The only way to stop Nigeria’s disintegration — Alaafin of Oyo

Posted by News Express | 28 June 2019 | 1,793 times

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In view of growing insecurity in the country, epitomised by kidnapping, herdsmen attacks and various forms of criminality, Yoruba leaders have reverberated calls for restructuring and true federalism, with the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, particularly asserting that restructuring remains the antidote to secession tendencies of some regions or ethnicities.

Converged upon the University of Ibadan on Thursday, to unveil the autobiography of Chief Obafemi Awolowo (in the Yoruba language), the Yoruba leaders described the Nigerian structure as faulty and crisis-ridden owing to the continuous neglect of the restructuring solution.

Leading the charge at the event put together by the publisher of Alaroye newspaper, Mr Alao Adedayo, Oba Adeyemi held that the country continued to grapple with insecurity because it had a centre too powerful and incapable of efficiently superintending expansive national security.

Especially, Oba Adeyemi described as unfortunate those who opine that restructuring was tantamount to secession, maintaining that restructuring would correct the present unilateral system and empower federating units to develop their local skills to benefit the grassroots.

Expressing worry at the invasion of Yoruba land by kidnappers, terrorists, Oba Adeyemi urged state governors to uplift traditional rulers to be considered as critical stakeholders in the security of their domains.

This is as he urged the federal government to mandate officers of the Customs service who know the nooks and crannies of the regions of the country to root out terrorists and kidnappers.

“At the national level today, we have unprecedented state of insecurity culminated by kidnapping, Fulani herdsmen harassment and all sorts of criminality that have enveloped Yoruba land today.  What is more worrisome is that most of these Fulani people are alleged to be non-Nigerian but migrants from some West African countries.

“As far as I am concerned, there is no solution to the current national challenge than the restructuring of our federal system to the glorious old days with some modifications where necessary.

“As of now, the centre is too powerful beyond any mortal capacity to supervise and superintend the whole national security.

“Unfortunately, some people at the moment see restructuring as synonymous with secession. But the truth is that rather than seeing it as synonymous with secession, it is in the actual sense an antidote to secession. The present system is too unilateral for comfort.

“Suffice to say that a return to the old system with some modifications will return to the glorious days when each federating units developed its local skills to benefit the grassroots. At my own level, I have been persistent and consistent in my advocacy for true federalism. My doggedness in that resolve has been misunderstood in some quarters,” Oba Adeyemi said.

Oba Adeyemi, however, cautioned Nigerians against criticising Buhari and governors, but allow traditional rulers to talk to them, on their behalf.

Lauding the decision to translate Awolowo’s autobiography into Yoruba, Oba Adeyemi averred that no Nigerian leader could ever match Awolowo’s record achievements.

Taking to the audience, the Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Adams, decried that South West governors had failed to address the issues frontally but had chosen to be diplomatic and play politics.

Making reference to last Tuesday’s security summit, Gani Adams bemoaned that, owing to politics of bitterness, he was not allowed to speak at the event, noting that collaboration between traditional rulers and security agencies was critical to improving the security of Yoruba land.

Speaking against the backdrop of threats to Yoruba land, Adams vowed to resist incursion by Fulani herdsmen, while rejecting the proposed establishment of Ruga settlement and demand by Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association to establish Fulani vigilante in the country.

Warning that the gentility of a lion should not be termed as being fearful, Adams said he, as the defender of the Yoruba land, had the capability to command out one million combatants within three days.

He also advocated for restructuring as a solution to the security challenges facing the country.

“For many years, I have been at the forefront of fighting for the Yoruba race, but I also have to be directed to go to war by the people themselves else I lose. I wrote letters to the governors of the South West asking for a security summit but they did not respond. I sent reminders and copied the traditional rulers. The governors I wrote to organise a summit on Tuesday, I was seated and wasn’t invited to speak. There was no resolution from the summit as immediately the governors rose to leave, the event ended abruptly.

“In the Yoruba land, I still have the power to roll out one million people within three days. I have told the traditional rulers that we have work to do. Bitterness is hindering me from using my position as the defender of the Yoruba race as I should. I am installed as Aare to be the defender of the Yoruba race, but if some Yorubas and those in positions of authority don’t want me to be effective, I will keep watching. There is a script such that, first, they requested for land, you objected, now they are resorting to forcefully take the land. Compared to South East governors who were united to condemn any introduction of settlement, our South West governors are being diplomatic.

“When we were in the opposition, the Hausa/Fulani saw us as a lion; now that we are in the mainstream, we have become cow in the reckoning of the Hausa/Fulanis. We will not allow the issue of insecurity to overwhelm us; we will continue to advocate for restructuring. No governor dares approve of Miyetti Allah to take over our lands in Yoruba land,” Gani Adams said.

In his remarks, Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo, reiterated his call for restructuring and state police, while adding that traditional rulers had huge roles to play if the various regions of the country would be secure.

Adebanjo, however, fingered President Muhammadu Buhari as being behind the crisis of insecurity bedevilling the nation.

Also pointing to the recent security summit, Adebanjo said governors of the South West, except Governor Seyi Makinde, were paying lip service to the issue of insecurity for fear of not offending National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu.

To this end, Adebanjo said Nigerians must be ready to liberate themselves if their leaders continued to live up to their constitutional responsibility of providing security.

“Let no one deceive you, Buhari is behind the insecurity bedevilling the nation. I know some of you are scared of being point blank for fear of being killed. I am no more scared of dying. At this age, we must tell the truth. Buhari is the head of the Miyetti Allah cattle breeders association. Also, Tinubu can’t speak the truth because of his 2023 presidential ambition. The APC governors in the South West can’t also speak against Tinubu because he sponsored them. Only Makinde can speak up because he is without a sponsor. The security of this state is in the hands of those who are attacking us are the Fulanis headed by Buhari. So, you have to liberate yourself,” Adebanjo said.

Addressing the gathering, President, Agbekoya Peace Movement of Nigeria, Lekan Akeekaka, charged traditional rulers in the region to shun greed and rise dispassionately to address insecurity.

Speaking, Chairman, African Newspapers of Nigeria (ANN) Plc, publishers of the Tribune titles, Dr (Mrs) Tokunbo Awolowo Dosumu, blasted governors of the South West, except Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo, for failing to be present at the event.

She wondered whether the governors were annoyed at Awolowo despite being beneficiaries of Awolowo’s policies one way or the other.

Pointing to Awolowo’s work for the progress of the Yoruba race, Awolowo Dosumu tasked young Nigerians to uphold and uplift the ideals that Awolowo represented.

She also warned the youths against corrupt enrichment of themselves, noting that such will jeopardise their future.

Guest speaker, Professor Banji Akintoye, also pointed to the crucial role of the youths in the revival and sustenance of the Yoruba race, urging them to rise to the challenge of preventing the suppression of the Yoruba race.

Noting that the region under Awolowo was a pacesetter, he bemoaned that the region was not advancing but actively retrogressing especially in education.

He decried that the current education system inhibited character and creativity, calling for education with an entrepreneurial focus.

Toeing the line of Iba Gani Adams, Afenifere spokesperson, Yinka Odumakin, warned governors against ceding any inch of Yoruba land for settlements.

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, represented by Oba Kole Ojutalayo, noted that the translation of autobiography into Yoruba afforded all and sundry to further benefit from the great life of Awolowo.

Makinde, represented by his deputy, Rauf Olaniyan, stressed the need for unity among the Yoruba race for the region to achieve the much-desired growth in the South West.

In particular, he stated that collaboration and exchange of ideas among the South West states would enhance efforts in tackling insecurity and addressing the invasion of the region.

Dignitaries at the event also included Sir Kessington Adebutu represented by Dr Kola Oyefeso, the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji; the Olugbon of Orile-Igbon, Oba Francis Alao; former Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu; Ambassador Yemi Farounbi; Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu; Oba Samuel Adegbola; Dr Omololu Olunloyo; Chief Bode Akindele; Mr Tunde Kelani, Mr Deji Osibogun.

*Credit (except headline) courtesy of Nigerian Tribune. Photo shows, from left: Chairman, African Newspapers of Nigeria (ANN) PLC, Publishers of Tribune titles, Ambassador Tokunbo Awolowo Dosumu; Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Mr Rauf Olaniyan and representative of Ooni of Ife, Oba Kole Ojutalayo, during the gathering of Yoruba leaders and presentation of the book, ‘Awo’ – an Autobiography of Chief Obafemi Awolowo in the Yoruba language, in Ibadan on Thursday, June 27, 2019

Source: News Express

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