Politics  Business  Society & Culture  Reviews  Editorial  News
Politics
Tuesday,Apr 16,2013
SNAPSHOT: Dino Melaye’s car allegedly shot at by unknown gunmen in Abuja – See Tweets
by Akan IdoFormer House of Representatives member, Dino Melaye was said to have been attacked by yet unidentified i....
By associate editor(ynaija)
Thursday,Apr 11,2013
On the contrary, it is we that should grant you pardon – Boko Haram
KANO (AFP) – The leader of the radical Islamist group Boko Haram has rejected the idea of any potential amnes....
By Vanguard
Tuesday,Apr 09,2013
“Forgive Boko Haram as my late husband forgave the Niger Delta militants” – Turai Yar’Adua tells Jonathan
The wife of former President Umaru Yar’Adua, Turai Yar’Adua, has implored President Goodluck Jonathan t....
By Rachel Ogbu
Monday,Apr 08,2013
Ekiti deputy governor, Funmilayo Olayinka dies of cancer at 52
Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Funmi Olayinka dancing during the special prayer session in her office to mark th....
By Y! City Editor
Thursday,Apr 04,2013
Obama To Return 5 Percent Of His Salary In Solidarity With Furloughed Federal Workers
WASHINGTON -- Sharing a bit of budget pain, President Barack Obama will return 5 percent of his salary to the Treas....
By JOSH LEDERMAN
Friday,Mar 22,2013
France's Sarkozy investigated in party-funding affair
Ex-French president Nicolas Sarkozy was placed under formal investigation on Thursday for "abuse of weakness&q....
By Reuters
Friday,Mar 22,2013
Putin Welcomes China's Xi for Landmark Talks
Russia's President Vladimir Putin and China's new leader Xi Jinping are to hold landmark talks on Friday in the hop....
By AFP
Friday,Mar 22,2013
“No minister will get cleared without a PDP membership card’ – Bamanga Tukur
Henceforth all ministerial nominees must be card-carrying members of the Peoples Democratic Party else they will be....
By Rachel Ogbu
Tuesday,Mar 19,2013
30 Killed in Blast at Motor Park in Kano
Over 30 people were killed following a bomb blast in a motor park in the Sabon Gari area of Kano State at about 4.0....
By Jakky Bankong-obi
Wednesday,Mar 13,2013
FG Rejects Video Clip as Proof of Foreign Hostages’ Death
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga AshiruBy Ike Abonyi and Damilola  Oyedele
T....
By Ike Abonyi and Damilola Oyedele
Google
 
Web site search
Home >> Politics
What is Afenifere?

By:
Ibiyinka Solarin
isolarin@yahoo.com.



The purpose of this article is two fold.
1 The first is to contribute to the general quest to ‘reinvent’ and redefine issues-based political party system in our country.
2 The second is to attempt to clarify political positions and beliefs within the broad political spectrum in the southwest geo-political zone. There are two questions here that need to be answered. [A] Is the Afenifere  an umbrella grouping , inclusive of all identifiable political tendencies in the southwest, thus by this definition, a mere socio-cultural organization? [B] Is the Afenifere  the Yoruba socio-linguistic abstraction/interpretation of a definable political praxis/beliefs and thus a political party made up of members who identify with and subscribe to these beliefs and positions of the party?
 
We should  take it granted that for a person to understand a phenomenon, particularly a social phenomenon, one has to study its origin and history. So, to history we must go.
In 1951, the year of self-government in Western Nigeria, the Yoruba were largely illiterate. In that same year, a political party was born in Owo, which gave itself the name,  ‘Action Group’. The chiefs and elites who formed this party had specific objectives in mind, to wit, to embark on a radical socio-economic transformation of western Nigeria, particularly in education, health, agriculture. Pursuant to this singular agenda, they commissioned among themselves, position papers that would form the fulcrum of the transformative agenda if the political party were to win elections in western region and become the government in power. But the leaders faced a dilemma, how to inform and propagate the ideals and positions of the Action Group to a people who do not speak nor understand the foreign language. So they came up with the name, ‘Egbe Afenifere’ . The group [political party] that ‘loves you and wishes good things for you or wishes you well’ And the ‘good things’ this [egbe] party wishes you include ; [a] all school age children in western region  will now be enrolled in primary school at government expense [b] medical expenses in the hospitals for all children from birth to the age of eighteen will now be free, that is borne by the government.
 


Sponsored Links

These epoch-making policies, needless to say were unheard of in the annals of the political history of colonial Nigeria. The British, starting from 1861, in a hundred years of colonialism never came up with any plan to transform Nigeria, in education, health, agriculture etc. Theirs was for Nigerian produce, to feed British industries, with scattered church- missionary driven  education. To demonstrate how radical and all-encompassing in transformative impetus  the Action Group agenda was, ‘schools for Adults’ literally translated ‘Ile Eko Awon Agba’ were established in western region to teach artisans, farmers, market women etc to read and write; the goal being to eradicate illiteracy in this region within two decades! The Action Group believed that it will be difficult to misrule a literate people because they will defend their rights. I know people in southwestern Nigeria today who are products of these schools, they are able to read and write the Yoruba language today because they went to the ‘Ile eko awon agba’. One of them told me the biggest thing for her is that she could go to the bank and sign her name today, fifty years after.
 
The  propagation and enunciation of these policies by the emergent government of Nigerian nationals attracted thinly-veiled hostility, derision and ridicule from the colonial government and Obafemi Awolowo , the leader of this group was dismissed as a mere ‘flash in the pan’, that is, until the party won the election and commenced the implementation of what it had promised the electorates.
The policies of the Action Group ‘The Egbe Afenifere’ set the party apart from OTHER parties.  It was ONLY in Yorubaland that the Action Group was known as the ‘egbe afenifere’ for easy translation and identification in the mind of the largely illiterate people and to DIFFERENTIATE the Action Group from all OTHER parties in the region.   That is to say the Egbe Afenifere was NOT an all-inclusive umbrella  for all political tendencies in Yoruba land, it was an umbrella ONLY for those who subscribe to its ideology and praxis. There were many outstanding Yoruba political personalities that remained outside the Afenifere ‘The Action Group’, like Chief T O S Benson, Chief J M Johnson, Chief Kola Balogun, Chief Olu Akinfosile, Chief Adeniran Ogunsanya, Chief OsuOlale R. Akinjide, Chief Babatunji Olowofoyeku, Chief Richard Akinyemi and Sir Odeleye Fadahunsi etc, all who were members of the National Council of Nigerian Citizens, the OTHER party that was in parliamentary opposition in the western region.


CONTINUE ON PAGE    1    2
   3      SEND TO A FRIEND


Articles published on this website are reviewed before publication, which means there may be a delay between the time you sent your article and its appearance on the website. Holler Africa! reserves the right to edit articles for style and length.


View Comments
bello kazeem a.
Date:Apr 23, 2013
Afenifere needs to undergo comprehensive transformation as a mAtter ?????f urgency now.

bello kazeem a.
Date:Apr 23, 2013
Afenifere needs to undergo comprehensive transformation as a mAtter ?????f urgency now.

Post Your Comments
Title:
What is Afenifere?
Name:
Message:
(9000 chars max)
Security Code *   Security Code
Please enter value in box
as you see in image.

 
 Politics  Business  Society & Culture  Reviews  Editorial  News

Copyright © 2005 by holler Africa!
Reproduction of content on this site without the publisher's written permission is strictly prohibited.
Contact us for details at: info@hollerafrica.com
holler Africa! is a subsidiary of Adonis & Abbey Publishers Ltd.
P.O. Box 43418 London SE11 4XZ, United Kingdom.