Some Yoruba leaders, including a former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Bisi Akande, yesterday, brushed aside their political differences to declare as unacceptable the ‘existing order’ under President Muhammadu Buhari which, they claimed, marginalises the South-West in the distribution of political offices and government failure in the provision of infrastructure.
The Yoruba leaders include members of the APC, Accord Party and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), namely, Senator Femi Lanlehin, a chieftain of Accord Party, Dr Yemi Farounbi (PDP), Dr Frederich Faseun, Leader of Oodua Peoples Congress, Dr Doyin Okupe, Dr. Saka Balogun, Gen Raji Rasaki, Dr. Kunle Olajide and Senator Ayoade Adeseun.
Others are the Secretary to Oyo State Government, Olalekan Alli, who represented Governor Abiola Ajimobi, a former Super Eagles Coach, Dr Adegboye Onigbinde, a former president of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes ( CCII), Bayo Oyero, a former Chairmen of the Oyo State Universal Education Board ( SUBEB), Dr Busari Adebisi and Dr Soji Adejumo.
The leaders, under the aegis of Yoruba Patriots Movement ( YPM), restated their agitation for the restructuring of the polity to reflect true federalism, calling for a larger forum for Yoruba sons and daughters where they would discuss steps to take to meet their demands.
They spoke in turns on what they thought the zone was being denied of. Olajide said, “Everywhere around us, there is evidence of government failure. Power generation for a population of 170million people is below 2000 megawatts. Inflation rate is all time high at 18 percent while mass unemployment of able bodied youths is a time bomb waiting to explode. The state of the nation is simply and squarely unacceptable to the Yoruba nation.
“Yoruba nation suffered inevitable collateral damage from the twin eve of military intervention and oil boom which befell Nigeria. Military politics was characterized by politics without principles, ideology and character. Hence the colloquium is aimed at deliberating a new agenda for the Yoruba nation, starting from where we are today, where we want to be and how we want to get to where we want to be.”
In his own contribution, Okupe made a fresh call for the implementation of the CONFAB report which cost the nation fortunes to constitute, adding that the foundation of the country as presently constituted is weak and that if the foundation is weak, there is tendency that it crumbles.
Fasheun lamented the persistent attacks on Nigerians by Boko Haram insurgents, urging that more action needed to be taken to route them.
Akande raised the alarm over the gradual extinction of the Yoruba language and asked schools in the South-West to make its teaching and promotion a priority.
The coordinator of the movement, Prof Oladosu Oladapo, stressed the importance of the Yoruba race that no political group can ignore.