The national Leader of pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Chief Reuben Famuyide Fasoranti MFR, has congratulated President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, on his election as Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Commission of West Africa (ECOWAS).
The nonagenarian’s message was contained in press statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of the body, Comrade Jare Ajayi.
It would be recalled that President Tinubu was unanimously elected as the regional body’s chairman on Sunday, July 9, 2023 at its 63rd extra-ordinary meeting that held in Guinea Bissau.
According to the statement, Pa Fasoranti expressed optimism that the president will use the opportunity he has as Nigerian President and Chairman of ECOWAS “to better the lot of Nigerians and uplift the conditions of the region’s citizens with a view to ensuring that Nigerians and Africans generally experience a new lease of life that everyone would be happy about”.
The statement also quoted Pa Fasoranti as reminding the president of the welfarist ideas contained in his manifesto that he (Tinubu) shared with him when he (the president) visited him in Akure in October, 2022.
“The ideas contained in the ‘Renewed Hope’ manifesto, if faithfully implemented, have the potential of enhancing the welfare of Nigerians, uplifting the status of our country and earn greater respect for our race among the global communities.”
According to Ajayi, the Afenifere Leader again identified the areas in which he wanted Tinubu administration to urgently act upon “so as to adroitly redirect the fortune of our nation back onto the glorious path.”
Listed among the areas of immediate concern were security, high cost of living, high unemployment rate, social and economic dislocation, declining agriculture, infrastructural deficit, high tariff and irregular supply of electricity as well as the urgent need to revamp our education and health sectors. “The president was also enjoined to ensure that prices of petroleum products come down to the level that would be affordable by the common man”.
The statement further averred that being a core Afenifere person himself, it was not surprising that Tinubu’s vision for Nigeria synchronizes with Afenifere philosophy.
The central core of Afenifere philosophy being the welfare of the people, enhancing and projecting Yoruba interests. The philosophy encapsulates the concept of Omoluabi and life-more-abundant-for-all.
“ Incidentally, Yoruba interests are not at variance with the overall interests of the majority of Nigerians. Yorubas believe in equity, justice and fairness. They believe in peaceful co-existence whereby one does not constitute a threat to his or her neighbor. Being democrats, Yorubas also believe strongly in each nationality in Nigeria (that so desires) to be in a position to determine its own affairs within the ambit of federal system in Nigeria. That was why we are pushing Restructuring.”
The statement added that Afenifere’s philosophy goes beyond partisan politics. “That is why the organization, in itself, is not a political party but a Philosophy. For by being a political party, all those who are not members (of the party) would automatically not be in Afenifere. Whereas Afenifere is for all Yorubas adults who are willing to advance Yoruba interests and are ready to be members of the apex Yoruba organisation.
Ajayi quoted Pa Fasoranti as asserting that the social and cultural component of Afenifere philosophy goes beyond a political vignette as all Yoruba people cannot belong to the same political party. “We can put our weight behind political concepts that are in tandem with our own philosophy as most welfare programmes meant to better the lot of the people can only be fully realized through governmental policies. And as we all know, the situation in this era is such that governments are formed only through political processes.
In a nutshell, Afenifere identifies with President Tinubu’s vision as it correlates with the organisation’s philosophy. For, it is when a people’s social and cultural philosophy and practices are noble that their political philosophy and political practices would be people-centred. And it is when government policies are people-centred that such a government would be in a position to pursue people-oriented programmes”.
The statement further quoted Pa Fasoranti as expressing optimism that President Tinubu will deliver urging him ‘not to disappoint Nigerians”.