•Reach out to S/East, S/South leaders
By Dapo Akinrefon
AHEAD of its planned Yoruba Summit on restructuring scheduled for Thursday, September 7, 2017, the South West says it intends to unify the zone irrespective of party affiliation.
It, however, said that the north is not invited to its summit because it has not gotten invitation from the region in the past.
Secretary of the Planning Committee of the Yoruba Summit, Mr Yinka Odumakin, who spoke to Sunday Vanguard, said the six state governors, National Assembly members, elders, opinion leaders and groups, irrespective of party affiliation are expected to be at the summit.
Odumakin said invitation has been sent to all Yoruba-speaking areas in the country and other zones like the South East and South South as steps taken to mobilize people.
When asked whether the former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, will be in attendance, he said invitations have been extended to all in the South West.
He said: “Massive Mobilisation has commenced in Yoruba-speaking areas of Nigeria with our governors, National Assembly members, opinion leaders, various groups, individuals and the rest of them. We have commenced this process to ensure we have an all-inclusive summit where all opinions will be represented and since we are talking about Yoruba affirming its joint position on the most popular issue in Nigeria today, which is restructuring of the polity, the Yoruba summit is across board.”
On those the summit is reaching out to outside the South West, he said “aside from Yoruba within the South west, we have also extended invitation to Ohanaeze Ndigbo, we have also invited PANDEF to come and show solidarity with us at the summit.”
Asked whether any invitation has been extended to the North, he said “we have not received any invitation from the north in the past.”
Stating what it intends to achieve at the end of the summit, Odumakin said “the major goal of the Yoruba summit is to articulate our position, unify our thoughts on the restructuring debate so that henceforth, we will have a position of the Yoruba and all groups and individual shall speak from the same page. That is the goal of the summit.
“Our expectation is to have a robust gathering where issues will be articulated, a position taken and from there, we will negotiate with other regions in the country”, he said.