Moved by the tenacity of purpose of progressive elements in the South-West geo-political zone, the Action Congress (AC) governorship candidate in Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi has enjoined the progressives in the zone to keep on weathering the storm as there will soon be the light at the end of the tunnel.
Fayemi who made this remark at a meeting of Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) held with pomp and pageantry in Osogbo, Osun State at the residence of a prominent member of the group, Mr Layi Oyeduntan, during the weekend saluted the courage of all members of the opposition, telling them not to relent their support until the imposition of political mediocres in the region by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo are chased out of the zone.
The governorship candidate who condemned the use of police by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)- led governments in the South-West to settle political scores told the people to remain calm in the face of unwarranted provocation by the PDP members and their supporters in the area.
He told the progressive members to continue to display a sense of maturity in their dealings with the reactionary group, cautioning: ‘’Don’t initiate violence but don’t run away from violence’’.
Fayemi who is slugging it out at the Court of Appeal with the incumbent Governor Segun Oni over April 14, 2007 governorship election hinted that he was optimistic that the progressives would retrieve the South-West from the reactionary group.
His words: ‘’We have done everything humanly and legally possible to reclaim the stolen mandate from the notorious and unpopular party of occupation orchestrated by Obasanjo from our zone. And it is my conviction that we shall succeed’’.
In his opening remark, the chairman of the group, Honourable Olawale Oshun, implored members of the progressives to go back home and tell the people that a new lease of life has been breathed into the Afenifere with a view to making the Yoruba reclaim their lost glory in the schemes of things in Nigeria.
Oshun’s words: “Go back to the nooks and crannies of Yorubaland and spread a good tiding that Afenifere has come to champion the cause of our people. We cannot do it alone. We need the support of all and sundry to succeed in our mission’’
Honourable Tayo Ilupeju, former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in Osun State, said he was fulfilled with the emergence of the new Afenifere group, saying his prayer was that God would assist the group in its mission.
Alhaji Muraina Iyiola, Vice Chairman of AC in Osun State went down memory lane to catalogue history of series of violence against the opposition by the ruling party in the state, counseling the members to remain steadfast.
The state chairman of the National Conscience Party (NCP), Alhaji Waheed Lawal frowned at the notion in some quarters that only AC members are Afenifere, saying that ‘’Afenifere membership cuts across other political parties other than the AC’’.
Some of the dignitaries on the occasion included Mr Ayo Afolabi, the Secretary-General of the group who condemned the recent arrest, and detention of Oyeduntan in Ile-Ife Prisons, Otunba JMK Ogunkeyede, Dr Wale Adebanwi, Mr Dipo Famakinwa, Mr Yinka Odumakin, Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Jimi Agbaje, DPA governorship candidate in Lagos State and Alhaji Gbadamosi Lawal.
Others are Mr Kunle Famoriyo, Political Assistant to the late Chief Bola Ige, Mr Bisi Adegbuyi, Mr Tokunbo Ajasin, Dr Wole Adetoro, Alhaji Oduola Baruwa and Alhaji Ibraheem Adeniyi among other dignitaries.