Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia Prof. (Mrs.) Modupe Adelabu, Professor Albert Olawale, Professor Wale Omole, Professor Akin Oyebode, Professor John Ayoade, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, Senator, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, (The News) President, CCII, Ambassador Olu Sanu, Mr. Adeniyi Akintola, (SAN), 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
By Adeola Oladele, Ibadan
A socio-cultural group, Yoruba Assembly under the auspices of the Afenifere Renewal Group has warned the Federal Government not to further postpone the planned March 28 and April 11 elections for any reason.
Similarly, the assembly reaffirmed its total support for the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega to conduct the general election.
This was part of the resolution in a communique read at the Yoruba Assembly Summit, held at the House of Chiefs, Parliament Building, Secretariat, Ibadan on Thursday and signed by the convener of the summit, Gen. Alani Akinrinade(rtd).
The summit, tagged “Yoruba People: Our Aspirations and Minimum Demands from the Central Government agreed that Yorubaland would not be an occupied territory, adding that it must pursue its destiny in line with the development, priorities and ambitions of its people.
It opined that there were calculated attempts to invade and subjugate Yorubaland through covert disguise and even official policies of the Central Government.
“This was seen in the gubernatorial elections in Ekiti and the State of Osun where fake and hooded combat worthy militants were deployed under the cover of official security operatives, including the DSS, Police and the Nigerian Army,” the communique added.
“Yoruba people demand and state categorically that the general elections scheduled to commence on Saturday, March 28, 2015 must not be postponed, must not be jeopardised.”
“Yoruba people will not countenance any form of unelected government, be it government of National Unity, Interim National Government. We will not hesitate to take our destiny into our own hands in the advent of any attempt to compromise our democratic existence,” the communique warned.
The chief host of the summit, Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State noted that the problem confronting the country, especially under the Federal Government is oriented not towards development, progress or prosperity, but towards the maximazation of power and even more power for those who control the federation establishment.
He added that the Federal Government is the sole controller of power and and resources in the country, thereby making state governments to become impotent entities, forever at the mercy of the Federal Government.
In his opening address, the convener of the summit, Gen. Akinrinade highlighted the drawbacks under the present dispensation, which he said have become serious threat to the Yoruba people and their developmental aspirations.
“In general terms, Yoruba people have been victims of “arrested development.” Our existence as a people in Nigerian space have been particularly devastating, especially when one compares this to the significant progress made by us between 1954 and 1966 towards building a socio-democratic platform, a modern and just egalitarian society,” he added.
Akinrinade, then called on Yoruba people to ensure that the voted wisely during the forthcoming election by voting for those who make good their promises and vote out those who falter.
“This is the only way to arrive at a nation that is responsive to the present and future needs of its people,” he concluded.
While speaking on the 2014 National Conference of the group tagged “Beyond implementation, a stunch member of th assembly, Hon. Olawale Oshun stated that the group submitted its report to the president with the decisions that Yoruba people demanded for local government administration to solely become the responsibility of and for the states.
Similarly, he added that the conference informed the president the Yoruba people demanded for a parliamentary system of government, a modified presidential model which enables a more accountable form of government with the ministers being appointed essentially from among elected parliamentarians.
On Security, Oshun stated that the Yoruba people demanded for state and community policing.
“Yoruba people recommended a critical look at the present lopsided system in the revenue allocation formula that is in favour of the Federal Government.”
“However, the conference agreed the following: Federal Government 42.5%, the state 35% and the local governments 22.5%,” he explained.
Endorsing Buhari, 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’’.
Senator Anthony Adefuye also supporting Buhar’s endorsement said, ‘’Only a bastard Yoruba will vote for Jonathan’’.
At the summit, various paper presentations were made which are “Developement challenges to Nation building, presented by Prof Akin Oyebode; “Legal framework for Nationhood, presented by a legal icon, Niyi Akintola(SAN).
Other presentations were “Our political and economic demands from the Federal Government of Nigeria, delivered Prof Demola Ariyo; “Socio-economic imperatives of Yoruba Demands, delivered by Prof John Ayoade; “Re-industrialization, delivered by Omo’ba Bambo Ademiluyi and “Marginalization of Yoruba under the current dispensation which was delivered by Dr. Goke Adegoroye.