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News Afenifere At 70: The Group Of 8 Men



Chief Obafemi Awolowo and his immortal colleagues inched a powerful political movement that changed the face of politics in Africa forever. The first public presentation of Action Group was at a press conference held in Ibadan on the 21st March 1951.

Although many were invited, those who turned up apart from the Convener were Chief Abiodun Akerele, Chief S.O. Shonibare, Chief Ayo Akinsanya, Chief Olatunji Dosunmu, Mr Samuel Akinsanya, Chief J.O. Adigun and Chief S.T. Oredein.

These eight men, led by Chief Awolowo, were the founding fathers of Action Group (Egbe Afenifere). The party was inaugurated in Owo, onthe 28th April 1951 with leaders from 22 out of the 24 administrative divisions in Western Region in attendance.

Today, being the 28th April is the 70th anniversary of that epic event. We are most indebted for the enduring legacy bestowed upon the progressive political strand in the Southwest by the efforts of these founding fathers and all the other leaders in attendance at Owo on the 28th April 1951.

We appreciate the efforts of our heroes past as we stand on their shoulders to gaze at a better future to bequeath to the coming generations. With its motto as life more abundant, Afenifere turned Western Nigeria to a model of development.

The party called for an immediate end to British rule and for the development of several social welfare programs. In 1951, the party won the Western Region election and instituted revolutionary programmes like free education and health.

We are the successor organization to Afenifere whose 70th anniversary we have planned to celebrate in a very big way until what we did not plan took over our plans.

The second wave of COVID 19 and the mayhem by herdsmen and the spate of kidnapping in Yoruba land in particular, and Nigeria in general have made us to reappraise the programme in the light of present realities.

We cannot afford to undertake all the events scheduled for this anniversary as a responsible organization.

To that extent, we are enjoining all our state chapters to observe Moslem worships in mosques on Friday, 30th April 2021 while Christians are enjoined to attend service at the designated Churches determined by state chapters on Sunday, 2nd May 2021 to pray for peace and a restructured nation and for the health of mind and body for our people. Well-wishers are also enjoined to join them.

At a more auspicious time in the not too distant future, when the security and health challenges must have abated, we shall announce the dates for the other programmes such as colloquium and lecture, essay competition for undergraduates & anniversary dinner and cultural festivities.

We appreciate the la heroes past as we stand on their shoulders to gaze at a better future to bequeath to the coming generations. We are grateful to our leaders for the opportunity to serve.

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