A PRESS STATEMENT RELEASED BY THE ‘COUNCIL OF YORUBA ELDERS (CYE)’ TODAY TUESDAY 21ST NOVEMBER, 2023
On Saturday 18th November 2023 the Global Executive Council of the Council of Yoruba Elders (CYE) met, while on Sunday 19th November 2023, the General Assembly also met to discuss the state of Nigeria as it affects Yorubaland and its people.
Some of the issues discussed at both meetings bordered on the following premises:
We reviewed the state of the economy and it is very lamentable that the suffering the masses are passing through is fast becoming unbearable so much so that the rate of deaths by suicide due to hunger and hopelessness is quite unprecedented in the history of this country.
A lot of reports reach our office on a daily basis regarding the effect of the renewed Fulani herdsmen attacks on our farmers, the ravaging of our farmers’ plantation fields, the abductions of our people for ransom by bandits and the indiscriminate killings of our people most especially in Ondo and Oyo states respectively have become a sort of nightmare to us.
It was a kind of relief for us when we witnessed a reduction in the menace immediately after the government changed hands in May 2023, but quite unfortunately what we are witnessing now is resurgence in a high profile.
It is also an understatement to say armed robbers are literally on the rampage in the land.
3. RATE OF INFLATION ON FOODS AND GENERAL GOODS AND SERVICES
The rate at which inflation on foods and general goods and services is skyrocketing is very disturbing to the nerves so much that deaths by hunger are no more news to the ears.
4. NON-EMPLOYMENT OF THE MASSES
The rate of unemployment in the country has literally become paradoxically a norm and terribly alarming. So, out of sheer hopelessness for our youths at securing employment, they find solace or alternative means of survival in Yahoo businesses, kidnapping of their fellow citizens for ransom and several other criminal activities.
5. ELECTRICITY CATASTROPHY
What we discovered to be the chief instrument of economic elevation and goods and services production is the regular supply of electricity which has become almost a mirage in the country.
6. THE FUEL MATTER
For all that is obvious, since the so-called fuel subsidy was removed by the government, the loop effect has been too much telling on the general economic life of the people. And yet all efforts by the government to ease the hardship have not effected any positive change in the lives of the people but rather excruciating agony.
7. UNAFFORDABILITY OF HEALTH CARE SERVICES
Without any gainsaying, Nigeria does not have any credible instrument of statistics to record deaths and the agents of death in this country. But for that, the rate of deaths due to the people’s unaffordability to access good health care services due to lack of funds to pay in the hospitals and the right medical instruments with which to treat the patients in the hospitals would have adequately gauged the number of deaths in this country. This is very lamentable and highly depressing.
While the masses are dying of inaccessibility to good health care services, our government’s public servants for mere headaches travel abroad at ease for medical treatments.
8. THE NEW VOICE FOR THE YORUBA PEOPLE AND OUR RESPONSIBILITIES
First and foremost, we want to use this occasion to congratulate our own President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on his eventual victory over all trials to become the 16th President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. May your time be eventful and bring succour to our people.
Now, as the new voice for the Yoruba people of Yorubaland, we cannot feign ignorance of the cries our people are inundating us with on a daily basis. What is, therefore, the way out for our people in Yorubaland suffering in the midst of plenty?
9. THE FACTOR OF A YORUBA PRESIDENT
While we appreciate the efforts of our kinsman President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the helms of affairs in Nigeria today towards turning things around, all thanks to Nuhu Ribadu, one of the mouthpieces of the President, who made us know that the liabilities this government inherited is humongous. Needless to say, as a truism we are all witnesses to the accumulated governmental heaps of rots over the decades that have sent this country to the goal in which we all agonise today. The issue now is; for how long will the highly progressive and intellectual Yoruba people who have all it takes to rise beyond the sky with all the boundless human and natural resources God has endowed us with suffer the hopelessness eating us comatose? Hence our resolve that Yoruba people must begin to think outside the box on the ways out of the extant quagmire for the betterment of our lives.
Thus, what we arrive at the meetings in question is the renewed call for the restructuring of the country so that we can begin to harness our intellectual and other resources endowed us with by God to give a better life to our people as we so had in the era of regionalism when Obafemi Awolowo proved a god to the people of Western Region before Thomas Aguiyi Ironsi came and turned us to beggars for monthly allocations at the centre which is our main bane today.
Now, we of this COUNCIL OF YORUBA ELDERS (CYE) have determined to change the tide for the total turn-around of our situation by clamouring anew for the restructuring of the country whose agitation President Tinubu was very much a part of before he became the president.
We, therefore, resolved that the only way out of the geo-political bastardy and economic menace we are battling within the country is the restructuring of the country whose renewed efforts we are launching today.
10. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, this one thing we request of you
In the year 2014, then President Goodluck Jonathan inaugurated the 492-member Nigeria’s National Conference to determine or negotiate the continued existence of Nigeria which some silly minds regarded as non-negotiable. The Confab was headed by the then Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, and deputized by our own star man Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi. About N10 billion was said to have been sunk into the charade. Wait a minute; is it truly a charade? Yes, that was how former President Muhammadu Buhari saw it which was why he swept the report under the carpet. But do the members of the Confab agree with Buhari’s position? We do not think they should.
This is why the Council of Yoruba Elders is now calling on all the delegates of Yoruba extraction who took part in the Confab to rise in unison, excavate the report, put it on the table for us to examine and see how much it will benefit the progressive Yoruba people.
We, therefore, call on the following patriots to re-position themselves for the challenge of forming a mass body of committee for the restructuring of Nigeria on behalf of the Yoruba people.
We thus pay homage to the patriotic minds who sacrificed their time for the Confab.
1. Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi
2. Dr Tunji Braithwaite
3. Chief Ayo Adebanjo
4. Chief Richard Akinjide
5. Chief Olu Falae
6. Erelu Olusola Obada
7. Chief Afe Babalola SAN
8. Gen. Raji Rasaki
9. Mr. Raphael O. Osanaiye
10. Barr. Samuel Adetuyi (CP Rtd.)
11. Chief Babatunde Ala
12. HRH. Oba Michael Gbadebo Adedeji JP CON Ariyowonye Owaoye of Okemesi
13. HRM Oba Arc. Aderemi A. Adedapo, Alayemoro of Ido Osun
14. Mr. Akin Arikawe
15. Mr. Promise Adewusi
16. Mr. Isa Aremu
17. Mr. Michael Olukoya
18. Mr. Olasanye Oyinkan
19. Mr. Sunday Olusoji Salako
20. Mr. Olakunle Olanrewaju Olaitan
21. Chief Kola Jamodu
22. Mr. Ajani James Olawale
23. Mr. Yinka Gbadebo
24. Mr. Olayinka Dada
25. Mr. Kasim Akande
26. Mrs. Mosunmola Umoru
27. Mrs. Remi Kuku
28. Chief Mrs. Anthonia Balogun
29. Chief Mrs. Temitope Ajayi
30. Mrs. Felicia Sanni
31. Hajiya Bola Shagaya
32. Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja
33. Commodore Olabode George Rtd.
34. Prof. Is-haq O. Oloyede
35. Pastor Emmanuel Bosun
36. Mr. Femi Falana SAN
37. Dr. Abiola Akinyode
38. Mr. Wale Okuniyi
39. Mrs. Bisi Olateru Olagbegi
40. Mr. Steve Aluko
41. Mr. Adebayo Oladimeji
42. Barr. Ayodele Adekanmbi
43. Mr. Lanre Ogundipe
44. Senator Kofoworola Bucknor Akerele
45. Mr. Supo Sonibare
46. Sir Olaniwun Ajayi
47. Dr. Adetokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu
48. Chief Ajibola Ogunsola
49. Barr. Niyi Akintola SAN
50. Mr. Yinka Odumakin
51. Senator Anthony Adefuye
52. Senator Femi Okuronmu
53. Hon. Salvador Adegoke Moshood
54. Bashorun Sehinde Arogbofa
55. Dr. Amos Akingba
56. Chief Gani Adams
57. Dr. Femi Obayori
58. Pastor Tunde Bakare
59. Engr. Senator Adefemi Kila
60. Dr. Segun Aina
61. Arc. Waheed Niyi Brimmo
62. Senator (Chief) Felix Kolawole Bajomo
63. Mr. Johnson Oludeinde Oluata
64. Dr. Rotimi Oladele
65. Mrs. Bunmi Oke
66. Prof. Olu Ajakaiye
67. Prof. Oyewale Tomori
68. Justice G. A. Oguntade
69. Chief Olusegun Osoba
70. Senator Iyabo Anisulowo
71. Hon. Abdussalam Taofik Olawale
72. Gen. Alani Akinrinade
73. Prof. Olawale Albert
74. Prof. Akin Oyebode
75. Prof. (Mrs.) Bisi Aina
76. Bishop Felix Ajakaye
77. Chief Olusola Akanmode
78. Mrs. Wosilat Marcarthy
79. Mr. Supo Sasore SAN
80. Prof. Tunde Samuel
82. Mr. Fola Adeola
83. Barrister Bisi Adegbayi
84. Prof. (Mrs.) Titi Filani
85. Dr. (Mrs.) Yemi Mahmud-Fasominu
86. Prof. N. Oluwafemi Mimiko
87. Chief Gbadegesin Adedeji
88. Chief Femi Akande
89. Mrs. Bola Ogunrinmade
90. Prof. Ganiyu Raji
91. Chief Sola Ebiseeni
May the souls of the departed ones among them rest in peace.
So, let the conversation begin now.
Should President Tinubu offer to excavate the report of the Confab towards the restructuring of the country, he would have turned out the best president Nigeria ever had.
We, therefore, call on all other nationalities to join us on this exercise of re-positioning the country into a more prospective arrangement which will benefit us all in the long run.
Let the journey begin today.
Dr. Victor Taiwo
Mr. Lanre Ogundipe
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