The president of a newly inaugurated socio-cultural group, Council of Yoruba Elders (CYE), Chief Adegboye Onigbinde, has stated that the aims and objectives of establishing the group is meant to enable the Yoruba race play an effective role in building and upholding Nigeria.
Onigbinde stated that the group which was launched on 31st of August, 2023 is ready to work together in a bid to achieve unity in Yoruba land and Nigeria in general.
He said unity, if achieved will lead to bringing of ideas which will pilot solution to problems faced in the country.
Onigbinde, who is a former coach of Super Eagles, said this on Saturday during the maiden press conference of the group held at Oduduwa Center, Iwo road, Ibadan, Oyo state capital.
He noted that the main focus of the group is to bring unity among the Yorubas which according to him can be achieved through acting, thinking and performing together.
Onigbinde stated that the group is not at war with any other Yoruba socio-cultural group but meant to create unity among the tribe, adding that the group is opened to all sons and daughters of yoruba who are interested in the unity and progress of the race and Nigeria as a whole.
The group’s president lamented lack of unity among the yoruba tribe while emphasising the need for Yoruba to come together and speak in one voice.
He stated that in its bid to bring progress to the different sectors in Nigeria, the group had decide to set up committees which will conduct thorough research into various sectors of human endeavors.
The committees constituted into sectors which include; Committee on Agriculture, Sports, Education, Health, Petroleum resources ,solid minerals,political affairs, committee on security, works and transport,Judiciary,Industry and Employment, Science and Technology,Urban and Regional planning, Lands and Housing, Investments ,Religious Harmony, Tourism, Mediation and Reconciliation, Aviation and Space , Strategy and Tactics, Women Affairs , Youths and Employment Arts and Culture.
He said, “Without deceiving ourselves or being unnecessary hypocritical, things are not rosy in Nigeria today as it has always been in the past . This ugly atmosphere has thus stimulated vehement calls by some for the restructuring of Nigeria to true federalism or regional system of government as we used to have in the era of the triad of North, East and West of Ahmad’s Bello , Nnamdi Azikwe and Obafemi Awolowo where the clime for competitiveness gave room for the greatest development in the West . At the other end , some have even been calling for self -determination . Nobody is grudging any of the two demands . But our preference for now as elders is to opt for the softer agitation which is the restructuring of the country which we are sure is going to avail to us the best track of race towards competitive development as we so had it in the past.
“Let the truth be said, the bane of our situation of the retrogressiveness in Nigeria was the unitary system brought by the military in 1996 . It is thus our duty to demand for what can propel us forward.
“Along this line , just before we begin the reinforced campaign for this restructuring,we have decided to set up a number of committees which will conduct a thorough research into various sectors of our human endeavors and mould expert papers for each sector as a guide to our demand and proactive preparation for the drive.
“With all the above structures and activities in place as to be guided by well articulate constitution , I want to assure you that the journey to the redemption of Yoruba land has begun in a practical form.
“We hereby call on Yoruba sons and daughters across the world to let us throw our egos overboard and join hands together in love,unity and harmony for the good of our father land”, he concluded.
In his welcome address, the Secretary General of CYE, who also doubles as the President General of Oodua Redemption Alliance, Dr Victor Taiwo, said “We cannot continue to be fooling ourselves, most of Yoruba groups that we all known have been polarized with either by politics or personal interest.
“We cannot continue to pretend as if we don’t know what is going on, Hausa people have a formidable group that champion their interest, which is Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), they speak with one voice irrespective of their political differences, Igbo people also have their own which is called Ohaneze Ndigbo, but here in Yorubaland our Afenifere group have been polarized.
“We now have Afenifere Renewal Group, and so many other factions, even the Yoruba Council Of Elders (YCE) has also been factionalized, there is Pa Rueben Fasonrati group, and there is Pa Ayo Adebanjo group so we are no longer speaking with one voice and it is so sad, we cannot move forward with all these mess, we need a strong and formidable group that will be championing our interest at the national level too, this is what gave birth to this Council of Yoruba Elders (CYE) that was officially launched on Thursday 31st August, 2023 at the House of Chiefs here in Ibadan, the event was a successful one, as it was attended by illustrious sons and daughters of Yoruba race from different parts of the world, enough is enough, we must move forward.”
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