Yoruba Summit: What Yakassai, others got wrong

Yoruba Summit: What Yakassai, others got wrong

Sunday, September 10, 2017 4:28 pm

In front, Gbenga Daniel and Doyin Okupe, at back Niyi Akintola, Babafemi Ojudu and Femi Fani-Kayode

By Niyi Akintola

As Yoruba, I was brought up and trained to show respect to elders and listen to their words of wisdom. So I will refrain from trading insults with the elder statesman, Tanko Yakasai.

I was present at the Yoruba Summit of last Thursday. In fact I moved the motion for the adoptions of our resolutions, declaration and communique. All the Governors were present or represented.

In fact the presentations of Governor Aregbesola of Osun state which were in writing and that of Governor Fayose of Ekiti were far more radical than what we finally arrived at.

The younger elements and the more radical Yoruba Liberation movement actually wanted outright Oduduwa Republic and called for collaboration between the Yoruba and their Niger Delta counterparts. But in line with the traditions of the Yoruba, we the moderates and the elders were able to rein in the militant youths to see the wisdom in the position of the elders, the Professional groups, the Clergies , the Academia, the traditional institutions led by the Ooni and Alaafin ably represented by the Basorun of Oyo the traditional Prime Minister.

The Yoruba council of Elders, Afenifere, The ARG to which I belong, the VP was represented by the Political Adviser to the President, Femi Ojudu, people of diverse political divides who ordinarily would not sit together , critical elements of the APC and PDP such as yours truly and Femi Ojudu for APC and Gov Fayose and Femi Fani-Kayode for PDP together with thousands of party supporters from both sides of the divide buried our differences temporarily to discuss issue of common interest to the Yoruba of Western Nigeria.

It may interest Pa Yakasai that the Yoruba elements outside the borders of Western Nigeria such as those in Kwarra, Kogi, Edo, and Delta were present in full force and made representations. Legislators from all the Yoruba states and the National Assembly were also represented and made their presentations both in writings and orally.

All these were put together, dissected and processed by our hard working rapporteurs headed by a respected Professor from Harvard who used the combinations of computers, words processor and other forms of modern communication gadgets to give us and acceptable resolution, declaration and communique which was dutifully placed before the general Assembly of Yoruba people by me in form of a motion and seconded by Chief Kehinde Sofola SAN and adopted by the General Assembly without any dissent.

Of course, the outsiders who still don’t understand the strength of unity of the Yoruba world wide tried unsuccessfully to play the religious card to cause division a day before the summit.

They posted on the internet that the gathering was that of Christians. We laughed them off when our attention was drawn to the publication.

Firstly, Chief Sofola SAN the leader of Yoruba council of Elders is a Moslem, and he is a prime mover of the summit. Governors Aregbesola, Ajimobi and Amosu , strong supporters of restructuring are devout Muslims, Alhaji Wale Osun the leader of Afenifere Renewal Group ARG another mover of the summit is a Muslim leader from Ogun State and so also is one of our resource persons at the summit, Alhaji Taofeeq Akinwale ,a highly cerebral Muslim cleric and SA to the Governor of Oyo on Muslim Pilgrimage.

They also tried playing the political card by saying that it was going to be the gathering of PDP but we quickly reminded the proponents of the satanic view that most members of ARG are APC members, The VP who was represented is APC, five of the six South West Governors are APC, most of the members of the State and National Assemblies going to be present are APC, most of the Professionals, Clergies, Academics and students’ bodies going to be present are a political.

I had gone this far to show the likes of Pa Yakasai that the train of Restructuring is taking off in the Southwest with all the gatekeepers and crtical stakeholders in Yorubaland on board. Any one left out in Yoruba land will have himself/herself to blame.

I know the Yakasai of this world are still wondering why and how such huge and unprecedented crowd could have gathered in Yoruba land for the purpose of taking a common stand by a supposedly divided ethnic nationality.

Let me refer such cynically compatriots that in Yorubaland we have a concept which is called “OMOLUABI” . That ethos is so strong and very dear to the heart of every thorough bred Yoruba man and Yoruba woman.

There is a very thin line between honour and dishonour in Yoruba land. You May not even see the line but if you crosses same whether deliberately or unintentionally, you are a goner. If you are in doubt, ask though belatedly, Dr Olu Onagoruwa and his colleagues of South West extraction who defied Yoruba resolution at a similar gathering ordering them to quit Abacha government and reaped the fruits of perfidy and still reaping same even decades after the demise of Abacha and his inglorious regime.

He who has ears let him hear. In Yoruba land we have a way of dealing with traitors and treacherous elements amongst us and the punishment is eternal extending to the children yet unborn including grand children and great grand children. Check it out.

As for the Yakasais of this world, let me remind him of the popular Yoruba wise saying which goes thus- ” Die to ninu nkan oninkan” Meaning that “it is better to have small of something than to lose all”.

Though the Yoruba of Nigeria stand for the unity of Nigeria and have worked assiduously for same for over a century even when both the North and the East have at different occasion questioned the basis of the said unity, the position of the Yoruba must not be viewed from the stand point of cowardice but that of pragmatic and good reasoning laced with large doses of native intelligence. Let me pause here for now.”

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