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Yoruba leaders begin fence-mending

Posted by By AKEEB ALARAPE, Ibadan on 2007/12/29 | Views: 681 |

Yoruba leaders begin fence-mending


A seven-member Yoruba Leaders of Thought Committee has commenced an aggressive mediation move among the warring factions of the pan-Yoruba political socio-economic group, Afenifere, which may culminate in the merger of three registered political parties in the country.

…AC, DPA, AD may merge

A seven-member Yoruba Leaders of Thought Committee has commenced an aggressive mediation move among the warring factions of the pan-Yoruba political socio-economic group, Afenifere, which may culminate in the merger of three registered political parties in the country.

A reliable source disclosed to Daily Sun that negotiation is on top gear to ensure that the comatose Alliance for Democracy (AD), the Action Congress (AC) and Democratic Peoples Alliance (DPA), which is peopled largely by the Afenifere chieftains, come under one umbrella to form a credible opposition to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

At the forefront of the negotiation, it was learnt, is a seven-man panel led by a former justice of the Supreme Court (names withheld) and supported by the likes of the former governor of Lagos State in the Second Republic, Alhaji Lateef Jakande.

Other prominent members of the team, Daily Sun learnt, were retired Archbishops Emmanuel Gbonigi and Ayoa Ladigbolu, Professor Bolanle Awe and Mr. Fola Adeola. A former vice-chancellor of University of Ibadan (UI) was named as the secretary of the panel.
The source confided in Daily Sun that members of the panel have to be pruned down to seven from its initial 17 members due to the political affiliations of the dropped members and also on the need to have non-partial persons as mediators.

According to the source, series of meetings have been held with major political actors in the South-West region, in both Ibadan and Lagos, on the need for progressives in the region to unite and checkmate the excesses of the PDP government, as well as reposition the region in the scheme of things after the exit of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as president of the country.

Interestingly, the source disclosed that two sitting PDP governors in the South-West, who were averse to Obasanjo’s style of governance especially during his second term in office, were said to have bought the idea of reuniting the Yoruba nation aftermath of the Obasanjo presidency, which saw the region gaining nothing from his eight years tenure.

Daily Sun source revealed that political bigwigs in the region, which included former presidential candidate of the joint AD/APP alliance in 1998, Chief Olu Falae, former governors, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Senator Rasidi Ladoja, Alhaji Lamidi Adesina and known Afenifere chieftains like Chiefs Ayo Adebanjo, Michael Koleoso, Senators Mojisoluwa Akinfenwa, Femi Okurounmu and Sir Olanihun Ajayi were said to have agreed to the mediation initiative.

The panel, it was further learnt, may also extend its invitation to some notable politicians in the region, who were not members of any of the three afore-mentioned political parties but share the political philosophy of the progressive political camp. Being prodded for contact were names such as the governorship candidates of the Labour Party (LP) in Ondo State, Mr. Olusegun Mimiko and his colleague in the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) in Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi.

The source, nonetheless disclosed that the committee was yet to come up with an acceptable name for the political party that would accommodate the new alliance but said words had gone round that any election that comes up in the region now would be a joint exercise of the three parties.

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