On Wednesday leaders of the pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, will meet in Akure, the Ondo State capital, to discuss the selection of a new chairman following their tumultuous year.
According to sources close to our correspondent, many members of the group have grown tired of the leadership of the current chairman, Pa Reuben Fasoranti. The senior leadership is also wary of rumors that the poor choices made by Mr. Fasoranti led to increasing distrust between Afenifere and the people of the South West Zone.
SaharaReporters learned that some of Afenifere’s senior leadership arrived Tuesday evening to discuss the future of the group with the embattled Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko.
According to sources within Afenifere, Governor Mimiko expressed a strong interest in the new leader of the group. Governor Mimiko’s position has been met with consternation on the part of Mr. Fasoranti who reportedly pleaded with the Governor to remove his support for a new leader.
Since Sunday, the besieged chairman has refused virtually all contact with the outside world, reportedly turning off all mobile lines in his offices. He has also instructed his security team to place his compound on permanent lockdown, and to only open the gates to his estate after receiving express permission from him.
An assistant to Governor Mimiko revealed that the Governor will most likely try to influence the senior leadership of Afenifere to choose his preferred candidate. The assistant also noted that Governor Mimiko would no doubt attempt to augment his influence on the group with cash.
Despite the desire to change their chairman, the Afenifere group will hold this meeting at the Mr. Fasoranti’s compound. Although it is unclear if he will allow them into his compound, given the rumors that he will most likely be dismissed.
In an exclusive interview with SaharaReporters a member of the senior leadership of Afenifere stated that the group would be searching for a candidate who was competent but would not compromise the goals of Afenifere. He stressed the need to find someone who would not, “paddle us into another sinking boat”.
The source informed SaharaReporters that the decision would most likely be announced in a communique after the meeting concluded.