AKURE—THE pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, weekend, defended its leaders on the allegation levelled at them by the National Chairman of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Chief Bisi Akande, describing it as regrettable.
General Secretary of the group, Chief Seinde Arogbofa, who spoke in Akure, said Akande’s action “smacks of disrespect for elders, which is a core Yoruba culture.”
According to him, “the decision to support the second term bid of Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State which drew the ire of Akande and his ilk was taken in the best interest of Yoruba and not because of inducement from any quarter.”
He, therefore, described Akande’s statement as regrettable and an insult to his elders.
Arogbofa said: “I do not expect Chief Akande, a former state governor and once a jolly good Afenifere brother, to have gone to town to call his senior brothers unprintable names.
“I expect that even if his public relations officer went out of his way to insult and be rude, he should have called him to order.”
The group, therefore, accused Akande of denigrating the leaders of the group by his statement on their support for Gov. Mimiko second-term ambition.
He said: “One wonders why an elderly man like him should always resort to venom and bitterness in times of crisis, especially at this late hours of his life.
“We wonder what legacy he is leaving behind and what time he has left to redeem himself and have a change of heart.
“Where is the Omoluabi thing they profess they are, when they go out of their way to pour abuses and insults on their elders and impugn the integrity of their superiors?
“In so far as those of us in core Afenifere are concerned, our voice cannot be bought. Our stand cannot be compromised or negotiated. We are on the side of history and are mindful of tomorrow and aware that the hostility of today can tomorrow give way to mutual understanding.
“How can someone in his right mind say that Chiefs Fasoranti, O. Ajayi, Ayo Adebanjo and Olu Falae, are political jobbers and beggars and that we took money from Mimiko before we supported his second term bid?
“Chief Fasoranti runs one of the best Private Secondary Schools in Ondo State and one of the best Nursery and Primary School and has on his pay role well over 100 people.
“Both Chief Ajayi and Chief Adebanjo run some of the best legal firms in the country while Chief Falae is more than 90 percent a full time farmer employing well over 100 people in his farm.
“Apart from this, each of them is blessed with children who can take full care of them.
“Apart from Lagos governor who has performed to the satisfaction of the elders, it is only Mimiko that has done creditable well among the committee of governors in the southwest geo-political group,” Arogbofa said.