Afenifere was formed as a socio-cultural organization for the Yoruba people of Nigeria, with Abraham Adesanya as its leader and Chief Bola Ige as deputy leader. Other founding members were Pa Onasanya, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, Adegbonmire, Okurounmu Femi, Ganiyu Dawodu, Olanihun Ajayi, Olu Falae, Adebayo Adefarati, Alhaji Adeyemo and Ayo Adebanjo. When the Alliance for Democracy (AD) political party was formed in 1998, it took the Afenifere agenda as its official manifesto.
Following poor performance in the April 2003 elections, in late 2003 rival factions of the AD held separate conventions. In the Lagos convention, Adebisi Akande was elected as AD chairman. In January 2006, the convoy of AD leaders who supported Chief Mojisoluwa Akinfenwa as the party's national chairman was attacked by thugs in Osogbo, the capital of Osun State.
In 2008 the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) was formed with the stated intent of reuniting the feuding factions, but perhaps as an alternative to the faction headed by the older generation of leaders. In November 2008, a faction of Afenifere in Ijebu Igbo, Ogun State, led by Chief Ayo Adebanjo, installed Chief Reuben Fasoranti as the new chairman of the group. ARG Leaders including Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, Chief Bisi Akande, Wale Oshun and Yinka Odumakin stated that they did not accept move.
In October 2009, a spokesman for the ARG spoke out against plans to deregulate the domestic fuel market. That month, the ARG hailed the conviction of Chief Bode George and five others as an important step towards freeing Nigeria of corruption.
Majority of the Yorubas see the pressure group as a legitimate force to serve their best interests as well as maintain the waning influences of the Yorubaland on the Federalism. They consider it as a necessary body to preserve identities of the Yorubas. However, there are some powerful voices among the Yorubas that see the organization as a dangerous group. Responding to some questions by his followers at his London Awqaf Africa College, Yoruba prominent London-based Muslim Scholar Sheikh Dr. Abu-Abdullah Adelabu described Afenifere as a bunch of tribalists and self-serving ambitious greedy rivals driven by xenophobia and deep bigotry, and possessed by delusion of their so-called cultural commonalities. Sheikh Adelabu, who studied a Ph D in Damascus and founded several institutions, including EsinIslam.com, IslamAfrica.com and the Awqaf Africa Society in London, said the only logic behind the Yoruba socio-cultural organization is that Afenifere exhibits the very paranoia that has made the Nigerians so hopeless and the Yoruba politicians so careless.
- Dr. Lanre Tytler (August 14, 2007). "Afenifere and Yoruba Council of Elders: Who and Where Are They?". NigeriaWorld. Retrieved 2009-11-08.
- Seun Adeoye (August 16, 2004). "Akinfenwa petitions INEC over AD's planned convention". Guardian. Retrieved 2009-11-08.
- Seun Adeoye (January 26, 2006). "Suspected thugs attack Afenifere convoy in Osun". Online Nigeria. Retrieved 2009-11-08.
- Olusola Sanni (1 January 2009). "Afenifere and the challenges of survival". Nigerian Compass. Retrieved 2009-11-08.
- Jide Osokoya / Moyo Fabiyi (November 19, 2008). "Afenifere Splits: Younger Elements, Akande Reject Adebanjo's Group". OnlineNigeria. Retrieved 2009-11-08.
- Sopuruchi Onwuka and Akor Sylvester (13 October 2009). "Deregulation - Afenifere, NLC, Nupeng Dare Federal Government". Daily Champion. Retrieved 2009-11-08.
- Bunmi Awolusi (October 28, 2009). "ANPP, CNPP, Afenifere hail verdict – The Nation". The Nation. Retrieved 2009-11-08.[dead link]
- EsinIslam Hausa Networking