By Ojekunle Wasiu and Kamaladeen Ganiyu
With profound respect to the elders and to yorubas, we wish to publicize the position of our group, The Integrity Youths of Ibadanland (I.Y.I) in collaboration with other groups and individuals like MR. PONLE S. AKANDE and MR. BIMBO ADEPOJU. And our position follows:
Firstly, when in the fifties, Chief Obafemi Awolowo stated thus: “the people of the western region of Nigeria reserves the right of self determination and are free to decide whether to remain in the proposed federation of Nigeria”, the secretary of state for the colonies replied him thus: “Any attempt, (any underlined here for emphasis, whether peaceful or not), shall be seen as the use of force” thereby unjustly threatening treason against Chief Awolowo
Secondly, In 1950/51, when the colonial administration government proposed the sharing of the constituents among the three regions, West, East and North, in the ratio, 55% for both the West and East and 45% for the North, the Northern region rejected this and further still rejected an adjustment to 50%/50%, respectively and successfully insisted on 55% for the North, which was suspiciously premeditated by the colonial government, ab – initio in hidden collaboration with the Northern region.
Thirdly, The Yorubas never subscribed to nor ratified any constitution of Nigeria, the 1960 independence constitution, the 1963 republican constitution nor any other constitution and any is yet interim, subject to rejection or approval.
Fourthly, It is ultra vires in any authority in Nigeria, whether past or present, to have abrogated the provision in the 1960 independence constitution without referendum of each group, which constitutional provision is thus: “Any region or any ethnic group in Nigeria shall have the right to secede from Nigeria federation after thirty years after independence” Any purported abrogation of this provision is null and void, and of no effect whatsoever.
Fifthly, The Sultan of Sokoto was recognized by the British Colonial Government as the Chairman of Traditional Chiefs in the Northern Protectorate while the Alafin of Oyo was recognized then as the Chairman of Traditional Chiefs in the Southern Protectorate Electorate. So, the sultan of Sokoto and Alaafin of Oyo were co-chairman of Traditional Chiefs in the whole of Nigeria sitting side by side in National meetings in the colonial era and should remain so now.
Sixthly, We reject the decree upheld in and by virtue the 1999 military constitution as a binding Federal Legislation in this purported democracy based on the undemocratic or forced 1999 constitution, to the effect that the sultan is the only Chairman of the traditional council of Nigeria, both the northern and southern regions.
The present Alaafin, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi, was reported in the newspaper to have stated that Gen. Sanni Abacha sent for him in respect of his action at the meeting of Obas and traditional chiefs of Nigeria held at the instance of the Gen. Abacha-led military government which action of the Alaafin was that when he saw tags on the chairs pre-arranged by the government officials including only the tag of the Sultan on one of the high tables, the Alaafin tore up one of the other tags at the high tables meant for a top military official and the Alaafin sat on that high table as the only one on the same level with the Sultan Gen. Abacha had sent for and asked Alaafin for the reason for his action, to which question the Alaafin retorted that he was on the same level with the Sultan, as recognized by the British colonial government.
Seventhly, the Alaafin of Oyo remains till today is the bonafide chairman of traditional chiefs in the south and therefore in yoruba land and shall be Co-chairman of the council with the Sultan if Nigeria shall be united at all, in a proposed federation with the ethnic or regional authority of resource control and other powers like state police e.t.c
Eighthly, the Alaafin of Oyo was never second to none after Oduduwa and was Oba immediately after the death of Oduduwa, though military and imperial adventures made him to move towards the north and settle at old Oyo.
Ninethly, the notion that the Alafin of Oyo is second in Yoruba land is baseless and grossly erroneous, he was never second to the Ooni nor the sultan of Sokoto. The Alafin was the imperial lord, confirmed by recorded history and unless the yorubas correct the mistake of the 1950s/60s, which was political, the yorubas shall play into the hands of the Hausa/Fulani and accept the traditional over lordship of the Sultan over the Alafin and the Ooni with other southern traditional chiefs and the yorubas shall conclude the jihad of Uthman Danfodio post humously and foolishly.
In conclusion, we hereby notify the yorubas, other ethic groups and the federal government that we agree with the positions of one Mr Ponle Sueez Akande, as follows: “Nigeria can not return to a truly federal constitution as yet, unless it would break-up now, and , otherwise, that the present Unitarian 1999 constitution as amended, it would break-up, even sooner than when the oil wells dry up. Nigeria cannot peaceable stand for any further long period of time, with the present Unitarian constitution. Boko haram is merely one of the epiphenomenal symptoms of imminent systemic collapse. THE CONSTITUTION suitable for Nigeria is unique and innovative, even if for the interim, and has been formulated by me. But I need presidential attention for its comprehensive exposition, which is necessary. I hope in the year 2000, that Chief Afe Babalola might arrange this, as it was reasonably expected that the government would have listened to him .”
“He further stated in his submission entitled: Nigeria Moving Fast Into “Hell”: “In a multi-ethnic country like Nigeria where the exploitation of natural resources and administration of corporate tax are vested in the central or national government, the constitution of such a country is not federal, rather it is a quasi or pseudo federal constitution, and, especially where the technological capacity is low and literacy, poor, there would be extreme and endemic poverty, criminalities and inevitable corruption, such that there would ultimately be functional or systemic collapse or civil war, unless urgent necessary measures are taken”
May God continue to guide our leaders aright, Amen
Eni Iyi Ojekunle Wasiu Eni Iyi Kamaladeen Ganiyu
08062784207 President, The Integrity Youths OF Ibadanland (I.Y.I.)