The historic Parliament Building in Ibadan was over-filled today as prominent Yoruba in all professions, princes and monarchs, governors and former governors, gathered to articulate their aspirations and minimum demands from the Federal Government.
The high point of the summit, convened by the illustrious Yoruba retired army general, Alani Akinrinade was the total support given the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, General Muhammadu Buhari.
A major proponent of this declaration, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade who was represented by High Chief Eddy Oyewole said, “On 28 March, 2015, let us vote for Buhari”.
He condemned the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for wasting the meager resources of the country by lavishly bribing various individuals and groups to secure their supports.
While Senator Anthony Adefuye strongly stated, “Only a bastard Yoruba will vote for Jonathan, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye said, ‘We will vote en masse for Buhari”.
Shortly after delivering the message sent by the governorship candidate of Accord Party in the state, Senator Rasheed Ladoja that he would go the way of Yoruba people.
Senator Ayo Fasanmi declared, “At this point, we Yorubas should know where we are going. PDP is distributing money to earn wrong votes. Come May 29, we will be happy when Buhari becomes the president of the nation.
“Why would Jonathan appoint ministers two months to the end of his term if not that they want to use all means to steal what is left in the coffer; that is if anything is left? By God’s grace, I, Senator Ayo Fasanmi will vote for Buhari. May 29, Buhari will be sworn in as our president.”
National Chairman, Afenifere Renewal Group, ARG, Honourable Olawale Oshun said that considering the fact that Yoruba people have been suffering marginalisation within the Nigerian state for the past 16 years, Yorubas should vote for leaders who have its interests at heart in order to bring an end to this unacceptable state of affairs.
Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi who decried the high level of maginalisation of Yoruba in the Jonathan led administration said, “We have been subject of brazen marginalization and deliberate attempt to whittle down our historical contributions to the development of Nigeria. It will interest you to note that in the wheel of power at the centre, there are only two Yoruba people. Indeed, out of the 50 most powerful men and women in the executive, legislative, judicial and even security components of power in Nigeria, there are only two Yoruba people. These are the Chief of Staff to the President, whose choice was almost an afterthought and the Accountant General of the Federation.”
Following suit, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola of State of Osun joined others in condemning Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC, for derailing from the principle of ‘omoluabi” that Yoruba is known for by collecting bribe from a desperate aspirant.
Professor Yemi Osibajo, the Vice President Candidate of APC, in his short remarks, urged Nigerians to be patient at this trying moment assuring that things would soon change for the better when APC takes over government at the centre.
In the communique issued at the end of the summit, the main grievances of the region include: maginalisation which has attained the status of deliberate policy of the central government of Nigeria, calculated attempts to invade and subjugate Yoruba land through covert, disguised and even official policies of the Central Government, misguiding some elements in the region for their selfish reasons, decimation of entrepreneurial ambitions of Yoruba people through Federal Institutions and agencies that are supposed to be enablers and facilitators of economic development, 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, absence of proactive, concerted, and visionary leadership in Nigeria, insecurity at the level of state of emergency, and failure of the resolutions of the National Conference to resolve fundamental issues that are prerequisite to a sustainable federalism.
As a result, in the communique, they demanded for regionalism, diversification of economy, holding free, fair, credible and transparent elections as scheduled to commence on Saturday, March 28, 2015, resistance to any form of unelected government, be it Government of National Unity, Interim National Government or howsoever described, repealing of laws and policies that stifle the creativity of the people, 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 the region, and removal of all bottlenecks in the way of provision of effective and efficient transportation system, electrical power, and petroleum refining infrastructure.
According to the communique, “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. 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 is imperative. Yoruba people will not hesitate to take our destiny in our own hands in the event of any attempt to compromise our democratic existence.”
Dignitaries at the occasion include: Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, and his deputy, Chief Moses Adeyemo, former governors including: Dr. Kayode Fayemi and Otunba Niyi Adebayo of Ekiti State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola of State of Osun, former Military Governor of the Mid-West State, Samuel Ogbemudia, former Deputy Governor of Ekiti, Modupe Adelabu, Professor Albert Olawale, former Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Professor Wale Omole, and his Ekiti State University counterpart, Professor Akin Oyebode, Professor John Ayoade, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, Senator Bayo Salami, Senator James Kolawole, , The Managing Director of The News Magazine, Bayo Onanuga, President of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes, CCII, Ambassador Olu Sanu, Adeniyi Akintola, SAN, prominent monarchs in the region including: Soun of Ogbomosho, Oba Jimoh Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade III, Oba Adeniyi Sonariwo, Akarigbo Remo, Oba Kolawole Sowemimo of Owode-Egba, Asheyin of Iseyin, Oba Ganiyu Adekunle Ologunebi, and Eleruwa of Eruwa, Oba Samuel Adegbola.