By Dapo Akinrefon – Lagos
THE Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, Tuesday, declared that until Nigeria returns to regionalism, the country’s progress remains a mirage.
Oba Adeyemi said this at the opening ceremony of the Yoruba Studies Association of Nigeria, YOSAN, 50th anniversary held at the Otunba Subomi Balogun Conference, University of Ibadan, Oyo State.
He said the military incursion in Nigeria’s political space in 1966 had since remained the country’s albatross, adding that the southwest had, before the coup, enjoyed tremendous progress in all sectors.
The Alaafin, however, said regionalism can guarantee the future of the country and save it from imminent collapse.
He said: “Until Nigeria goes back to regionalism, the nation’s progress is a mirage. And every right-thinking Nigerian can attest to this.
“Yoruba remains the first race in Nigeria to have experienced tremendous progress and exposure among all the tribes and such feats were made possible through quality education, and transformation of the southwest region in the 60s.”
He, however, urged the South-West governors to promote the use of Yoruba language during plenary, as it is done in Lagos and Ondo States respectively.
Also speaking, the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, said Yoruba have all its takes to achieve whatever the race is determined to achieve.
Adams said: “Yoruba can re-establish the finest moments in its history, rise to the challenges and explore the beauty of our language, culture and tradition to achieve the positive potentials of the race.
“The Yoruba history is very rich; our language remains the most potent tool that has kept us far above other races. Our culture, tradition and heritages are next to none, but even at that, there is an urgent need for us as promoters of Yoruba culture and tradition to step up the values and champion the cause for the sustenance and rejuvenation of those rich languages, culture, tradition, history and values.”