Afenifere, the Pan Yoruba Social Political Organisation, has described the interview of Senator Tony Adefuye’s as contained in Punch newspapers of Sunday September 1, where he allegedly cast aspersions on the leaders of Afenifere and NADECO, as not only a total falsification of facts, but an attempt to be economical with the truth.
The group in a release signed by its Secretary General, Chief Seinde Arogbofa noted that “a review of the news media recording of Senator Adefuye’s travails at the Abiola residence is evidence that may support or impeach his account of his encounter with the activists at the Abiola residence. (Our own memory of the television recording seemed to place the incident as having occurred outside the Abiola residence and not inside as Adefuye now claims), who may have reacted to the Senator Adefuye’s active participation in the Abacha political transition; he was an active member of the UNCP.”
“UNCP was one of the five political parties activated by the Abacha Junta strategists to stifle any demand for the actualisation of the June 12 Abiola mandate. The activists outside Abiola’s house may have recognised Senator Adefuye as a frequent visitor to the Abiola household (as Adefuye himself contends) and may have been venting their anger in that respect.”
Arogbofa noted that “NADECO leaders were not the first group of leaders invited by General Abdulsalami upon his assumption of power. General Abdulsalami only invited Afenifere leaders to Aso Rock after the death of Chief MKO Abiola.”
“The Afenifere leadership purposely decided to transform the delegation into a NADECO delegation as it had been involved in the struggle for democracy with these other leaders. Indeed, when Senator Adesanya finally got to Aso Rock and the authorities insisted that their delegation should consist of only Yoruba leaders, Senator Adesanya refused to proceed and insisted that the delegation must consist of leaders of NADECO.
“It was upon Senator Adesanya’s threat to abandon the appointment and return to Lagos that prompted the Military Junta to withdraw this condition.
“NADECO leaders led by their Deputy leader and the then leader of Afenifere, late Senator Abraham Adesanya responded to General Abdulsalami’s invitation. The demand made by NADECO was not for elections to be held as Senator Tony Adefuye falsely claims, but for the Military Junta to accept in principle the need for a Sovereign National Conference as a condition precedent to the transition to any democratic governance.
“Senator Adesanya attended the meeting at Aso Rock in his trademark pinstripe suit; he did not carry any briefcase. Afenifere joins issues with anyone with any recording of any NADECO leader loading money into their vehicle to kindly release the video for public viewing.
“We recall Channels Television showing excerpts of the interview Senator Abraham Adesanya gave as he was leaving Aso Rock and that recording attests to our assurance of the unimpeachable character of the leading NADECO/Afenifere leaders.
“The allegation of NADECO leaders accepting the invitation of General Abdulsalami to betray the Abiola mandate is therefore factually impossible, as Chief Abiola had already died. This allegation is therefore more of a red herring thrown up by discredited individuals to rehabilitate themselves. Al-Mustapha had also adopted this approach to justify himself.
“Everyone now claims to have been part of the struggle for Democracy. Most politicians laying claim to being democrats are individuals who gravitate towards any government in power either at the State or National level. The Pro-Democracy Community however differentiates between power brokers, money mongers and contractors who were the greatest supporters of Chief MKO Abiola when it seemed he was on the verge of becoming the President of Nigeria.”