Nigeria 2023: Yoruba’s Interest, Context Of Ideologies, Balancing Principles And The Afenifere Question
Human beings will always display the human nature in homo-sapien, no matter the status, class or age, judging by the recent events leading towards the 2023 general elections!
The saying that “you don’t know who sincerely loves you until you are in a crisis”, readily tallies with “you may not know the extent of a person good sense of judgment and principle, until an issue crops up to decide or adjudicate upon.”
Afenifere is a socio-cultural, cum political group, right from the time of Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s Action Group, (AG), political party, preceding the first republic, (1960-1966).
And like every individual and other groups, Afenifere equally has the constitutional rights to support any political party or candidate for the purpose of choosing leadership at any level of governance.
However, nothing has been more divisive to a course of action, or turn a once bosom friends to sworn enemies, than ethno-religious and political issues, as presently being witnessed between Pa Ayo Adebanjo and Reuben Fasoranti, both long time foundation members of Afenifere.
The common ground for agitations amongst the various ethno-cultural, political and activist groups, in the past, was significantly to drive away the then colonial and military governments, at different times.
But the present contending situational challenging issues in the country, as a whole, have really changed the dynamics and space of the agitations.
The question then arises- in what context should Afenifere stand for Yoruba’s interests?
In reality of a nation in crises, and at the edge of a precipice, it should, therefore, be in the context of ideology, principle and issue that would provide solutions, promote and enhance Yoruba, Southern and Nigerian interests, in that order of preference, as an ethno-cultural group.
It’s, however, a pity that ethno-religious and political sentiments, have suddenly taken over the Nigerians collective ideological yearnings for an issue-based restructuring/devolution of powers and resources program, which, infact, the OHANEZE, PANDEFF, AFENIFERE, the MIDDLE BELT, amongst others, had supported His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar and PDP for, in 2019 presidential elections. without any internal rancor, then.
Why are they now jettisoning/departing from that singular noble collective issue-based agenda setting/way to solving our multifaceted politico-economic and security challenges, for individuals sectional and political ambitions/interests, including ethno-religious idiosyncrasies, with the attendant internal personality tussle?
In the present discordant tone of the politicians narrative interests, by our various opinion leaders and groups, therefore, it really behoves the generality of the people, with the requisite discerning minds and spirits, to get their acts together for collective issue of national interest, as against the present ethnocentric, and politico-emotional decisions, often with the attendant future dire consequences, as witnessed in 2015.
A situation where, to date, people are being kidnapped, maimed, killed, women and young maiden are being raped, with the attendant trauma and psychological devastation for life, needs not be traded for pettiness or any ethno primordial behavioral decision and choice, if we are not only beckoning to a worst future devastating and dastardly acts.
Sentiments, personal interests, ethnic cleavages and emotions, should be set aside, for the sake of our future generations.
Let us get it right at the federal, first, other tiers will eventually fit in, appropriately.
Oladipo Oluwole who contributed this piece is a journalist, public affairs analyst and former director, Information & Education, Ogun State and can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org. 08033598528.