The National Leader of the pan-Yoruba socio-political association, Afenifere, Chief Reuben Fasoranti has expressed his regret over the current state of the country.
Fasoranti, who spoke at his 97th birthday ceremony, held at his residence in Akure, the Ondo State capital on Thursday, said the current Nigeria was not the the country of his dreams.
He said, ”I feel fulfilled, I have seen it all, I’ve seen the worst and I have seen the best. I lost my wife, I lost my daughter, she was shot dead but generally, I have to thank God for everything.
“This is not the Nigeria of my dream. No! Things are getting worst, we only hope those we are leaving behind will try and do their best because what we are seeing now is not good for the country at all.”
On his expectation from the next government to be formed by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the nonagenarian said “My expectations from the incoming government are many but I want the government to give priority to unemployment, people are not gainfully employed and things getting are worst every day.
“I hope the government will try and look into it and also the security of the land. The government should also look into the restructuring of the country and I hope the new President will do it, ” Fasoranti said.
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Meanwhile, the Ondo State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, and other prominent Nigerians have been sending gratulatory messages to elder statesmen. The governor described Fasoranti as a reference point for quality leadership.
Akeredolu, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Richard Olatunde, said Pa Fasoranti was a committed and patriotic Nigerian whose passion and dedication to nation-building and national development were indisputable.
The statement read, “Pa Fasoranti is our pride in Yorubaland. He is a leader and father of our race. We embrace his tenets and steadfastness. His passion for the development and progress of the country is commendable.
“Despite old age, Pa Fasoranti has continued to contribute meaningfully to the progress of our land and the country. He is not just a Yoruba leader; his foresight, commitment, and unwavering faith in humanity are unrivalled. Baba’s experience and advice are most desirable. He has navigated, over the years, the political terrain of our country. His wisdom, high moral value, and beliefs are essential guides for desired development. “ the statement reads.
Similarly, a former governor of the state, Dr Olusegun Mimiko described Chief Fasoranti, as a patriotic elder statesman who was very concerned about Nigeria.
He said, “Baba is a notable leader in the Akure community and his church, and everybody attests to that. Presently, he is the leader of Afenifere, the foremost socio-political organization of one of the most notable ethnic nationalities in the black race, and by that, he is, therefore, the Yoruba leader.
“Baba is someone who has taught us how to lead. He listens very well, aggregates views, and comes out with very enlightened opinions, and we all queue behind him, so we have a lot of respect for him.
Baba also teaches us how to live with humility and class. And also, this is a man who has taught us how to handle personal tragedy. What else do you have to say other than to thank God for his life? I pray to God that we will all be here to celebrate his centenary; we will all be looking forward to it, and I pray to God Almighty that even in his lifetime he will see progress in Nigeria.”