Afenifere Should Stop Dabbling Into Politics, Remain Socio-cultural -Bode George - The Naija Weekly

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Monday, September 16, 2019

Afenifere Should Stop Dabbling Into Politics, Remain Socio-cultural -Bode George

Olabode George, a former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has bemoaned the division in Afenifere, the Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, saying it was time elders in the group concentrated on advancing the interests of the Yoruba nation and stopped dabbling into politics.
The polarity in Afenifere has seen the faction led by Senator Ayo Fasanmi attracting only members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) such as Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Bisi Akande, Segun Osoba, and others, while the other led by Pa Reuben Fasoranti is reputed to have sympathy for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Speaking with Daily Independent, George, the Atona Oodua of Yorubaland, said Afenifere should emulate other socio-cultural organisations in the country such as Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), and the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU).
According to him, these organisations have no political leanings and speak for the interest of their sons and daughters, irrespective of their political affiliations.
He said: “I know Papa Fasoranti and I know Senator Ayo Fasanmi. Papa Fasanmi knows that Pa Fasoranti is a leader in the hierarchy as they were coming from those days.
“When you look at the people which Pa Fasanmi now leads, you will begin to wonder, what is going on here?
“The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) was never divided. Even if it was, it remains the unifying voice from the North.
“Looking back to history, the mistake was that Afenifere should have remained the cultural union of our people and not go into politics.
“But the way the Egbe Omo Oduduwa and the Action Group started, we now put politics and culture together.
“I have a lot of respect for all the leaders in Afenifere and I remember, as a PDP chieftain, I met them and I said ‘let us come together’.
“Then Afenifere was part of Alliance for Democracy (AD), and if you look, that was how Action Group and Egbe Omo Oduduwa started.
“You should be able to divorce politics from cultural matters. People in Yorubaland belong to different political parties, so we said why can’t Afenifere be a cultural union?
“Irrespective of the political party you belong, as a Yoruba man or woman, you are a member of Afenifere.
“We should make Afenifere the strength of Yorubaland, the cultural union of Yorubaland.
“Look at Ohanaeze, you can be a member of any political party, but culturally all Igbo belong to Ohanaeze.
“That is the message the elders of Afenifere have to start giving to the people. They should treat all Yoruba sons and daughters, irrespective of political parties, as their children.
“I want to appeal to the elders in Afenifere that we should assert the body as our cultural union that has no political affiliation. You can promote your party, but when it comes to the voice of the Yoruba people, it resonates all over.
“The Urhobo Progress Union is not affiliated to any political party, the same with Ohanaeze or Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), and it has nothing to do with religion. Some people are looking at Afenifere as if it’s a political party, it is not.”
George also said Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former Lagos State governor and national leader of the ruling APC, would be punished for moving against Yoruba leaders in Afenifere who assisted him politically to where he is today.
He urged Tinubu to collect a Bible from his wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, who is an Assistant Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), and read Psalm 73 to get a proper perspective of life.
“If he (Tinubu) thinks he has money, he is mistaken because money is not everything. Nobody has ever died with all his assets buried with him. He should go and read the Holy Book, Psalm 73.
“He can borrow the Bible from his wife because she is a deacon and see what the Almighty God can do, which he did before during the time of David.
“Why is he claiming to be all-in-all? Can he be perpetual? So, sponsoring people and undermining the people who actually brought him to limelight is unfair. There is retributive justice. He will pay for it.”
Also speaking on the state of the nation, George said it was time for politicians in the country to move closer to God in order to atone for their sins.
“We have drifted badly in the wrong direction. We need to move closer to God Almighty.
“Whether a Muslim, Christian, or whatever, we need to go for a season of fasting and praying, because we have offended God.
“That goes across various political parties. We also have the same madness in our party. We need to go back to pray to God to forgive us our sins because there is nothing in life you do, you will pay back for it,” he added.

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