Update to NGA29529.E on the current position of the Afenifere and its members since the death of Abacha [NGA30663.E]

According to Africa Confidential of 11 September 1998, south-western leaders under the umbrella of Afenifere, the pan-Yoruba organization, met in Ibadan to make "secessionist demands" on the current government of Nigeria:

More than a thousand supporters heard Yoruba leaders as disparate as National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) Chairman Abraham Adesanya, former Oyo State Governor Bola Ige, former Finance Minister Olu Falae, Frederick Fasehun, Bode Olajuomoke, former Ogun State Governor Segun Osoba and failed presidential candidate Tunji Braithwaite demand a six-region federation-each region with its own army, police and security apparatus (2).

Africa Confidential states that the north and middle belt regions now perceive Afenifere as a "dangerously radical" group. Initially, Bola Ige and the Afenifere reportedly held discussions with the strongest party in current national politics, the People's Democratic Party (PDP). Instead, Bola Ige, Olu Falae, and Abraham Adesanya reportedly entered an alliance with Marafan Sokoto and former Director of the National Security Organisation, Umara Shankafi, to form the All People's party (APP). Apparently, Afenifere's withdrawal from discussions with the PDP was "welcomed by many in the party leadership who believe it will allow them to draft the Abeokuta-born Obasanjo, whom they regard as fair, honest, and free of ethnic baggage, instead of an Afenifere-backed candidate" (ibid.).

A report in West Africa states that leaders from eight Yoruba states met in Ibadan to "resolve their political differences" (28 Sept-11 Oct. 1998). The leaders were reportedly drawn from Afenifere and the APP. The meeting ended by forming a committee charged with finding a solution to the differences (ibid.). However, a report in the Post Express of 19 September 1998, substantiates the rift within Afenifere, particularly, between Olu Falae and Chief Bola Ige. Although still a member of the Afenifere, Olu Falae is affiliated to the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and not the APP: "I'm contented with my membership of Alliance for Democracy ... I am telling you that Afenifere is solid. There is no squirmishes among the personalities in it. What you have is the handiwork of bad people, but I can assure you that the two of us are committed to AD" (ibid.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Africa Confidential [London]. 11 September 1998. Vol. 39. No. 18. "Nigeria: Parties at Work."

Post Express. Adenigi Ojebisi. 19 September 1998. "Falae Disowns PDP." [Internet] http://www.postexpresswired.com [Accessed 16 Nov. 1998]

West Africa [London]. 28 September - 11 October 1998. "Oyo."