Prominent Leaders of thought, Intellectuals, Self Determination Groups and Young Entrepreneurs in Yoruba Land including Kogi, Kwara, Edo and Delta States on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to return the nations of Nigeria back to the regional system of government being operated in the country before the military coup d’état of 1966 before it is too late, describing the current Nigerian political, economic and social structures as a marriage of inconvenience which would continue to breed disunity, starvation, under-development and insecurity.
The leaders led by the Alaafin of Oyo Kingdom, Oba Dr. Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, the Aare Onakakafo of Yoruba Land, Aare Gani Adams, Retired Arch-Bishop of Methodist Church, Ayo Ladigbolu, retired Assistant Inspector General of Police, Tunji Alapini, eminent scholar, professor Wale Fatunde, Media Entrepreneur, Otunba ‘Deji Osibogun, also unanimously called on all Western Nigerian States and Yoruba Sons and Daughters across the globe to prioritise agriculture, declaring crude oil which currently generates 75% of all the country’s revenue as a mineral resource that has caused the people more evil than good.
The leaders who spoke at a No-Holds Barred Interactive Conference on Food Security In Yoruba Land organized by a Pan-Yoruba Socio-cultural Group, Yoruba KO’YA Movement at Atiba Hall, Oyo-Alaafin, Oyo State further opined that unless Nigerian state governors are truly empowered to secure their people, insecurity would continue to boom like the wave of ocean across the country.
In his speech at the conference with the theme:Protecting Yoruba Land, Oba Adeyemi called on president of president Muhamadu Buhari to consider implementing the resolutions of the 2014 national conference, stating that virtually all the nations’ quagmires had been addressed by the resolutions of the conference.
“Before the military coup of 1966 spearheaded mainly by the northerners, what we had was a regional system of government where every region controls their resources, but after they took over, the moved everything away from the region to the centre, rendering thee region powerless.
“The first created 12 states, later 19, later 21, later 30, later 36, and ever since they did not allow civilians to create any state. The Lancaster, London resolutions of 1959 constitutional government that gave us REGIONALISM is the way out, the current quasi-federal system of government would continue to promote hunger, ethnic intimidation, religion intolerance, infrastructure decadence; i demand for a return to where we were before 1966.
“When we were under regionalism, Yoruba was exporting cotton, calabash, textile raw materials, yam, plantain, cocoa, we were number one in education, we were the first to have a dual carriage road in Nigeria in 1959 Mokola – Secretariat Road, Ibadan commissioned by Queen Elizabeth, we were the first to produce first female lawyer, medical doctors, Senior Advocate of Nigeria…
“We were the first to drive a car, we were the first to build a skyscraper, (cocoa house, Ibadan), Western Nigeria was the first to have a corporate firm which gulped the country many foreign exchange, we used cocoa money to build OAU, but the northern soldiers came and destroyed everything; they said no more regionalism, they deceived Nigerians by establishing federal character which schemed out merit, they created Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) which is now causing “Ijamba” to Nigerians.
“Today, a Yoruba man will score 240 while a Hausa man will score 120, yet they are both offered admission to study same course in the same university, they created education dis-advantaged states to their favour. Enough is enough!!”
Speaking further, the first class monarch who spoke in Yoruba dialect said “we all met in 2014 political reform conference, we discussed the problems confronting Nigeria, far-reaching resolutions we reached, but everything have been swept under the carpet without any justifications. I want them to revisit everything.
“Even when Buhari went to see United states President, Donald Trump, he told him to return back to Nigeria to fix Nigeria and end the killings of innocent people the Fulani herdsmen everywhere. Miyeti Allah threatened Benue State Government, till today, no arrest has been made, such could only happen in Nigeria”
In his position, Ladigbolu, a pro-democracy crusader and ex-NADECO chieftain said Yoruba people should go back to farm, stating very expressly that our source of income and revenue before the advent of oil in 1953 was agriculture.
“The Fulani herdsmen did not just start destroying farms today; they have been doing that for over 40 decades. Justice Adewale Thompson in his rulings of April 17th 1969 warned Nigerians against what they are currently witnessing. I call on all south western governors to get the judgment and read through for better understanding.
“Our Obas should also rise up. They are sleeping; they should lead Yoruba people from the front. We refuse to be cowed. Our farms must be rescued from the Fulani cows that are tormenting our people in Oke Ogun. We now sleep with one eyes opened and one closed” he stressed.
Gani Adams who was represented by a Lawyer, Yinka Ogundimu said Yoruba people should wake up from slumber, stressing that Fulani man are intimidating our farmers and tormenting our people on their lands because they feed us.
Reeling out statistics, Adams said today, N8billion is being taken from the economy of the south west to the north everyday through agriculture alone.
“We should work hard to secure our but i want to call on our people to go back to farm. Let’s feed ourselves. We are ready to work with Yoruba KO’YA Movement to salvage Yoruba land. South West feed the North. For instance, 10, 000 cows are slaughtered in Yoruba Land every month. N8bn is taken out of the economy of the west to the north every day through cow, onion, pepper, yam, etc. We can produce all these things to render the north useless.
“Netherland doesn’t have oil but the country makes 100bn dollars every year through agriculture. South west states are lagging behind on agriculture, nearly everything we consumed in south west are either imported or brought from other region. This must stop.”
Alapini averred that there’s nothing state governors under the current Nigerian structure can do to secure their people, saying that “a well controlled and organized state police like that of the united states would help in no small measure to end killings of farmers and innocent people in the country.
Speaking on behalf of the groups, the representative of the Yorubas in Kogi State, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris said the Yoruba speaking part in Kogi State are now living in isolation as if they have been erased from the map of the state, calling on Yorubas in south west to come to their aides.
“We no longer have peace, today in Okun Land; over 10 farmers are killed daily by the Fulnai Herdsmen, from Mopa to Iyarra, from Ayegunle Gbede to Ayetoro Gbede to Kaba, its free flow of blood. Our farmers now flow with blood of innocent farmers whose source of living are destroyed yet we have a governor whose sole interest is to defend the Buhari’s administration. I am here today with my people to let you know that our lives are no longer saved.” Ibrahim said emotionally.
In his remarks, a co-convener of Yoruba KO’YA Movement, Osibogun said he joined some like-minds to convene the movement to salvage Yoruba land and deliver Yoruba people from eternal incursion.
“We will make laws to deliver and protect Yoruba land. No land for cattle colony in Yoruba land. We demand for restructuring of Nigeria. Enough is enough of killings of our farmers, enough of destruction of our farms. Let us use to we have to get what we need. We should not allow bastards to rule us again.”
Osibogun stated that the movement is apolitical and not fighting anyone. He said Yoruba people will only support anyone one that is ready to restructure Nigeria for president in 2019.
Also In attendance at the event were Former Minister of State for Finance, Mr. Femi Babalola, the market men and women association in Yoruba Land led by the Iyaloja of Oyo Kingdom, Alhaja Peju Bakare, A professor in Lagos State University, Wale Fatunde, the 109-year old Leader of Agbekoya, Alhaji Tunji Ayanolu, Son of former Ooni of Ife, Prince Gboyega Aderemi, President of Yoruba council of Youth, Aremo Dotun Hassan, Vigilante groups, Hunters Associations, Farmers and the representative of the Yoruba indigenes in Kogi, Kwara and Edo States, young entrepreneurs and youths organizations among others.