Yoruba Koya to FG: Return Nigeria to Regionalism
As the nation of Nigeria marks her 58th independence anniversary and the country’s preparation for 2019 general election gathers momentum amidst agitations for the restructuring of nation’s political, economic and social structures from several interest groups, the Nigerian government has once again been urged to revert to the regional system of government being ran before the military coup d’état of 1966.
The central government was also told to convene a sovereign National conference so that the people of Nigeria can meet to decide on the kind of constitution they desire, describing the current 1999 constitution of Nigeria as amended as a “Military Law in Civilian Uniform”
Speaking yesterday at Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park, Ojota, members of a Pan-yoruba socio cultural group, Yoruba Koya Movement who converged for what they termed “Independence Day Crusade For Restructuring” said the only panacea to Nigeria’s greatness is for each region to be allowed to manage its resources, stressing unequivocally that the current federal arrangement breeds indolence, disunity, marginalization, subjugation of the minority and injustice.
The group led by its Convener/Vice President, Otunba ‘Deji Osibogun explicitly described the Nigeria’s federal system as a “Unitary System” masquerading as federalism, warning that a delay in restructuring Nigeria may spell doom for the future of the younger generation and those yet unborn.
“In terms of architectural designs, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile/Ife is still the best on the continent of Africa today; it was built with Cocoa Money during the era of regions; Cocoa House, Ibadan up till today has not been structurally defeated, it was built with Cocoa money; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria was built with ground nut money.
“University of Nigeria, Nsuka was built with palm Oil Money but since they destroyed regional government and balkanize the Country into unproductive states with the introduction of federal character which drastically terminate merit system, the progress of the country has been shamefully retrogressing.
“They killed Agriculture which was the main-base of our economy during regional system to focus on oil that is now more of a curse than a blessing. Even the Niger/Delta people who own the oil have no stake in the management of their oil; we now import gaari from the Republic of Benin to drink in Lagos. Most palm oil we consume in Lagos are imported from Cotonu.
“Our Youths have no jobs, the few people farming are now being killed and their farm lands are destroyed by armed Fulani Herdsmen with security agencies looking helplessly. The youths are wallowing in the euphoria of unemployment; a visit to American, Canadians and British embassies in Lagos would make you shed tears for Nigeria.
“We stand for one Nigeria but the country should be restructured. We want a new constitution that would be drafted by the people themselves, the military-imposed constitution that we are currently running is too structurally defective to safeguard a multi-ethnic country like ours. ” Osibogun, a media entrepreneur said in his emotion-provoked speech.
The governorship candidate of the Alliance for Democracy in 2015 general election in Lagos State, Mr. Bolaji Ogunseye who was at the event called on the Buhari led administration to convene a Sovereign National Conference before 2019 general election to set machinery in motion for the promulgation of a new constitution that will serve all ethnic nationalities with fairness and justice.
Emphasising on the need for Yoruba land to speak with one voice on the demand for restructuring, Ogunseye who is the Director of Planning and Strategy of the group while presenting a paper at the event entitled “A Restructured Yoruba Nation in Nigerian Federation” detailing how Yoruba Nation should like after restructuring, disclosed that the paper will be presented at all the state Houses of Assembly in Yoruba land for them to deliberate on it so that they can unanimously pass a motion in support of restructuring.
One of the highlights of the event was the unveiling of the Green, Black and Red Teams initiative powered by the group aimed towards youth empowerment via agriculture to the public.
The group announced that a 50-hectare of land have been procured at Ogunmakin-Ajebo village in Ogun state for the establishment of Yoruba Farm Colony for farming meant to plant cash crops and establish fish pond and poultry big enough to feed two states in Yoruba land all targeted at youth empowerment.
A cheque of N250, 000 was also presented to the Ogunmakin Branch of the group who are predominantly farmers to boost their cultivation and farm produce.
Several self-determination groups such as Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN), Hunters, Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Drivers, Okada Riders, Students and Market women thronged the venue of the event amidst heavy downpour of rain in solidarity song.
A cross Section of Members of Yoruba Koya Movement in a group photograph at Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park, Ojota, Lagos on October 1st 2018 during a programme tagged “Independence Day Crusade for restructuring”.
The Convener, Yoruba Koya Movement, Otunba Deji Osibogun presenting a cheque of N250, 00 to the members of the group from Ogunmakin-Ajebo Village, Ogun State at Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park, Ojota, Lagos on October 1st 2018 to enhance Agriculture in their community.
From Left: CEO, Cowry Radio, Abeokuta, Mr. Willy Thomas, Professor Tunde Fatunde, Lagos State Governorship Candidate of Alliance for Democracy in 2015, Mr. Bolaji Ogunseye, Convener, Yoruba Koya Movement, Otunba Deji Osibogun, Secretary, Voice of Reason, Otunba Yomi Alao and others at Independence Day Crusade for restructuring held at Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park, Ojota, Lagos on October 1st2018.