Yoruba problems are the leaders, says Fayose
Ayodele Fayose, Gov. of Ekiti State
The Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose, at the summit, alleged that Yoruba elders were the problem of the region because they failed in their duty to protect their own people.
He said, “People can only discard my voice but they cannot throw me away. Our forefathers in Yoruba land tried their best but the present Yoruba elders are our problem. This is our fathers’ land and they must defend it.
“We have had great meetings like this that were held in the past and which were attended by Yoruba elders, but after the meetings, the so-called elders would approach the media and said we do not need restructuring. This does not make any sense.
“The war against Yoruba land is from within. We have selfish elders in the land. Through the period when one of our elders ruled Nigeria, he never deemed it fit to honour Chief M. K. O. Abiola, who died fighting the cause of Yoruba people.
“We are fighting for a just cause now but this man will appear on the television and say restructuring is not the way. He put us in the position we are today.”
Fayose said he supported the position of the forum and that there was no alternative to a return to regionalism.
He said, “I align myself with what our elders have said but they must fight without fear if we have to move forward. God will help you. There is no alternative to regionalism.
“You cannot blame the governors who are not here because our present leaders have turned themselves to Lions. When the governors want to talk, they roar at them to keep them quiet.”
In his own contribution, a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, called on the Yoruba elders to prepare for an agitation for Oduduwa Republic if restructuring was not possible.
“If we cannot have regional restructuring, let us prepare ourselves for Oduduwa Republic. That is the thinking of the majority of our people but as a first step, let us demand restructuring.
“We appeal to the Federal Government, all political leaders and all parties, let us restructure this country and devolve powers to the regions. Give us the power to live our lives.
“Nobody can suppress the Yoruba people, nobody stops us; we are the sons of Oduduwa and we shall go forth.”
But the national coordinator, Oodu Peoples Congress, Gani Adams, noted at the summit that it would be dangerous to call for devolution of powers to the states, arguing that it could lead to the disintegration of the Yoruba states.
Adams said, “To devolve power to the states is dangerous for the Yoruba states. This is because if, for example, Lagos has the power to be on its own, after having its own constitution, police and other things, it will one day tell Ogun State that it does not want anything to do with it since it already has what it wants. This can also apply to other states in the region.
“What we want is to go back to regionalism. From the beginning of history, Yoruba has always been pacesetter. They should not set us backward. What we need is restructuring based on regional line.”
Among the Yoruba socio-cultural groups at the meeting was the Yoruba Liberation Command, which said restructuring was too late to save the nation. According to the group’s spokesperson, George Akinola, the Yoruba have been trampled upon in the Nigeria arrangement.
He believed that it was time to gain independence.
“We are serious about our demands. Every region has its agitation. Nigeria is the impediment to the development of the Oduduwa Republic.
“We had television before France and radio before South Africa. Look at where we are today. Restructuring is what we need and we are talking to our leaders,” he added