Chief Bisi Akande, former governor of Osun state and former National Chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, and Chief Ayo Adebanjo, leader of pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere are both leading lights of Yoruba ethnic race. Alongside other Yoruba activists, they’ve been in the forefront in the struggle to have a better deal for their people, though they may not belong to the same group. A verbal war has however ensued between the two elder statesmen.
Last week, Chief Akande stirred the hornets nest at the launch of his autobiography, “My Participations,” where he accused Chief Adebanjo of pestering Senator Bola Tinubu to build a house for him in Lekki where he now resides. In his response, Chief Adebanjo denied that his Lekki house was built for him by Tinubu and went to a great length explaining how he sourced for funds to build the house. He nevertheless challenged Chief Akande to explain the sources of his own wealth and asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to probe him. Following the verbal war, concerns have been expressed in some quarters that the Yoruba people may be the loser in the end.
In his reaction, Nigeria’s former Ambassador to the Philippines, Dr Yemi Farounbi said, “Chief Adebanjo holds the view that there ought to be restructuring before election and that is what he has been saying over and over.
As to the disagreement between him and Chief Bisi Akande, I personally hold that it was an unnecessary diversion from the focus of what we should pursue. Of course there will be no reaction without an action, I hold the view that both the action and the reaction are unnecessary in the face of what Nigerians are facing, in the face of what the Yoruba are facing and in the pursuit of what the Yoruba would like to see.
It will in some way, affect whatever happens, because we are not likely to get a unanimous view of the hope and expectations of Yoruba. Already, cases of disaffection, bad blood have been sown and I don’t see how that will not affect whatever it is the Yoruba want to get. In my view, the whole situation is unfortunate, it is unnecessary in the circumstances we all are.