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Full Text Of 74 Yoruba Elders Ultimatum To FG On Restructuring

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Crowds during the installation of Chief Gani Adams as the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland by Alaafin of Oyo in Oyo on Saturday (13/1/18). NAN

Full text of communique by Yoruba elders telling the federal government to immediately restructure the nation or ready itself for a discussion of self-determination for the Yoruba people.

VOICE OF REASON (VOR)

Agba Kiiwaloja ki oriomo tuntun wo [Yoruba Proverb]

VOR is a body of Yoruba sons and daughters, comprising successful entrepreneurs and eminent professionals across the spectrum of the society.

As a body, VOR is not partisan, but we are passionate about the progress and welfare of the nation.

The average age of the scores of membership of the body is above sixty five years.

In any culture in the world, anyone of that age qualifies to be referred to as an ELDER.

With the events going on in Nigeria at present, we believe, as elders in Yoruba land, it is time we made our voices heard, loud and clear.

No one needs to be told of the suffering of the people under the harsh economy and insecurity brought about by a federation hobbled by corruption, insincerity and ineptitude of politicians.

VOR has noted that the aspirations of most Nigerians are not being met resulting in very apparent despondency which, if unchecked, will lead to chaos in the land.

VOR further notes that the dissatisfaction of citizens largely stems from a lack of opportunities for self-development and employment even for those who have taken step to educate themselves and their children, many of our qualified citizens are abroad unable to come back and cope with the existing conditions.

Before the whole country becomes convulsed by election fever, we have resolved to bring the following to the attention of the public as a whole.

  1. The Yoruba people are irrevocably committed to a fundamental restructuring of this current union within the shortest possible time, preferable, before the elections, falling which, we Yoruba may have to exercise our option not to continue to be part of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as presently constituted. In the inalienable right to self-determination guaranteed by the United Nations Charter, we are prepared to use ALL means and resources available to us to extricate our people from this failed, unfair and unworkable union.

The restructuring exercise envisaged and demanded by the Yorubas cannot and should not be carried out through the National Assembly as presently constituted using the current 1999 Nigerian Constitution. This is because the current constitution not only does NOT represent the will or wishes of “we the people,” it is a flawed document conceived and hatched under a ‘Northern’ Military Government with fraudulent and unwarranted structural advantages given to Northern Nigeria, and foisted on the rest of us.

Furthermore, we believe that the threshold for amending the present constitution to reflect and effect our legitimate demands is insurmountable for the Southern zones, based on the in-built flawed assumptions in the 1999 constitution.

  1. All Yoruba States are encouraged to carry out genuine census of how many we truly are in Yoruba land, using Lagos State example which uses 23 million people for planning as against 9 million used by the Federal Government in the sharing of revenue and resources.
  2. We sympathize with the people of middle Belt in the onslaught on their villages by armed herdsmen committing murder and mayhem. In view of the migration of mayhem southward by these rampaging marauders, a proper tab should be kept by our communities on Okada riders and itinerant artisans in our midst to make sure there are no “Sleeper Cells” of terrorists among them, waiting for an opportunity to unleash violence on the populace.
  3. State Assemblies, in Yoruba land should make laws against Open Grazing. We believe it is NOT the business of the Federal Government to canvass or arm-twist the state governors for cattle colonies, if need be our people would be encouraged to boycott beef from their diet to drive home the point. If we don’t eat beef, there is no need bringing cattle to our farmlands or doorsteps.
  4. Education was paramount in Yoruba land in the past. It was the basis of the giant strides made by Yoruba at the beginning of this federation when the regions planned and executed their development programs by themselves, with education, our teeming population can be converted into human assets that will drive development in our land instead of the mass of unemployable bodies looking for jobs and ready to be recruited for nefarious activities.

As a starting point, all primary and secondary JS classes in Yoruba land must begin the study of Yoruba History and Culture as part of their courses of study in earnest. This can be accommodated under our present school management system without it being open for JS examination.

Concerted efforts must be made in developing and strengthening the youth. Youth discontent and despondency must be avoided at all costs. That is why preparing the youth for leadership is dear to VOR.

  1. Yoruba Obas should move to withdraw from the national council of traditional rulers if the chairmanship is not made ROTATIONALbetween the North and the South. As it is, they are perceived to be subordinate to the Sultan of Sokoto. The religion of Islam should not be used as an excuse. History tells us that Islam came to Yoruba land long before the Jihadists were stopped in Oshogbo.
  2. There should be village/community meetings all over Yoruba Land for people’s mobilization, dissemination of information of Yoruba interest, raising funds, strategizing and promoting and promoting Yoruba harmony and integration.
  3. Our elected representatives should be invited to local meetings within their constituencies, not to hail or ask them for favors, but for them to be intimated with the challenges within the constituencies with a view of finding solutions to such problems.
  4. The laudable DAWN initiative should be strengthened so that there would be more economic integration and improvement in road, rail and waterways links among the states in Yoruba land.
  5. All politicians aspiring to lead our people must henceforth be those ready to serve. We are tired of politicians using our people as bargaining chips to feather their nests to the detriment of our people. Our people must also desist from selling their votes. Experience should have taught them that they sell themselves into perpetual slavery and penury even with such short-term gain

Signatories

  1. Olorogun Sunny Kuku
  2. Admiral Okanlawon Oni
  3. Olumide Sofowora SAN
  4. Admiral Toye Shode
  5. Olutola Mobolurin
  6. Dr A. A Akingba
  7. Prince Remi Adefarakan
  8. Engr. Afolabi Salami
  9. Prof.Akin Ibidapo- Obe
  10. Akin Opoedu
  11. Prof. Bayo Williams
  12. Akin Sawyerr
  13. Prof. Kayode Odusote
  14. Akinsola Akinfemiwa
  15. Senator Akin Odunsi
  16. Arc. Fola Olumide
  17. Pastor Seye Ladapo
  18. Bayo Oluwasanmi
  19. Pastor Soji Adelore
  20. Biyi Otegbeye
  21. Prof Oye Ibidapo-Obe
  22. Mrs Cecilia Akintomide
  23. Prince Goke Omisore
  24. Mrs Tokunbo Sholu-Ekukinam
  25. Otunba Aderemi Abdul
  26. Mrs Ronke Onayemi
  27. Otunba Sola Adekanola
  28. Foluso Olateju
  29. Otunba Yomi Alao
  30. Chief Samuel Bolarinwa
  31. Dr Olufemi Adegoke
  32. Gori Ogunyemi
  33. Omo-oba Yemisi Shyllon
  34. Soji Awogbade
  35. Dr Femi Olugbile
  36. Chief Taiwo Rasheed
  37. Ashipa Jibowu Owoade
  38. Tokunbo Adesanya
  39. Capt Akinyele Caulcrick
  40. Chief Tokunbo Ajasin
  41. Chief Supo Shonibare
  42. Arc. Tosin Akinyemi
  43. D.A. Ogungbemile
  44. AIG Tunji Alapini (rtd)
  45. Chief Deinde Brown
  46. Ogbeni Bola Majekodunmi
  47. Otunba Deji Osibogun
  48. Otunba Dolapo Balogun
  49. Chief (Dr) Dele Fajemirokun
  50. Alake Dare
  51. Yinka Odumakin
  52. Chief Kayode Aderinokun
  53. Sir, Yomi Williams
  54. Dr, Segun Oshin
  55. Bambo Adesanya SAN
  56. Chief Tunde Dabiri
  57. Chief Olulekan Smith
  58. Otunba Olu Otubunsin
  59. Muyiwa Adetiba
  60. Chief Tunde Onakoya
  61. Prince Dapo Adelegan
  62. Gen Alani Akinrinade, rtd
  63. Chief Michael Adeojo
  64. Engr Sola Alabi
  65. Bolaji  Ogunseye
  66. Engr Sunmade Agbe-Davies
  67. Dr Ebun Sonaiya
  68. Kayode Shoyombo
  69. Dr Ladi Awosika
  70. Dr Leke Oshunniyi
  71. Dr Seyi Roberts
  72. Chief Taiwo Rasheed
  73. Kamar Raji esq
  74. Chief Tunji Ayanlaja SAN
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