenifere would have insisted on finding out how such arrangement would benefit their people. All they wanted was how to remain in power even if it meant they had to negotiate with the devil.

When Spaco said it could only happen in Awo's time. He was making a very profound statement that had taken consideration of the type of politicians we have today. Even the Gbenga Daniel you mentioned, is he an Afenifere? No Afenifere would work with OBJ to rig elections so flagrantly just to stay in power. I believe, were Awo to be alive, he would not work with OBJ even if that one promised to make him the president.

Afenifere as an idea will only work within a self governing Yoruba Nation. That was the foundation of Afenifere. To try and project it to the Nigerian situation as presently constituted, will not work. Awo tried it, he failed.

What Afenifere stands for can be distilled thus;

1 The idea of social contract between the government and the people.

That is, Afenifere will take clearly-staked out positions on socio-economic and political issues and canvass for votes on the basis of such positions. Once voted into power, the people will hold the party accountable to translate these positions into policies for the welfare of the people. NO EXCUSES. The Action Group position paper on education was prepared by Chief M A Ajasin, Oladipupo E Alayande et al, and adopted by the inaugural conference of the party in Owo, in 1951. Positions that a political party takes on public issues SET the party apart from others, so the voters can decide.

2 Afenifere does NOT subscribe to the idea that the purpose of being voted into power is to ‘come and eat' or share perks and patronage. Obafemi Awolowo put it bluntly, ‘Do not enjoy in government what you cannot provide for yourself in private life'. This is why many of our politicians cannot conceive of life outside government.

3 The Afenifere believes in a virile opposition as a bulwark against a ruling party's excesses. The political space must be contested for through robust debates and ideas tested in the public domain.

4 The Afenifere believes in the electorate as being rational and is best left to make what it considers its best informed decision. The late Canon Oladipupo E. Alayande was Obafemi Awolowo's personal preference to be governor of Oyo state in 1979. Chief Bola Ige won the primary and became the governor. The party will not subvert the democratic process by imposing candidates against the wish of the people.

5 The Afenifere does NOT believe in government of ‘national unity', ‘broad-based government' [except perhaps in time of war], and is not afraid of being in the opposition. Indeed a political system must have credible opposition parties ready and waiting to sell its programs and ideas to the public and thus win elections on the merits of positions canvassed.

6 The Afenifere does not believe in a unitary system of government masquerading as pseudo federalism where the component states are so dependent on the federal government that they become its mere outposts.

7 The Afenifere does not subscribe to the false consciousness of mainstream politics where indolent politicians, unable to win elections in their locale, masquerade as ‘national' leaders because the party they belong to happens to be the party in power at the federal level.
Re: What is Afenifere?
Mikky jaga posted on 03-08-2008, 12:17:01 PM
Going by the ideals of the original Afenifere as you listed below, it will be a miracle if we can get enough politicians that subscribe to such ideals to form a National Party. Unfortunately, politics in Nigeria has been turned into you chop, I chop. Nobody is talking about issues again.

The AD governors were hoodwinked by OBJ with a promise to support their re-elections if they supported his re-election too. A true Afenifere would have insisted on finding out how such arrangement would benefit their people. All they wanted was how to remain in power even if it meant they had to negotiate with the devil.

When Spaco said it could only happen in Awo's time. He was making a very profound statement that had taken consideration of the type of politicians we have today. Even the Gbenga Daniel you mentioned, is he an Afenifere? No Afenifere would work with OBJ to rig elections so flagrantly just to stay in power. I believe, were Awo to be alive, he would not work with OBJ even if that one promised to make him the president.

Afenifere as an idea will only work within a self governing Yoruba Nation. That was the foundation of Afenifere. To try and project it to the Nigerian situation as presently constituted, will not work. Awo tried it, he failed.

What Afenifere stands for can be distilled thus;

1 The idea of social contract between the government and the people.

That is, Afenifere will take clearly-staked out positions on socio-economic and political issues and canvass for votes on the basis of such positions. Once voted into power, the people will hold the party accountable to translate these positions into policies for the welfare of the people. NO EXCUSES. The Action Group position paper on education was prepared by Chief M A Ajasin, Oladipupo E Alayande et al, and adopted by the inaugural conference of the party in Owo, in 1951. Positions that a political party takes on public issues SET the party apart from others, so the voters can decide.

2 Afenifere does NOT subscribe to the idea that the purpose of being voted into power is to ‘come and eat' or share perks and patronage. Obafemi Awolowo put it bluntly, ‘Do not enjoy in government what you cannot provide for yourself in private life'. This is why many of our politicians cannot conceive of life outside government.

3 The Afenifere believes in a virile opposition as a bulwark against a ruling party's excesses. The political space must be contested for through robust debates and ideas tested in the public domain.

4 The Afenifere believes in the electorate as being rational and is best left to make what it considers its best informed decision. The late Canon Oladipupo E. Alayande was Obafemi Awolowo's personal preference to be governor of Oyo state in 1979. Chief Bola Ige won the primary and became the governor. The party will not subvert the democratic process by imposing candidates against the wish of the people.

5 The Afenifere does NOT believe in government of ‘national unity', ‘broad-based government' [except perhaps in time of war], and is not afraid of being in the opposition. Indeed a political system must have credible opposition parties ready and waiting to sell its programs and ideas to the public and thus win elections on the merits of positions canvassed.

6 The Afenifere does not believe in a unitary system of government masquerading as pseudo federalism where the component states are so dependent on the federal government that they become its mere outposts.

7 The Afenifere does not subscribe to the false consciousness of mainstream politics where indolent politicians, unable to win elections in their locale, masquerade as ‘national' leaders because the party they belong to happens to be the party in power at the federal level.
Re: What is Afenifere?
Agidimolaja posted on 03-08-2008, 16:38:05 PM
Thank you very much Prof Ibiyinka for this article. Many thanks to Mikky Jagga,Spaco etc for their thoughtful responses."Stopp" expressed his own perverse opinions but it does not matter to me as his opinion lacked substance.

The word Afenifere originally was a literal translation of Action Group to Yoruba audience of those days especially those that did not go to school. When Action Group became more popular and somehow dominant in the Western Region, the word Afenifere was less used,rather the word "Egbe Olope" became the common word with which Action group was known because thesymbol of Action Group was Palm tree{Ope}, a mutipurpose tree that does not shed its leaves.

Before Action Group came into existence in 1951, Chief Obafemi Awolowo had met in London with certain eminent Yorubas in 1945 to form Egbe Omo Oduduwa as a response to Ibo Federal Union and Ibibio State Union. Their main purpose was to set up an organization to unite the Yorubas. In 1948 , Egbe Omo Oduduwa was launched in Lagos with great fanfare by prominent Yoruba politicians who already associated themselves with Nigerian Youth Movement. The group wasto chart a specific course for the development of Western Region, a kind of Yoruba Nation.

Egbe Omo Oduduwa then formed a Party called Action Group. Among the party's objectives was to mobilize Yorubas into one political umbrella. The leader of the party was the one and only Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the best President that Nigeria never had.

I need not tell my readers about Awo'sachievements and his living legacies. They are all there to behold and people have not stopped talking about them.

The sad thing today is that the principles upon which Afenifere was founded have been partially abandoned by certain lost Yoruba children. The most unfortunate thing is that these mischievous Yorubas are still parading themselves as Awoists, Afeniferes, Progrssives and everything that Awolowo was noted for.Some of them rode the crest of Obafemi Awolowo to become what they are today but have long departed from the path of their mentor.

The old Oyo Empire was destroyed because of the activities of Yoruba stooges and saboteurs. In the same manner, Action group{Afenifere}, UPN, AD and the entire Yoruba Kingdom have suffered greatly at the hands of similar stoogees and crumb eaters. All that Awolowo laboured for are fastly being eroded with the assistance of Yoruba stooges who fell in love with unprogressive Yoruba antagonists. These are the people hurting us greatly today.

Among us today,anti-progressive Yorubas are heavyweightmembers of PDP and AC; political parties that are miles away from the principles upon which Afenifere was founded.Among these mischeif mongers are Governors, noted political thugs, corrupt opportunists etc who have not contributed anything to fast forward all that Awolowo handed down to us but who, instead are actively putting his legacies out of place. They are not Afenifere as they called themselves,rather they are core "AFENIFEBI".Their stomachsare their lords and would do anything to uproot Awolowo's legacy as long as it would bring them fame and money. They are ready tools in the hands of Yoruba enemies. We know them just as we know their paymasters.

Even though we are still suffering at the hands of our anti-progressive enemies with the aids of our own double standard folks, we must keep our hopes alive because evils cannot reign forever.

Yorubas survived the 1959 dubious event and the 1962 injustice and the 1965 daylight political robbery and the 1966 needless assasination of our leaders and the 1979 infamous twelve two third abracadabra and the June 12 midnight stampede before Abacha rode into townwith massive arrests, detention and killings of Yorubas. If we survived all those horrible sad events, I promised you that Yorubas shall survive the present humiliations. Evils I say,cannot reign foever. No, not in Yorubaland.

By nature, Yorubas are progressive people. We are hard working. Other unfavourable things are quite alien to us, therefore we shall shake them off eventually.

Obafemi Awolowo laid the solid foundation of progress. Hewas still building upon it before he was forced out. Nevertheless, the sure foundation remained with us and all we needed to do now is to put our acts together and go back to rebuild.

Let all Yorubas be fully aware of the fact that the road to progress is always under construction.
Re: What is Afenifere?
Ifeolooni posted on 03-08-2008, 18:53:50 PM
the earlier the better cos they r nw talking about sw economy and coincidental announcement of light out in the sw for 30days
conspiracy theory?
maybe an insipid arguement
Re: What is Afenifere?
MrOneNaija posted on 03-08-2008, 19:20:53 PM
A PAN-NIGERIAN AFENIFERE?

Spaco, STTOPP and Mikky Jaga have all expressed what I believe are valid points regarding Afenifere and I hasten to add that Mikky Jaga's position is the one closest to mine on this subject.

The original Afenifere might have been a truly action-minded, grassroots-based organisation but in its post-Awolowo incarnation, it is doubtful that one can put a "progressive" tag on the association without provoking controversy or even derision. The sectarian posture of Afenifere during the last Obasanjo tyranny has already been alluded to. Throwing its avowed principles out of the window, Afenifere, through its political baby known as the AD, metamorphosed into a fanatical tribal brigade for perhaps the most depraved and backward potentate in the history of Nigeria. And here lies the Afenifere conundrum.

Whether under Awo or the likes of Adesanya, the inherent contradictions within Afenifere have made it an unpalatable proposition as a vehicle for national unity and development. During the Obasanjo "theocracy" (between 1999 and 2007), for instance, the rabid jingoism of its gerontocratic éminence grise, not to mention its parochial and hegemonist cravings, contributed in no small measure in alienating important segments of the country.

When it suits Afenifere and co., they preach pan-Nigerianism. Yet, here is an outfit whose key representataives have historically opted for what is tantamount to a simplistic rhetoric of tribal insularity with separatist undertones.

Another thing: Afenifere should explain to citizens its attitude regarding the murderous activities of the group that goes by the acronym of OPC. This should help us in our assessment of Awo's brainchild.
Re: What is Afenifere?
STTOPP posted on 03-08-2008, 21:01:21 PM
QUOTE:
Thank you very much Prof Ibiyinka for this article.Many thanks to Mikky Jagga, Spaco etc for their thoughtful responses. \"Stopp\" expressed his own perverse opinions but it does not matter to me as his opinion lacked substance.
The word Afenifere originally was a literal translation of Action Group to Yoruba audience of those days especially those that did not go to school.When Action Group became more popular and somehow dominant in the Western Region,the word Afenifere was less used, rather the word \"Egbe Olope\" became the common word with which Action group was known because the symbol of Action Group was Palm tree{Ope},a mutipurpose tree that does not shed its leaves.
Before Action Group came into existence in 1951,Chief Obafemi Awolowo had met in London with certain eminent Yorubas in 1945 to form Egbe Omo Oduduwa as a response to Ibo Federal Union and Ibibio State Union.Their main purpose was to set up an organization to unite the Yorubas.In 1948 ,Egbe Omo Oduduwa was launched in Lagos with great fanfare by prominent Yoruba politicians who already associated themselves with Nigerian Youth Movement.The group was to chart a specific course for the development of Western Region,a kind of Yoruba Nation.
Egbe Omo Oduduwa then formed a Party called Action Group.Among the party's objectives was to mobilize Yorubas into one political umbrella.The leader of the party was the one and only Chief Obafemi Awolowo,the best President that Nigeria never had.
I need not tell my readers about Awo's achievements and his living legacies.They are all there to behold and people have not stopped talking about them.
The sad thing today is that the principles upon which Afenifere was founded have been partially abandoned by certain lost Yoruba children.The most unfortunate thing is that these mischievous Yorubas are still parading themselves as Awoists,Afeniferes,Progrssives and everything that Awolowo was noted for. Some of them rode the crest of Obafemi Awolowo to become what they are today but have long departed from the path of their mentor.
The old Oyo Empire was destroyed because of the activities of Yoruba stooges and saboteurs.In the same manner,Action group{Afenifere},UPN,AD and the entire Yoruba Kingdom have suffered greatly at the hands of similar stoogees and crumb eaters.All that Awolowo laboured for are fastly being eroded with the assistance of Yoruba stooges who fell in love with unprogressive Yoruba antagonists.These are the people hurting us greatly today.
Among us today, anti-progressive Yorubas are heavyweight members of PDP and AC;political parties that are miles away from the principles upon which Afenifere was founded. Among these mischeif mongers are Governors,noted political thugs,corrupt opportunists etc who have not contributed anything to fast forward all that Awolowo handed down to us but who,instead are actively putting his legacies out of place.They are not Afenifere as they called themselves, rather they are core \"AFENIFEBI\". Their stomachs are their lords and would do anything to uproot Awolowo's legacy as long as it would bring them fame and money.They are ready tools in the hands of Yoruba enemies.We know them just as we know their paymasters.
Even though we are still suffering at the hands of our anti-progressive enemies with the aids of our own double standard folks,we must keep our hopes alive because evils cannot reign forever.
Yorubas survived the 1959 dubious event and the 1962 injustice and the 1965 daylight political robbery and the 1966 needless assasination of our leaders and the 1979 infamous twelve two third abracadabra and the June 12 midnight stampede before Abacha rode into town with massive arrests,detention and killings of Yorubas.If we survived all those horrible sad events,I promised you that Yorubas shall survive the present humiliations.Evils I say, cannot reign foever.No,not in Yorubaland.
By nature,Yorubas are progressive people.We are hard working.Other unfavourable things are quite alien to us,therefore we shall shake them off eventually.
Obafemi Awolowo laid the solid foundation of progress.He was still building upon it before he was forced out.Nevertheless,the sure foundation remained with us and all we needed to do now is to put our acts together and go back to rebuild.
Let all Yorubas be fully aware of the fact that the road to progress is always under construction.




The substance you want is to hang around cyberspace and endlessly harp on the same issues over and over again while the real tasks of developing our human and natural resources remain stagnant and withering away. You want to discuss the unscrutinized nostalgic time of living off the last hurrah of the British administrators. The real achievement of the Action group administration was throwing the classroom open to all manner of pupils and raising the hopes of many parents which psychologically has been denied them, because going to school before that time amounts to little expense. All other claimed achievement was a direct progression of the uncompleted planned program of the previous administration. Awo was a great scholar and statesman, but the socialist style and the propaganda his group employed to deceive the populace, like his face appearing on moon, putting his photograph on the excise books, was tell tales of their modus operandi. They left us a legacy of infighting and greed in grabbing for themselves the most plum government landed properties, which laid the foundation for some of the problem we are saddle with today. The euphoria of independent and the fact that we are now running our own affair cloud the fact that our leaders lack the natural skill for nation building and led to impatience and thus short circuit what could have being.

STTOPP
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