By Dapo Akinrefon
IBADAN—THE Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III; Aare Onakakafo of Yoruba Land, Gani Adams; retired Archbishop of the Methodist Church, Ayo Ladigbolu and a retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Tunji Alapini among others, yesterday, urged the Federal Government to return Nigeria to the regional system of government being operated in the country before the military coup d’état of 1966 before it would be too late. According to them, the current structure is a marriage of inconvenience which would continue to breed disunity, starvation, under-development, and insecurity.
They said this at a conference on Food Security in Yoruba Land, tagged: ‘Protecting Yoruba Land’, organized by a Pan-Yoruba Socio-cultural Group, Yoruba KO’YA Movement at Atiba Hall, Oyo-Alaafin, Oyo State.
Implement 2014 confab report —Alaafin
The Alaafin of Oyo called on President Muhammadu Buhari to consider implementing the resolutions of the 2014 national conference, saying most of the country’s problems had been addressed by the resolutions of the conference.
Oba Adeyemi said: “Before the military coup of 1966, spearheaded mainly by the northerners, what we had was a regional system of government where every region controlled their resources, but after they took over, they moved everything away from the regions to the centre, rendering the regions powerless.
“They first created 12 states, later 19, later 21, later 30, later 36, and ever since, they did not allow civilians to create any state. The Lancaster, London resolutions of 1959 constitutional government that gave us regionalism is the way out; the current quasi-federal system of government would continue to promote hunger, ethnic intimidation, religious intolerance, infrastructure decadence. I demand a return to where we were before 1966.
“When we were under regionalism, Yoruba was exporting cotton, calabash, textile raw materials, yam, plantain, cocoa, we were number one in education, we were the first to have a dual carriage road in Nigeria in 1959.
The Oyo monarch, who spoke in Yoruba, urged the Federal Government to implement the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference.
He said: “We all met in 2014 political reform conference; we discussed the problems confronting Nigeria and far-reaching resolutions were reached, but everything has been swept under the carpet without any justifications. I want them to revisit everything.
Yoruba should wake from their slumber —Gani Adams
On his part, Gani Adams, who was represented by Mr. Yinka Ogundimu said Yoruba people should wake up from slumber, stressing that herdsmen were intimidating “our farmers and tormenting our people on their lands because they feed us.”
Reeling out statistics, Adams said: “Today, N8billion is being taken from the economy of the South West to the North every day through agriculture alone.
“We should work hard to secure our region, but I want to call on our people to go back to farm. Let’s feed ourselves. We are ready to work with Yoruba KO’YA Movement to salvage Yoruba land.”