Posts Tagged ‘yoruba’

South-West governors meet, plan common agenda on development

The South-West governors yesterday met in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, to deliberate on how to chart a common agenda to fast-track the development of the region.

The meeting, hosted by Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun, was attended by all the six governors in the region, including Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos), Ayo Fayose (Ekiti) and Rauf Aregbesola (Osun).

They met under the aegis of Western Nigeria Governors’ Forum, a meeting put together by Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN), a technocratic institution for the sustainable development of the region, which according to Amosun, had been the vanguard for socio-economic and re-engineering of the South-West.

At the end of the four-hour meeting, all the participants agreed that regional integration as a sustainable economic development paradigm presents the Western Region, and indeed the whole of Nigeria, a pathway into economic prosperity for all.

A communique read by Amosun stated, among others:

• “A joint task force and joint actions will be pursued and sustained on security threats to guarantee the safety of lives, property and prosperity of the people of the region.

• “The competitive advantage of constituent states would be harnessed for sustainable regional development.

• “In order to improve the food security of the region, DAWN should convene a regional agric summit to be held in Ibadan.

• “Approval is given for the establishment of a Western Nigeria Export Development Initiative (WENEDI) to drive the export potentials of the region.”

• “A committee be set up for codification of our values and ethos as an instrument of Yoruba uniqueness to strengthen our identity and unity of purpose.”

Also, the governors agreed that the artificial boundaries of states, religions, political affiliations, among others, would not be a barrier to regional development and urged all the states to be encouraged to significantly improve bilateral and multilateral co-operation to foster regional development.

Amosun had in his welcome address charged his colleagues not to allow themselves to be used as “instruments of division”.

He stated that creation of states from the Old Western Region in 1976, which should have been an impetus for development in the South-West, had been “allowed to create artificial boundaries between the Yoruba nation.”

“To further worsen the situation, some of our people are also making themselves available as instruments of division because of their selfish political gains. The consequence is that our people begin to see themselves as a people of one state or the other rather than as a sub-unit of the entity of the Yoruba people,” he said.


Restructuring: Take your case to National Assembley, Northern leaders tells agitators

Image result for nigerian flagStrong denunciation of the collaboration between the Middle Belt and the South came from the core North, yesterday, with a challenge to advocates of the restructuring of the country to use the National Assembly to push their case. In the same vein, the spate of laws by State Houses of Assembly prohibiting open grazing of cattle was flayed in the same quarters as an infringement of the freedom of movement of herdsmen which they affirmed would sooner than later be annulled by the courts. The Northern insistence on the status quo was rebuffed by advocates of restructuring from the Middle Belt and the South who affirmed that Nigeria cannot continue on the present framework which they said was discriminatory and oppressive. Northern leaders, including Tanko Yakasai, Balarabe Musa and Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, spoke in open rebuke of the Southern and Middle Belt leaders who were also accused of lacking the democratic platform to speak. Southern leaders from all three geopolitical zones, last Saturday, took a position with Middle Belt leaders during which they canvassed the immediate restructuring of the country to reflect fiscal federalism, and the prohibition of open grazing among others. Reacting, yesterday, Kano-based elder-statesman Yakassai, who served as adviser on National Assembly Affairs to President Shehu Shagari, in dismissing the collaboration of the South and the Middle Belt said:  “None of them was elected by their people to speak on their behalf. To the extent that this country guarantees freedom of speech, they are entitled to their opinion. “My quarrel with the people who are advocating this restructuring is that they failed to give the details of the restructuring. If Nigeria is restructured, every Nigerian will be affected. So it is incumbent upon anybody who is campaigning for this to spell it out so that Nigerians can look at it. But to just go about shouting slogans without giving the actual details is nonsensical. “Every one of them is represented in the state assemblies or the House of Representatives or the Senate. Every one of them knows that the way to change our Constitution is defined in our Constitution and our Constitution empowers our legislators, federal and state, to change the Constitution the way they deem appropriate. “So I challenge them to sponsor a bill through their elected representatives so that the bill can take its natural course. If the majority support it, it will be implemented. “I don’t know why they are ignoring the democratic institutions that we have? Why can’t they make use of the democratic institutions? Why are they avoiding the legislature? “Why do they think that press conference is a substitute for our elected representatives? In a democracy, you channel your views through your elected representatives if you are serious.” Yakasai responding to the position of the Southern and Middle Belt leaders on the rampage of herdsmen, said:  “The problem of herdsmen has been with us, even long before the British came and there was a process of handling it. If they strayed into your farm and destroyed your crop, usually, the local authorities would get them to compensate the victim. The right to move freely “As long as they are Nigerians, the Constitution of this country has guaranteed their right to move freely. The only thing is that where their livestock stray into other people’s land and damage their crops, they should be made to pay. “Any state assembly that makes a law to stop people from moving their cattle about is attempting to deny people their constitutionally guaranteed rights, and once the matter is taken to court, it will be declared a nullity,” the elder-statesman said. Alhaji Balarabe Musa, who served as governor of Kaduna State at the commencement of the Second Republic, on his part, was dismissive of the gathering. He said: “I have already said enough on this, and I don’t want to waste my time talking on this again. How different are they from those rascally northern youths who gave the southerners the quit ultimatum? How different are they from them, so I don’t want to waste my time.” Tsav, a retired commissioner of Police from Benue State in the Middle Belt, on his part, dismissed the Southern and Middle Belt leaders as opportunists. He said: “They are opportunists because they are trying to create a situation that will benefit them. Their coming together seems as if they want to go into Biafra. “The ordinary man does not know the meaning of restructuring. It is the politicians who are pushing for it. When there is a government that favours them, they don’t do anything but when they are not getting anything they embark on the type of thing they are doing. “I don’t agree with their demands. Some of these people are vying for the Presidency, and they feel they can get supporters from the South by supporting calls for restructuring.” The Yoruba socio-cultural body, Afenifere, which was strongly represented at the Southern-Middle Belt summit in reiterating the call for restructuring, said through its spokesman, Mr. Yinka Odumakin yesterday:  “That call was made by a majority of Nigerians. It behoves on the Federal Government to listen to the requests, so it does not appear to the world that it is serving the minority like the apartheid regime in South Africa. “The polity is so fragile at the moment, and the government must promote inclusiveness to restore some level of confidence.” Mr. Akin Osuntokun, who served as Political Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo in his second term said:  “It is consistent and valid, but I would have wished that the coalition encompasses the whole of Nigeria, including the far North. “The consolation is the weighty and open support and identification of eminent political leaders like Ibrahim Babangida and Atiku Abubakar. Bias, nepotism, and discrimination are inherently built into Nigeria, and until the country is restructured, it will continue to be plagued by this dilemma. “The meaningful solution is devolution and decentralization of power which divests the centre of its oppressive and over-centralized powers.” Mrs. Esther Gonda, a retired permanent secretary in the Federal Civil Service from Plateau State, who was also a member of the 2014 National Conference on her part, said restructuring was inevitable on account of the structural dislocations in the polity. “Restructuring is a positive word, you restructure an organization to make it more efficient, and I think it is time that we did that in this country, given the agitations that are all over the place to look at what needs to be done to make it workable. “Nigerians all over the place are excelling, but for some reasons, as we are configured, there is a lot of vices that are being generated. So it is good to face it squarely and see what we need to do. “During the national conference, we talked about so many of these items, and we know it is time for us to sit down and face our dragon squarely.”

Arewa Youths threatens Southwest leaders over Buhari

A group of northern youths, yesterday, claimed that a plan to oust President Muhammed Buhari on account of his ill-health had been launched.The group fingered the South-West as being behind the alleged plan.  The claim came amid the ripples generated by the notice issued to the Igbo people by a coalition of northern youths to leave the North by  October 1. The group of northern youths, under the aegis of Arewa Youth Forum, spoke on a day the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) asked those taking advantage of Buhari’s ill-health to make political case for themselves, to stop their activities forthwith. NEF spokesperson, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, also announced the emergence of Paul Unongo, Second Republic politician, as the group’s leader following the demise of the convener, Alhaji Maitama Sule. Arewa Youths The Arewa Youth Forum, in a statement obtained by  Sunday  Vanguard, yesterday, also warned that the North will not accept anything other than the region retaining the presidency in 2019, with or without Buhari. In the statement released by their National President, Alhaji Gambo Ibrahim Gunjungu, in Abuja, the youths said they were aware of the “political games” some political leaders in the South-West were playing over the health of the President to edge him out and take over. The Arewa youths accused the South-West politicians of using Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose and a PDP chieftain to champion their cause, insisting that the North would resist any attempt to take over power from them now or in 2019. They particularly challenged Fayose to produce the eleven pictures which he claimed to show the President on life support or refrain from any commentary on the health of Buhari. Their words, “These South-West people think that we do not understand the politics they are playing but we want to assure them that we perfectly understand their game and will shock them when the time comes. “It is annoying and disappointing that while we in the North are making efforts to stabilize the country against the backdrop of the recent call for the expulsion of those from the North, some people want to show us that they understand the game of politics more than us. But they are in for a surprise. “Let us reveal that after our recent meeting in Kaduna, a delegation was sent to London. We sent that delegation because we wanted to to know the truth of the situation. “We met with the President and he told us some things. All we can say now is that our President will soon be back and people would witness drastic changes in the country. Many people will be surprised when he comes. “Also we want it on record that youths from the North will not accept a repeat of what happened during the late Umaru Musa Yar’adua presidency. In 2919, the North must complete its eight years. This region can no longer continue to be taken for a ride.” The youths lambasted northern governors for keeping quiet and even jostling for the Vice President’s slot, insisting that was time to stand up and defend the region and Buhari.

10 killed as Yoruba, Hausa clash in Ile-Ife

Not fewer than 10 people were reportedly killed in a clash at the Sabo area of Ile-Ife when the ancient city  was yesterday engulfed in a bloody clash between the indigenes of the  town and the Hausa community.

Though no tangible reason was given for the crisis but a source said, trouble started when an Hausa man living in Sabo area of the town was allegedly accused of having  love affair with the  wife of an Ife man who reportedly went over-boards when he discovered what happened.

The incident  said to have happened on Tuesday night degenerated into a bloody clash between the two communities yesterday leading to the killing and destruction of property from both sides.

Meantime, the Osun state government has declared a two day curfew in the entire Ile-Ife City.

According to a statement from the Director of Bureau of Communication, Media and Strategy to governor Rauf Aregbesola, Mr Semiu Okanlawon; “The curfew has been compelled by the breach of the peace in the area which led to avoidable destruction of lives and properties.

‘’The curfew, which will be between 6pm to 7am, will be in force till Friday.”

While the crises lasted, dangerous weapons such as daggers, guns, clubs, arrows, cutlasses and swords were freely used in a free for all between the two warring tribes.

Eyewitness told reporters that, the people organised themselves into two formidable groups to match themselves strength for strength in the frightening battle.

At the battle ground around Sabo area of the town, the Hausas were said to have used freely daggers, arrow and bow to confront the Yoruba who were said to be armed with dane guns, cutlasses and other traditional weapons.

Also, several shops were reportedly looted by miscreants who took  advantage of the violence that engulfed the ancient city to perpetrate the act.

Shop owners around the place briskly locked up their shops while the environment was completely deserted by both commercial and  private vehicles. Residents  of the area had relocated to another part of the town to escape the blood bath.

Some of the persons killed in the mayhem were said to have been burnt while bonfire was also made by both sides.

A combined team of anti riot, regular and mobile policemen were on ground to maintain peace  as they were seen at strategic positions, milling around the scene of the incident.

Speaking on the development, Imam Muhammed Basir, the Senior Special Assistant to Osun state governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on Arewa matters, said; ‘’The situation has taken a very dangerous dimension because as I am talking to you, one person had been shot dead.

‘’I have notified the state governor and the police commissioner, Mr. Fimihan Adeoye and the State Director of the Department of State Security Services on the development.’’

In his own comment, the acting Commissioner of  Police in the state, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar Koji while speaking through the command Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Folasade Odoro, said that, the security men were in control of the situation.

However, soldiers from Engineering Construction Regiment, Ede were drafted to the scene of the crisis to quell further killings and destruction of property.

Osun state government said it has caused deployment of heavy security forces to the scene of the crisis in Ile Ife in Ife Central West Local Council Development Area of the state.

A statement from the Office of the Governor, signed by the Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, assured of the readiness of the security forces to quell the face-off which has led to the destruction of properties in affected areas of the ancient city.

“This is to assure all and sundry that the breach of the peace in Ile Ife is not beyond the control of our highly mobilized security forces.

“To this end, the governor of the state of Osun, upon receiving reports of the fracas, the exact cause of which is still under investigation, has ordered deployment of adequate security forces and is getting minute-by-minute situation reports.

“The Government therefore warns those involved in this act of criminal breach of public peace to end it immediately as the full weight of the law would be brought to bear on anyone arrested.”

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja11, also appealed to the warring Yoruba and Hausa factions to give peace a chance.

Speaking through his media aide, Comrade Moses Olafare, the monarch said that, he had instructed some palace officials to see to the rescue of the Hausas who were arrested by the Ifes in the mayhem.

The monarch was quoted as telling the people of Ife to ensure that no more live or property is lost  while the law enforcement agencies are allowed to restore peace to the community.

He told his subjects to ensure that they allow peace to reign in their domain so that his efforts since ascending the throne to ensure peace in his domain, Yorubaland and Nigeria as a whole would not be in vain.

He stated that, peace would soon be fully restored between the two warring factions in the town.

He appealed to the two factions to tolerate one another and live as one without segregation, sectionalism, tribalism and nepotism saying all tribes are one in the country.

Vanguard gathered that casualties are from both the Hausa and Yoruba communities including children from both sides.

Some of the victims that received varied degrees of injuries are receiving treatment at the Obafemi Awolowo University Hospital Teaching Hospital Complex, Ile-Ife.

Meanwhile, normalcy is gradually returning to the ancient town as the security agencies combined to ensure no more damage is done on both sides.


(Politics) Jonathan’s New Pact With The Yoruba Nation @Richard

 President Goodluck Jonathan, penultimate week, spent almost one week in Lagos during which he commissioned some federal projects in the South-west as well as naval war ships to boost the nation’s maritime security. He also met with different segments of the society where he told them why he should be re-elected on March 28 when the presidential election will be held.

Meanwhile, the unspoken reason for the President’s five-day stay in Lagos where he met with several groups from the South-west was to redouble efforts at getting significant votes from the region during the presidential election.

With the release of the number of people who have collected their permanent voter cards, PVCs, so far nationwide, it was apparent that with the lack of disposition of voters in the North western to Jonathan’s candidature, it became apparent that because of its high number of voters, the support of the South-west was critical to his re-election.

VISIT—President Goodluck Jonathan (right) with Hrm Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, Alaafin of Oyo during the visit of the president to Oyo town,weekend.  Photo: State House.

In this context, the postponement of the general elections by six weeks by the Independent National Electoral Commission was a huge blessing to the Peoples Democratic Party PDP and especially the candidacy of Jonathan. Although conspiracy theorists have argued that the postponement of the elections was orchestrated by the PDP, the reason given by the INEC and subsequent events that followed have since given a lie to this theory. For instance, the postponement has given eligible voters more time to collect their PVCs.

But for the PDP, which appeared to have been doing so badly judging from the crowd that attend its rallies, especially in some northern states, the postponement offered an opportunity to cover lost grounds and the make some foray into the South-west.

Jonathan met with a cross section of Yoruba political and opinion leaders beginning with the Yoruba Council of Elders at the State House, Marina, Lagos. The President also met with market women groups under the aegis of the Iyalojas, the Oodua Cooperative Alliance from the six states of the South-west, as well as representatives of other ethnic groups and tribes in Lagos.

He visited the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III; the Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Ajagungbade; and about 20 traditional rulers of Egba extraction from Ogun State. The significance of the meeting with the traditional rulers from Egbaland stems from the fact that this is same area which former President Olusegun Obasanjo, one of the worst critics of Jonathan, hails from.

The traditional rulers, who attended the meeting in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, were led by the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo. Others at the meeting included the Akarigbo of Remo, Oba Michael Sonariwo; and the Olowu of Owu, Oba Dosunmu. The Awujale and the paramount ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, and Olu of Ilaro and paramount ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, were absent.

The meetings provided avenue for the President to solicit support of the various groups in a more personal manner for his candidacy at the polls. For instance, while at the palace of the Alafin of Oyo, Jonathan used the opportunity of the visit to inform the nation that he would implement the report of the National Conference. Bearing in mind that the South-west has been in the fore front in the demand for a National Conference, the President could not have chosen a better place than the Alafin’s palace to give his commitment.

Jonathan’s whirlwind visit to the South-west appears to be yielding dividends if the assurances given by some prominent Yoruba leaders are anything to go bay. For instance, the founder of the Odua Peoples Congress, Dr. Fredrick Fasehun, has publicly stated that Yoruba elders have decided to support Jonathan based on his promise to implement the National Conference report.

“The promise he gave us is that if he comes back for a second term, he will ensure that the decisions of the Confab are perfected and implemented as soon as he comes in. The Yoruba want self-determination within the federation that will ensure their form of government and politics and want to be able to develop their own region”, Fasheun said while justifying their support for Jonathan.

A meeting of   Yoruba leaders in Akure, under the aegis of Afenifere with the theme: ‘’National Conference, 2015 Elections and the Yoruba Nation’, also endorsed Jonathan for the 2015 elections, citing his commitment to implementing the report of the National Conference as their reason.

The Chairman of the occasion, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, in an elaborate explanation to justify the decision of the group, noted that the action was not borne out of partisan considerations but pragmatic assessment of the best interest of the Yoruba race.

According to him, “We are supporting Jonathan because of the consistency of the Yoruba to have this country restructured so that it can develop. People are calling for change. I want a change in the Constitution of Nigeria. Only a change in the Constitution can truly bring about the change that we need.”


But if the resurgence of hope on Jonathan from the South-west is reassuring, the change in tide in the security situation in the North-east, which has been under the grip of Boko Haram terrorists, has brought a new sense of renaisssance.

Boko Haram insurgency in the North-east took a dangerously different dimension when the group graduated from attacking military formations and government offices to occupying large towns and villages across the three states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. The large scale defection of members of the armed forces as well as the large number of security service being court martial send a bleak message to many Nigerians, especially those living at the epicentre of these attacks, that the government is either unable or unwilling to bring about their sufferings to an end.

Three weeks after the postponement of the election, the military has dealt a devastating blow to the Boko Haram sect as hundreds of its members have been killed in battle, several of their military hardware and weapons either captured or destroyed while Baga, Munguno, Diwa, Gwoza and other villages hitherto occupied by the terrorist group have been liberated.

With the supply of new weapons and ammunition to the army and the renewed cooperation between the neighbouring countries of Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Benin Republic to fight the Boko Haram terrorists, the confidence of many Nigerians, displaced from their homes and villages by the terrorists, appears to be waxing stronger.

And with the assurance by the President that the Boko Haram would be defeated and its leader captured or killed by the military, there appears to be new hope for the candidacy of Jonathan. Whether these renewed interests will transform into electoral fortunes would be determined by moves that the ruling PDP and the opposition All Progressive Congress would make to convince the electorate who are yet to decide on who to vote for in March 28 presidential poll.

– Vanguard

(Photo News) President Goodluck Jonathan Arrives Lagos For 2 Day Official Visit @Richard

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