Elders of Yoruba Land met on Wednesday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, frowning at what they described as the polarisation of the Yoruba race as a result of the political situation of the country.
In a communiqué they issued at the end of the meeting under the umbrella of the Yoruba Assembly, they also disowned those who were described by them as self-acclaimed spokesmen of the Yoruba people, saying these people must retrace their steps.
The communiqué signed by General Alani Ipoola Akinrinade (Rtd), decried the side-lining of the Yoruba people in the current Federal Government.
The full communiqué issued is reproduced below as obtained by Huhuonline.com:
COMMUNIQUÉ OF THE PAN-YORUBA SUMMIT OF LEADERS OF YORUBA NATION, CURRENT AND PAST GOVERNORS OF YORUBA STATES, TRADITIONAL RULERS AND FATHERS OF THE YORUBA PEOPLE AND THEIR REPRESENTATIVES, YORUBA OFFICERS OF VARIOUS CIVIC AND PROFESSIONAL AGENCIES, YORUBA PEOPLE AT HOME AND IN THE DIASPORA, HELD AT THE PARLIAMENT BUILDING, STATE SECRETARIAT, IBADAN, OYO STATE, ON MARCH 19, 2015
In these days of disillusionment, self-doubt and despondency among many of our people, it is simply stating the obvious that we have to, once again interrogate our circumstances within the socio-economic formation known as Nigeria if only to reposition our people so that we can recover our lost glory and re-invent our leadership position in the scheme of things.
While some of us continue to relish the past and insist that our leadership position is not threatened, the more discerning among us realize that failure to correctly appraise the situation could only be calamitous to the destiny of the Yoruba people. The truth of the matter is that the lives and destiny of 50 million souls cannot and should not be trampled upon by reprobates, renegades, revisionists, and impostors.
The contemporary self-proclaimed spokesmen and supposed protectors of our people just have to cease and desist from their sanctimonious and opportunistic crusade and become truly slaves of the common cause.
The Yoruba Assembly at this summit has taken strong positions on issues tabled and therefore resolves as follows:
DECRIES the erosion of Yoruba values, virtues, and mores.
AFFIRMS that the marginalisation of Yoruba people has attained the status of deliberate policy of the Central Government of Nigeria. This has been intensified under the current administration by extending it to Yoruba kith and kin in Itsekiri land.
IS CONCERNED that there are calculated attempts to invade and subjugate Yoruba land through covert, disguised and even official policies of the Central Government. This was seen in gubernatorial elections in Ekiti and the State of Osun where fake and hooded combat ready militants were deployed under the cover of official security operatives including the DSS, police, and the Nigerian Army. Also, in the name of job creation, Nigerian youths are being trained and used for partisan political purposes in Yoruba land.
FROWNS at misguided elements in Yoruba land who have resorted to brazen violence, forgetting that the acceptable methodology of socio-political interactions in Yoruba land is that of robust discourse, rather than violent tactics and brigandage.
DECRIES the decimation of entrepreneurial ambitions of Yoruba people through Federal Institutions and agencies that are supposed to be enablers and facilitators of economic development as seen in unnecessary official bottlenecks and impediments.
ALARMED at the near virtual absence of reliable and critical infrastructure of electricity, energy, and transportation which has led to the collapse of economic activities in Yoruba land.
Consequently, a people who pride themselves as proficient traders, skilful artisans, and competent professionals have become despondent, with their youths wasting away, leading to increase in Youth Dependency and predisposing our future to idle hands, political thugs, internet scammers etc.
IS WORRIED that in the absence of proactive, concerted, and visionary leadership in Nigeria, insecurity has festered to the level of national emergency.
AFFIRMS that the resolutions of the National Conference failed to resolve fundamental issues that are prerequisite to a sustainable federalism and without which the few useful recommendations would become meaningless.
INSISTS that the 2015 General Elections must hold as scheduled and must be free, fair, credible, and transparent.
GIVEN the fact that for the past 16 years, Yoruba people have suffered marginalisation within the Nigerian state, the Yoruba Assembly calls on Yoruba people to vote for leaders who have the interests of the Yoruba at heart, in order to bring an end to this unacceptable state of affairs.
On account of the foregoing, the Yoruba Assembly DEMANDS as follows:
Yoruba land will not be an occupied territory
Yoruba must pursue their destiny in line with the development priorities and ambitions of her people. The creation of a structural environment for effective devolution of powers to the country’s constituent units as a strategic development imperative.
A repeal of laws and policies that stifle the creativity of her people.
The dismantling of all pseudo-security agencies that impede peace, harass and terrorise her citizens in order to enforce pre-determined agenda that are not consistent with the wishes of Yoruba people.
That regional competitiveness should be the basis and indeed the key driver of growth and development of Nigeria, recognising that the creative spirit and latent capabilities of the country reside within the geo-political zones.
That the effectiveness of the Federal Government of Nigeria lies on focusing on the critical issues of governance that are common to all components, like defence, national security, foreign affairs, currency and exchange rate, etc, while all other socio-economic responsibilities, especially that of resource control, devolve to the federating units.
The removal of all bottlenecks in the way of provision of effective and efficient transportation system, electrical power, and petroleum refining infrastructure.
The facilitation of a fully diversified economy, moving away from the existing mono-product scenario to one in which the federating units can leverage on their endowment and productive resources.
Finally, Yoruba people hereby state categorically that the General Elections scheduled to commence on Saturday, March 28, 2015 MUST not be postponed or jeopardised. Yoruba people will not countenance any form of unelected government, be it Government of National Unity, Interim National Government or howsoever described.
Yoruba people will not hesitate to take our destiny in our own hands in the event of any attempt to compromise our democratic existence.
Signed, today, Thursday, 19 March, 2015,
By: Gen. Alani Ipoola Akinrinade [Rtd], GCON
The Convener Yoruba Assembly