Yoruba Leaders: No Restructuring, no 2023 General Elections
The leaders in the South West Region have vowed that there will no general elections in the region in 2023 unless there is restructuring in the country.
The Yoruba leaders made this resolution knows in a communique issued at the end of meeting of the Yoruba Summit Group (YSG) held in Lagos.
Those in attendance are Afenifere Leader, Pa. Rueben Fasoranti, his Deputy, Pa. Ayo Adebanjo, Leader of Yoruba World Congress (YWC), Professor Banji Akintoye, Chairman of renowned Yoruba Intelligential group, Voice of Reason (VOR), Dr. Olufemi Adegoke, daughter of late yoruba political sage, Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu and Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba Land, Iba Gani Adams.
Others at the meeting were former Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Professor Oye Ibidapo-Obe, Afenifere Chieftains, Mr. Yinka Odumakin and Dr. Amos Akingba, former presidential spokesman, Mr. Akin Osuntokun, retired Assistant Inspector General of Police, Chief Tunji Alapini, former Lagos State Deputy Governor, Chief Mrs Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele.
The Yoruba leaders accused the Buhari led administration of frustrating the restructuring of Nigeria to consistently favour the north, notwithstanding the realistic fact that Southern Nigeria contributes 90% of the country’s revenue to the federation account.
The group said “the preponderance of permutations for 2023 presidency, zoning, selecting, rather than addressing the nature of the Nigerian union, the dilapidated structure of the farcical “Federation”, never known to Federalism, this unitary unworkable morass, we the Yorùbá observe will only lead to the kind of chaos never before seen and experienced in history.
“We the Yorùbá Nation therefore reject the holding of a future general election before Restructuring Nigeria fiscally and structurally. We state that the ship of state is veering off precariously into a precipice, and that Nigeria is at the very edge of a political subsidence.
“We are persuaded that nothing short of Restructuring can save this country. Any attempt to go ahead with elections in 2023 without addressing the issue of Restructuring would spell doom for Nigeria.
“Notwithstanding the interests of some elements in our midst, it would be presumptuous to assume that the masses of the educated Yoruba Nation will dive headlong into being part of the 2023 elections, when all elements of its execution – the military, paramilitary, INEC, the judiciary have been rigged and appropriated by a single very tiny minority ethnic group in a small corner of the country.
“The emerging resolve of the Yoruba not to be part of vassal state that Nigeria has become, is better managed with due accommodation before any further degeneration and obvious consequences. Our quest shall henceforth be to mobilise the masses of our peoples not to participate in any further elections until the goal of Restructuring or Self-determination is attained.
“The Yoruba Nation is therefore making the clarion call for confidence building steps to taken by the Buhari regime immediately, especially as the historic 60th Anniversary of Nigeria as an independent Nation beckons on October 1, 2020.
“Steps towards an urgent meeting of all Nationalities has to be taken now to determine the nature of our relationships. Unless this peaceful step is heeded to, so that Nigeria heads in the right direction thereafter, the clear alternative would be for self-determination quests to proceed rapidly without any further restraint.
“It has become patently untenable for the Yoruba Nation to tolerate further incompetence and impunity as has been foisted on all other Ethnic Nationalities across Nigeria,” the statement reads.
Commending South West Governors on the successful take off of the region’s informal security outfit, Operation Amotekun, the leaders said “with the granting of licenses for prospecting for gold in Yorubaland, we are aware of the dangers banditry, kidnapping and sundry criminalities this portends. Yorùbá Nation has noted with great interest, the creation of the Àmọ̀tẹ́kùn Security Network in the South-West states.
“We extend our warmest felicitations to the Governors who have started in earnest to fulfil the task of filling the huge gulf of various, serious insecurity issues plaguing our region. We hereby call on states yet to put this structure in place to do so in earnest. The Yorùbá do not forget.”
On the death of first female Air force combat pilot in Nigeria, late Tolulope Arotile, who reportedly died at the Air Force Base, Kaduna , recently, the leaders called on the Nigerian government to constitute an independent panel of inquiry to look into the death of the 25 years old Okun born combatant, alleging that there is more to the death of the late Arotile than being reported.
The leaders also warned the Buhari- led administration of dire consequences if the detained former Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Olusegun Adeniyi die in military custody.
“We are also aware of the initial casual manner Tolulope Arotile’s killing was treated by the authorities of the Nigerian Air Force which is capable of raising suspicion in the minds people. It is better to quickly douse tension and apprehension by coming out in the open.
“The authorities did not imagine that so much noise would be made, and so many questions would be asked. Her death was treated with levity, just as many other cases where the lives of Nigerians do not seem to matter anymore.
“The Yorùbá nation therefore demands a full-scale independent investigation by an inclusive panel of experts. The Yorùbá nation notes with sadness that on the very day our daughter Tolulope goes home, a senior Military officer: Major General Olusegun Adeniyi is being court-martialled for daring to voice out the lack of tools and equipment needed to prosecute a Boko Haram war that has become far too prolonged and far too controversial in light of the numerous calls to the Federal Government to change the Military ’Service Chiefs who have failed to provide the highest quality of security, leadership and delivery of forthrightness in their duties.
“We the Yorùbá condemn in strong terms, the cherry-picking of our fighters, soldiers, officers as either cannon fodders easy-targets, operational fall-guys and being used for experimental disciplinary measures, whilst the real culprits, go free!
“Critical to this development are also pieces of news items of friendly fire from soldiers of a particular part of the country using their guns on our fighters who dare carry the battle deep into the Boko Haram held territories” the statement concluded.