*Open Letter To Afenifere Leader, Pa Reuben Famuyide Fasoranti*
By Leye IGBABO
November 23, 2023
Dear Great Leader,
Let me quickly inform you that you remain a symbol of modesty, honesty and what contentment is all about. You may have possibly learnt this from the word of God in Luke 12:15 which says that a man’s life does not lie in the abundance of the things he possesses. You have demonstrated very rare exemplary leadership that if we attempt to highlight them here, it will surely distract and divert the course of this letter.
I am however writing you this morning sir in respect of your much publicized intervention in the needless confusion and avoidable confoundment we are currently experiencing in our dear Sunshine State, the very particular State, you declined and recused yourself to govern based on your highly cherished principles, and because of your belief that anyone aspiring to govern a State must not only possess sparkling qualities but must, in addition, meet certain conditions that would allow such public officer to operate under the atmosphere of psychological and emotional stability, if the ultimate good of the people is the reason for such service.
There is no doubting the fact that those sterling qualities needed for service delivery, you eminently and copiously possessed but you insisted on one particular condition which very many people would have ordinarily ignored or discountenanced with. I do not intend to divert the cause of this letter, no matter how strong the temptation may be.
Sir, I know you are already stricken in age and may no longer have much pleasure in the things of this perilous world. For this reason and in line with your principle of modesty and contentment, you have, at a time, relinquished the leadership of the highly revered Afenifere organization to a younger but yet older leader in person of Pa Ayo Adebanjo.
Honestly, there are so many burning thoughts troubling my mind right now that seek to cause distraction and diversion from the cause of this particular letter, but I will try as much as possible not to yield to these strong temptations.
The main agenda of this letter is to express the frustrating and infuriating scenarios being witnessed in our dear Ondo State that have now brought the once respected sunshine state into utter darkness, public disdain and made it an object of derision, among the comity of states today.
The APC leaders in the State had earlier called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Alhaji Ganduje, their National Chairman to wade in to their self-inflicted but yet avoidable squabbles and I have nothing to fret about, in that. However, Great Leader, I am now bothered and exceedingly troubled in my mind by your alleged call on the same President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to intervene in the Ondo State political imbroglio. My worry, dear respected leader, stems from my belief that it is president Bola Ahmed Tinubu that should be calling you to intervene in any political impasse in any part of the country and not you calling him, especially when such particular political quagmire is happening right under your roof!
We hear from you elders sir that *”eniti a n wo, ko gbudo woran elomiran”* why then must you be calling the president to come and do what you would have been invited to do in other part of the country? This is the reason I strongly suspect that the call, after all said and done, might not have actually emanated from you because such path is a little bit, unusual of you sir.
Great leader, let me reiterate that you remain a profoundly revered living legend who, along with other leaders, (majority of whom have now departed), fought for the emancipation of democratic institutions, advancement of the rule of law and its observance by all and sundry because, according to you while you were in the trenches then, it is through that, that any society could truly grow to fulfil destiny. If you fought vehemently for the socio political emancipation of the people at such a very tender and younger age when the urge to amass wealth or seek favour from the power that be, was very high:
What now happens when you no longer have much pleasure in the things of this present world again?
What happens to the provisions of the constitution which you painstakingly put together to guide and direct people in their relationship with one another?
Why was Moses crying over a red sea on his way when the rod to divide it, was in his hand? Why calling on the president to intervene when we know the relevant section of the constitution to activate in a time like this?
Great leader, you know that the governor is clearly incapacitated and unfit to perform the functions of his office and for this singular reason, that it is the people of Ondo State that have become the sore losers especially in a pluralistic society like Nigeria. You had exhibited these great leadership attributes on several occasions where you considered and placed the overall interest of the people over and above your own personal interest.
Perhaps, I need to respectfully remind you sir, that you declined to vie for the governorship seat of this State at a time, citing not-so-important condition which you claimed you did not meet even when you have the overwhelming qualities, and again in the recent time, you have unhesitantly handed over the day-to-day running of the revered Afenifere organization to a “younger” leader on the ground of old age so that proper administration, importance and relevance of the Yoruba organization especially at the national level, will not be unduly injured. You have gained this international recognition as an unrepentant patriot and therefore stand in the best position to *advise* or as the case may be, *compel* Governor Rotimi Akeredolu SAN to genuinely transmit power in accordance with the relevant provisions of the law, if the general interest of the people is the core point of service.
Why then, Great Leader, why do you seem to be abandoning this path you have carved for yourself and for which you are known, to now want to take the usual political route that is always laced with, and influenced by pecuniary considerations, self servitude, and personal aggrandizement?
Why do we leave the weightier matters of the law to chase the mundane one by asking the deputy governor to “beg” rather than demanding for the whereabout of the truant governor? Why can’t we call a spade, a spade by telling the ailing governor that we can not continue to suffer because of his Ill health and that he should leave the stage when the ovation is loudest; when he is still getting and enjoying people’s sympathy before they resolve to chase his remnant family members out of the Government House?
Great Leader, I know that you are already waxing old and your strength gradually diminishing but be assured that they that serve the people patriotically like you, shall have their strength renewed. I therefore sincerely pray for God’s renewed strength upon you so that you will not deviate or depart from the ancient landmarks which your generation of leaders and particularly your humble self, are noted for.
Let Governor Rotimi Akeredolu know that he can not pretend to love this state more than himself. May God heal him completely. But what is worth doing at all, is worth doing well sir.
*Leye IGBABO writes from Ifedore Local Govt Area of Ondo*