A former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday paid a visit to the leaders of the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, at the residence of the leader of the group, Pa Reuben Fasoranti in Akure, Ondo State.
The meeting, which lasted for almost 30 minutes, had the former President calling for the cooperation of the group to save Nigeria from collapsing.
Speaking during the visit, Obasanjo commended the Afenifere for being at the forefront of fighting for the interest of the Yoruba nation while he was working towards the interest of the country as a whole, noting that the two parties were working towards the same goals of fostering unity among the people of the country but on a different pedestal.
The former President recalled how he had visited the leadership of the group some 20 years ago, seeking the group’s support for his election but said he was rejected by the group.
He said, “I remember visiting Pa Abraham Adesanya thrice in Lagos before the 1999 election and I was asked to join Afenifere and Alliance for Democracy then, but I told them that AD was a cul-de-sac.
“Pa Abraham told me that if I joined, things would change; but I refused to join them. I went back the second time, but they refused to work for my emergence.
“I went there again the third time, but Afenifere maintained their stand. They refused to vote for me; but I secured my votes outside Yorubaland, though they supported me in 2003 for my re-election.
“Our priority is now one. If we do not join hands to repair this country now, it will collapse and this could be disastrous.”
The Afenifere leader, Pa Fasoranti, while responding, said the visit of the former President was historic and first in about 20 years, adding that the Yoruba group was in support of the ex-President’s moves to achieve peaceful and virile Nigeria.
He commended Obasanjo for his struggle to make Nigeria a better place, assuring him of the support of Afenifere to join hands with him in the struggle
Fasoranti said, “We want to encourage you in your struggle to make Nigeria the best. You are fearless and that is one of the traits of a good leader
“We have been watching you, and your dreams of a better Nigeria shall be realised.
“Nigerians are at a crossroads; we are tired of the killings, kidnapping going on across the country and the President is mute about it.
“We are in full support of all the letters written by Obasanjo to President Muhammadu Buhari on the state of the nation. We are dissatisfied with the state of affairs in the country. The country is not being run properly.
“Nothing is being done properly in this country presently. Look at the killings in the North. The President is very silent about it.
“We are all Nigerians. If he can keep silence about the killing of his people, that is bad enough.”
The Afenifere leader declared that the group was in total support of the coalition of political parties to forge an alliance against President Muhammadu Buhari in the next general election.
“It will be the joy of everybody to present a formidable team to confront the evil government that is there now,” Fasoranti stated.