by Godwin Akanfe
The Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) has criticised President Jonathan’s attempt to “woo the Yoruba nation” for the support of his re-election, claiming that it is already too late in the day.
The group, in a statement by its spokesman, Kunle Famoriyo, described the “Yoruba Progress Summit” which held last Friday as an afterthought and a futile effort to sneak the President into Yoruba land through the back-door.
“For the past five years under his administration, Yoruba people have been deliberately marginalized and skewed out of national reckoning, especially in terms of key appointments and opportunity to partake in key sectors of the economy,” Famoriyo said.
“We are surprised that President Jonathan believes the position of the Speaker, over which he has no control, is enough to atone for the deliberate marginalization in key appointments, over which he has control.”
“In any case, we do not need a ‘Progress Summit’ in Yoruba land. We already have a progressive culture based on democratic and egalitarian values. What Yoruba nation needs is how to be delivered from the retrogressive forces imposed on us by the Nigerian state. The Yoruba nation was well ahead in terms of development until the forced union called Nigeria began to steal our institutions from us. Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), being one of the stolen institutions, is good only to address the need to restructure Nigeria, not for an effort to sustain the status quo.”
Afenifere said nothing will please Yoruba nation other than a return to regional government through maximum devolution of powers and a return to parliamentary democracy because “we reckon this is the best form of public governance that gives us the opportunity to develop at our own pace and contribute our quota to Nigeria’s development.”
According to the group, everything that happened at summit is a fool’s paradise as already proven by the students of OAU.
“Those Yoruba persons parading themselves as leaders f Yoruba people know that leadership in Yoruba land resides in treasured virtues of Omoluabi and Afenifere philosophy, not necessarily in persons. Yoruba people know their leaders.”
“We dare say that more than any so called leader at that event, those students, who brave all the odds to tell Mr. President the truth, are the true leaders, irrespective of their ethnic origin.”
“ARG therefore salute the courage of those students who spoke truth in face of oppression and we enjoin every Nigerian to replicate their courageous act.”