Afenifere chieftain, Senator Ayo Fasanmi, yesterday urged leaders of the socio-political organisation to avoid former President Olusegunn Obasanjo.
He noted that the former President’s agenda was at variance with the objectives of the Pan-Yoruba group.
The elder statesman said Obasanjo was seeking relevance, having outlived his political usefulness, adding that it is time for him to really go on political retirement.
Fasanmi, who spoke on phone, objected to the invitation extended to Afenifere by the former President to team up with him in his plot to frustrate the second term ambition of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Warning the group to beware of the antics of the General, the Afenifere chieftain recalled that Obasanjo once cajoled the group in 2003 to support his second term ambition, only to turn his back against the organisation after his victory.
He frowned at the disposition of Obasanjo to Yoruba affairs, regretting that he once described the late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawle (MKO) Abiola as “not the messiah we want”.
Fasanmi doubted if Afenifere would embrace Obasanjo with open hands, recalling that one of its leaders described the former President as evil in his book.
He said if a section of Afenifere decided to team up with Obasanjo for next year’s elections, it would create fresh divisions in the larger fold.
Fasanmi said: “As far as I am concerned, Obasanjo has become a spent force. He wants to be recognised as the one directing the affairs of the nation at every stage: from the time he was military Head of State, civilian President, through (the late President Umaru Musa) Yar’Adua’s time to (former President Goodluck) Jonathan’s period. He has the feeling that he knows it all.
“I cannot recognise any invitation from Obasanjo. He described Abiola as not the messiah we were looking up to. Is Obasanjo the messiah now? I think he should retire. I know Obasanjo well. He cannot enjoy my support.”
The former Federal legislator advised Yoruba to be steadfast and support President Buhari in next year’s poll.
Urging the Afenifere leader, Chief Rueben Fasoranti and Ayo Adebanjo to ignore Obasanjo’s antics, Fsanmi said the former President was trying to sow new seeds of discord in the group.
He added: “Fasoranti and Adebanjo are my good friends. We were in the Jos convention of the Action Group (AG) together. We were followers of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Obasanjo is not sincere. We should not allow Obasanjo’s politics to divide us.
“We should be careful about Obasanjo. I have my reservations about him. Yoruba must come together, but not behind Obasanjo; Obasanjo can’t lead us. He was a minister, military Head of State and civilian President. The honour that was conferred on Abiola by President Buhari should have been done by Obasanjo. He did not do it.
“We thank President Buhari for doing this. We should support him and not Obasanjo’s agenda. Obasanjo should go into retirement. He only wants to be seen and heard.”
Fasanmi also lauded the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the success of its national convention.
He said: “Contrary to expectations that things would fall apart at the convention because of the rancour that attended the earlier congresses at the ward, local government and state levels. There was also the issue of the complaints by the New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) members that had dominated the media for some time.
“So, all eyes were on the party last Saturday as it went into the convention. But the leaders were able to manage these issues maturely and the convention ended well. This is highly commendable.
“President Buhari, APC governors, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and some other leaders of the party particularly deserve commendation for displaying sagacity in successfully managing those tough issues. It is hoped that the party will build on this feat as it faces the 2019 elections.”
Senator Fasanmi also congratulated Adams Oshiomhole, saying: “The ‘no losers’ attitude of the chairman (Oshiomhole) is the way to go.”