About Our Organization


Sometime in late 1949, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo had made personal contacts with about sixty persons drawn from different parts of the Western Region with the aim to devise plans for organising the people of the Western Region so that they may be able to play an influential and effective role in the affairs of Nigeria under the New Constitution, (Macpherson Constitution).

He considered that the performances of the people of the Western Region at the Regional and General Conferences for the review of the Richards Constitution had shown that they were unorganised and were lacking in concerted programme and effective leadership.  And so the purpose of the Action Group (AG) was to provide this leadership by ensuring that everything should be done in order to get a group of progressives elected into the  House of Assembly of the Western Region.  These progressives should be people who shared the same political views and ideals, willing to work together as a team in pursuance of agreed policies and programmes and were willing to submit themselves to Party discipline.

And so early in March 1950, he issued a circular to them inviting them to a meeting which was to take place in his house at Ibadan on Sunday 26 March 1950, at 9 O’clock in the morning.

In spite of his personal contacts with them and the circular sent, only seven persons turned up for the meeting.


1          Mr. S. O. Shonibare — Manager, UAC (Technical) Limited, Lagos.

2          Chief Abiodun Akerele — Barrister-at-Law

3          Mr. S. T. Oredein — Shorthand/Typist, British American Tobacco Company Limited.

4          Mr. Olatunji Dosunmu — Journalist, Service Press Limited.

5          Mr. J. Ola Adigun — Editor,  Morning Star

6          Mr. Adeyiga Akinsanya — Manager,  African Press Limited.

7          Mr. Ayo Akinsanya — Chemist, Druggist.

Because of the poor attendance and responses to Chief Awolowo’s invitation, he concluded that the people were not ready for the new organisation and therefore saw no point in continuing.  He was encouraged by Mr. E. A. Babalola, Chief Sowole and Mr.  Adekunle Ajasin who argued that the organisation didn’t need a large number of people to get a great movement started.

The Shadow Cabinet was set up and each member was placed in charge of a subject and was also appointed Chairman of a committee.  The shadow Minister together with the members of his committee was to study his particular subject as exhaustively as he could and to produce a policy paper on it.

On April 28, 1951 at Owo town in Ondo Province the Action Group was publicly inaugurated.  Representatives from 22 out of the 24 Administrative Divisions of the Western Region attended.

The AG was the only party that had a clear-cut ideology.  Its ideology was Democratic Socialism.  In a nutshell, life more abundant for the poor and rich.  Eradication of the two extremes; very poor and very rich.  Love your neighbour as yourself.

The policy of the AG was summed up in:

  • Egalitarianism
  • Free education and Healthcare
  • Affordable housing
  • Affordable food
  • Minimum wage to guarantee life more abundant.

The motto of the Party was:


After the inauguration of the AG in Owo, the leaders returned to Ibadan to campaign and for a public inauguration and presentation. As the Leaders congregated at Oke-Ado to proceed to the first campaign rally of the Party at Adamasingba, with the mobilisation of the people of Ibadan lining up the streets, some in curiosity and others were eager to hear the policies this new formation was presenting. The feedback from the people filtered back to these leaders whose only Yoruba synonym at the stage was its palm tree logo – Egbe Olope.  

Upon further suggestions & interrogation of coining a Yoruba synonym best able to describe the egalitarian policy of the Party,  Chief Adisa Akinloye who had joined the AG from Ibadan Peoples Party coined the name “Egbe Afenifere” to be the synonym of democratic socialism and political philosophy propagating those who believe in a fair,  egalitarian society. This was how the name Afenifere was derived. Indeed the anthem of Afenifere, which original English version Chief  Awolowo himself authored , stresses ” egalitarianism”. That anthem was translated into the Yoruba language by Professor Afolabi Olabinto in 1999. Its members differentiate themselves from others by professing to the apostles of Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s political family and the covenant for egalitarianism in our polity.

The name was popularised through diverse ways; songs and lyrics, poetic renditions and banters until it became a household watchword.

As AG was a National Party for the Federation, the usage of the name Afenifere was restricted to Yoruba speaking areas in Western Region.

Our Mission

Bring together all ethnic nationalities to foster a truly federal entity in building a nation state where equality in opportunity, selfless governance and transparency in the management of the collective wealth of the nation is elevated to be the essence of governance.