Afenifere leader, Fasoranti, withdraws resignation

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Reuben Fasoranti on Wednesday withdrew his resignation letter and rescinded his decision to step down from his leadership position in the socio-political group, Afenifere.

Co-leaders of the Afenifere socio-political group had rejected Mr. Fasoranti’s and convinced him to rescind his decision.

In response to his resignation made public on Sunday, the leaders including the Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, convened an emergency meeting at Mr. Fasoranti’s residence in Akure.

Rising from the three-hour meeting, the leaders decided that the resignation would breach the succession order of the group.

The group’s communiqué, which was read by its Spokesperson, Yinka Odumakin, said the meeting appreciated the selfless and dedicated leadership offered by Mr. Fasoranti, but rejected the resignation offer.

“Meeting therefore, unanimously, without any dissension, resolve to reject his offer to step aside as leader and pleaded with him to tarry on and carry on with his great responsibility as leader of Afenifere and to ensure that the orderly succession in Afenifere is not disrupted under him,” the communiqué read.

“We are glad to inform you that after listening to the whole meeting, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, our leader, graciously accepted to withdraw his letter of offer of resignation, and to continue his leadership of the group and to see us through the moment ahead in terms of all the plans or reorganization, mobilization, and re-launch of Afenifere in Nigeria, within the Yoruba land and in the Diaspora.”

“Meeting observed that Pa Fasoranti took over the leadership of the group in 2004 at a very challenging period of the group and the country and had remained focused in spite of his age.

The Afenifere grouped said Mr. Fasoranti had discharged his leadership duties creditably well and had been a stabilizing force.

“He is a man of candour, of character, he is somebody who has maintained the balance with great wisdom and appreciate him for that,” the group said.

“Meeting thanked all Yoruba people and leaders who had expressed concerns in the last 72 hours. We want to assure them that there is no crisis in Afenifere, and that the house of Oduduwa is well and we are forging ahead.

“Finally, we resolve to enjoin all our members and supporters to remain fully committed to our core values of enthroning a just and democratic order based on true federalism within the federal republic of Nigeria and autonomy for the Yoruba region, so that life can be more abundant for the Yoruba people.

“We remain committed to these ideals and we are remain committed to it, which is the ideals of our founding fathers, even as we have pledged our full loyalty to our leader to leads us to achieve these set objectives.”

Mr. Odumakin hinted that the group might in the future discuss the possibility of having a deputy leader, who could stand in for Mr. Fasoranti in his absence.

Mr. Fasoranti’s resignation came after the group came under heavy criticism for backing President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election bid.

In his resignation letter, he insisted that the decision of the group to back Mr. Jonathan was not a mistake but a fulfilment of the group’s promise to him if the confab report, the actualisation of the core values of Afenifere, was implemented.

He also lamented that the core values and vision of Afenifere had been eroded over time and the group had missed its crucial target of securing true federalism for Nigeria which would guarantee autonomy for the Yoruba people.

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