AKURE—A Non Governmental Organisation, Save the Masses & Child Heart Foundation Wednesday explained that today’s Pan Yoruba Conference slated for Ikenne, Ogun State was being conveyed to forge the way forward in the South West.
The Coordinator of the group, Mr. Akin Joye, in a statement in Akure cautioned Yoruba leaders against any action that could sabotage the much publicised Pan Yoruba Conference slated for Ikenne, Ogun State.
Joye said that the summit should be encouraged by all Yoruba and not sabotaged.
According to him the credibility of the conference was not in doubt since it was being conveyed by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade and Chief (Mrs) HID Awolowo.
It will be recalled that a foremost traditional ruler in the Southwest, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, had in a statement published in some national dailies expressed fears and reservation about the “so called conference”.
The traditional ruler argued that the convener did not carry out enough consultations, hence it could affect the outcome of the parley since a section of the Yoruba race, including his people were not being carried along.
But Joye urged leaders and senior citizens in the region to shun any form of ego and join hands with the organisers to chart a new course for the Yoruba in the interest of generations, yet unborn.
“The efforts of our distinguished mother and the imperial majesty should not be sabotaged. We should all support them so that there will peace, unity, development and the required progress in the southwest”
He explained that similar exercises had been carried out in the past by the people of the South-South, Southeast and the Northern part of the country.
Oba Adeyemi had cautioned the organisers of the conference that the timing of the talks is not right.
The traditional ruler said: “I wish to make the following observations as the Alaafin, a traditional ruler, a leader of my people and an individual committed to an indivisible one Nigeria and a peaceful Yoruba Nation that will maintain its pride of place in the comity of the Nigerian nation.
“The security situation in the country today is nothing but parlous. As a people, the situation now calls for caution, circumspection and a deep thought.”
This is in view of the fact that the ethno-religious intolerance and suspicion has actually put the country on its edge.
“On our own part as a nationality, the Yoruba at this point in time need to be extra careful, vigilant and cautious, especially in making public statements whether as an individual or as a people on the precarious security situation in the country.
“The Yoruba nation must play a central role in promoting the peace, unity and stability of Nigeria at a time like this and not recluse into the kind of cleavage that the organisers of the conference seek to promote.
“I do not believe quite honestly, that this is a time that the Yoruba should converge for any inaugural conference. Our people are well domiciled in all parts of the country, including parts of the north where Boko Haram largely operates.”