Pan Yoruba Group Brainstorm On The State Of The Nation, Navigates Yoruba Future~NEWSEXTRA - News Extra Online



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Friday, 22 January 2021

Pan Yoruba Group Brainstorm On The State Of The Nation, Navigates Yoruba Future~NEWSEXTRA

By Akinwale Kasali

A Pan Yoruba Summit conveyed under the aegis of Yoruba Patriots Movement, YPM, held a Summit at the Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, Oyo State on Thursday, January 21, 2021, which was attended by traditional leaders, political functionaries and actors, eminent personalities as well as cross section of stakeholders from the Southwest States (i.e.) Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo as well as representatives of Yoruba people in Kogi, Kwara, Edo and Delta States.

 The Summit with the theme: “Yoruba Nation: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” became imperative against the backdrop of prevailing situations in the country and the need to foster mutual understanding amongst critical stakeholders for a united voice that speaks genuinely to the collective interest and aspirations of Yoruba people in a peaceful, stable and united Nigeria. 

The Summit received goodwill messages from Royal Majesties and Highnesses in Yorubaland who are custodians of Yoruba traditions and culture. An array of the hierarchies of Socio-political Groups, leaders from across political divides, political actors were at the Summit. Representatives of women and youth groups as well as academic and professionals including Yoruba people in the Diaspora were also in attendance. Attendance at the Summit was enhanced by virtual participation and social media streaming through which wide-spectrum of stakeholders within and outside the country contributed and enriched deliberation.   

The enormous challenges confronting the Nigerian State; particularly the worsening insecurity situation, the growing frustration foisted by obvious inadequacies of current federal structure and the glaring unsuitability of the system to deliver on the aspiration of Yoruba people are highpoints of issues that necessitated the Summit. 

The Summit therefore deliberated on the gravity of these challenges; the agonizing clamour for solutions and the available options towards reinventing and galvanizing the collective passion that will bring about the realization of the cherished vision of progressive ideals and shared-prosperity for which Yoruba leadership and followership of the Southwest are historically reputed as dependable champions and partners in Nigeria and globally. The Summit therefore exhaustively deliberated on wide ranging concerns of the generality of Yoruba people which continue to manifest as miseries of dwindling livelihoods and abysmal living conditions of over 90% of the population as well as uncertainties of insecurity which imperil lives and properties on a daily basis.
In a keynote address, Professor Adegbenga Onabamiro of Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijebu-Ode Ogun State, alluded to the patriotic zeal of revered sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo which register Yoruba nation into global reckoning within a very short space of time. The keynote presentation reiterated the imperative of unity as a vehicle for mobilizing the full potentials of the people. The keynote address reiterated the importance of unity amongst critical stakeholders in moving Yoruba society forward. Professor Onabamiro stressed the importance of value orientation and therefore urged the Yoruba nation to reignite the spirit of value-based politics, unity and love through which the populace could be mobilized into great force of followership to deepen democracy and demand justice. Other speakers also emphasized the need for unity in the desire to move Yoruba nation forward. Participants at the Summit expressed the hope that the Yoruba will mobilize and unite to push the ideal 

The following observations however emanated from the Summit:

It was observed at the Summit that in spite of threats and insidious signals constituted by obvious imbalances in the current federal system, there has been conscious attempts at denying the reality; and by so doing frustrate demands for restructuring as panacea for rescuing Nigerian project from precipice. 
The Summit also decried the prevailing worrisome status of Nigerian State and insidious politics of denials amidst heightened unwarranted attacks by armed bandits and kidnappers now on the prowl on daily basis across the country.

It was observed that gross inadequacy of security personnel and opposition to restructure the security system to allow the operation of state police are the major incentive for the grinding insecurity in the country.   

And again, the ugly trend of kidnapping and unprovoked attacks on indigenous people of the Southwest by armed men who harass, maim and kill farmers and landowners across neighborhoods communities.

It however condemned forcible encroachment of community lands and forests reserves as well as destruction of livelihoods of indigenous people of the Southwest by any individuals or groups in the guise of exercising freedom of Nigerian citizenship. 

The rancorous politicking amongst actors who are expected to be working in harmony to demand responsible leadership and good governance in meeting the aspiration of the people; particularly considering the mounting challenges in the country. 

At the Summit, it regretted the violence and destruction that attended the #EndSars protests and cautioned against the repeat of such incident that led to monumental devastation in Lagos State and other States of the Southwest
Summit observed the need for political leadership across the divides to raise the bar of governance by committing themselves to probity, transparency and democratic accountability. 

After hours of deliberation, there were series of resolutions on Politics, Security, Governance and Welfare of the Yoruba Race in the quest to pursue the cause of fairness, equity, security and restoration of faith in the Nigerian project:

Ahead of 2023 general election, the summit resolved to rally around genuine political aspirations of individuals from the Southwest with demonstrated pedigree of commitment to the ideals of quality leadership and welfarist program of the leading light of Yoruba political leadership.

It therefore resolved to work in collaboration with stakeholders across political camps for the realization of objective of supporting ambition of politicians from the Southwest to offer genuine leadership to Nigerians at the federal level, and also resolved to undertake continuous engagement with political leadership in the Southwest towards the security and welfare of the people.
Consequently, the Summit resolved to support the presidential ambition of His Excellency, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

 Insecurity has been a menace in our society, it was resolved to support the Governors of the Southwest in the desire to improve the security of the region as a follow-up to the establishment of AMOTEKUN security corps.

The prioritization of funding for the South West Security Outfit, AMOTEKUN as well as proper monitoring of the activities of the corps across the Southwest to ensure the protection of the neighborhoods, hinterlands, farms and forests.

YPM also expressed its support for Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, (SAN) in his bold; patriotic efforts to curb kidnapping and all forms of insecurity in Ondo State. Summit therefore called on other governors to take decisive steps to reassure the people of safety in their homelands.

It also reiterated the position of Ondo State Government that forests across the Southwest should not be turned into grazing zones. Summit encourage of groups or individuals interested in cattle business to undergo legitimate processes of acquiring lands for ranching to be operated under relevant laws and regulations as may be deemed necessary by the respective State.

  As regards Governance, it was resolved at the Summit that all Governors of the Southwest States to strengthen the Development Network of Western Nigeria (DAWN) with the view to enhancing.

Summit demanded for new constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to reflect the demands for a restructured federalism which guarantees accountable governance, security and welfare of the generality of the people as well as to enhance accelerated development across Nigeria.

The prioritization of skill acquisition, capacity development and entrepreneurship support for youths and women in the southwest to address the growing rate of joblessness and poverty. 

The Summit expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the Summit Participants expressed the hope that Yoruba political leadership across board will remain united and committed around issues of mutual benefits with the view to advancing the collective interests of the Yoruba within a united, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria. 

The Summit commended the Yoruba Patriotic Movement (YPM) for organizing the Summit to promote common goals that speak to the collective interest of Yoruba people. Summit therefore advocated commitment amongst political actors across divides towards pursuing a common agenda ahead of 2023 general election. 

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