Governor of Oyo State, ‘Seyi Makinde, on Tuesday, attended a meeting of frontline leaders of thought in the pan-Yoruba sociopolitical group, Afenifere, stating that he remains committed to the process of ensuring peace, unity and progress of Yorubaland.
The governor, who spoke shortly after the meeting held at the Otunba Subomi Balogun Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, declared that some frontline leaders in Afenifere had decided to resolve the differences between the two leaders of the group, Pa Reuben Fasoranti and Pa Ayo Adebanjo.
He stated that with the general election out of the way, it was time to begin the process of fostering unity in Yorubaland, noting that he and the other leaders of thought in the Afenifere were assured that once the two leaders come together, Yorubaland and Nigeria would have the desired unity.
The governor added that the process would be speedy, saying “We are all aware of the issues between our two Afenifere leaders; Pa Ayo Adebanjo and Pa Reuben Fasoranti.
“Basically, partisan and election issues have come and gone and we are now talking about the unity of Yoruba race. So, these frontline leaders thought it fit to come together to start the process of seeking for unity in Yorubaland.
“And we know that once our two Babas come together, we will also have the deserved unity in Nigeria. If you put it in proper perspective, whenever Yorubaland is united, Nigeria is united, and whenever we have issues and challenges in Yorubaland, it usually spirals into other parts of Nigeria.
“So, my being here is to demonstrate my support for the steps I have been taking and to also let them know that I am committed to seeking for peace in Yorubaland.
“I can tell you that it is not something that we will procrastinate on. We will get to work immediately and I am sure that we will get the desired result within the shortest possible time.”
The governor expressed the confidence that all Yoruba people would come together and bury the differences occasioned by issues between the two leaders, once they see Pa Fasoranti and Pa Adebanjo back together.
“Once you tie the knot at the appropriate places, every other thing will fall in place. Once our people see the two leaders come together and talk, they will be the ones to appeal to the people.
“At that time, you won’t have to talk much because people would have seen that the leaders are now back together.”
The meeting was attended by Afenifere leaders including: Abagun Kole Omololu, Afenifere’s Organising Secretary; Mr. Jare Ajayi, Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary; Chief Eric Oluwole (Ondo); Mr. Dare Babarinsa (Ekiti); Chief Korede Duyile; Chief Leke Mabinuori; Rt. Hon. Bakkita Olufowobi Bello and Chief Diran Adesua.
Others were Afenifere Oyo leaders such as Dr. Gbola Adetunji (chairman); Dr. Akin Onigbinde (SAN); Chief Babatunde Tijani and Chief Mrs. Bola Doherty, among others.