The non-partisan pan-yoruba socio-cultural group, Yorùbá, recently held her second retreat at Erunwon, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun state as well as virtual connection with those overseas. The retreat, held at the behest of yorùbá leaders because of the pressing issues challenging the existence of the yorùbá race and people in Nigeria. The meeting had in attendance, the bigwigs and sagacious dignitaries of yorùbá land.
AFENIFERE, the pan yorùbá, socio-cultural group remains the umbrella body for all other yoruba advocacy groups.
Pa Ayo Adebanjo and Professor Banji Akintoye, the grand patrons amongst others, attended to cogent questions that demanded public attention.
In a press release by the foundation’s acting Director of Media and Publicity, Demola Sanyaolu, the foundation made her intentions clear during the retreat. A copy of the press release is attached below.
PRESS RELEASE AT THE END OF THE 2nd RETREAT OF YORUBA KO’YA LEADERSHIP & TRAINING FOUNDATION, ON RESTRUCTURING Vs SELF-DETERMINATION – WHICH WAY FOR THE REFERENDUM?
The Board & Management of Yoruba Ko’ya Leadership and Training Foundation (YKLTF) held a 2-Day special retreat (physical & virtual) in Erunwon near Ijebu Ode, Ogun State on the 6th & 7th May, 2021, to deliberate on the pathway to Constitutional Freedom-via *Restructuring of Nigeria or Self-Determination.*
|Pa Ayo Adebanjo|
First day of the retreat, held at Chris Ogunbanjo Center Erunwon, had several dignitaries as guest speakers amongst whom are Senator Olu Adetunmbi (was unable to join via zoom but his earlier contribution on State of the Nation at the floor of the Senate Chambers was replayed for participants-to reinforce his position.), Professor Femi Otubanjo (Political Governance perspective from the academia & professional-in-politics.), Mr. Femi Odedeyi ( a US based Media Practitioner and Referendum expert.), Prof Banji Akintoye (Expert in Nigerian & International History and Leader of Ilana Odua and respected Professional-in-Politics.)
|Prof. Banji Akintoye|
Speakers on the second day of the retreat include;
Pastor (Dr) Sunday Adelaja (Ukraine-based International motivational speaker & Cleric), Dr Sina Fagbenro-Byron (a Legal expert, International Development analyst, social & public critic and former Presidential Candidate in Nigeria.), Pa Ayo Adebanjo (Highly revered, experienced Lawyer, Professional-in-Politics and Afenifere Leader). Pa Ayo Adebanjo did justice to comments on grey areas from participants for about two hours on Q & A.
|Otunba Deji Osibogun
The conclusions at the retreat are as follows:
1. Restructuring could be the least traumatic and non-violent way to bring peace and progress to Nigeria but it must be preceded by drafting a new constitution agreed to by the various indigenous nationalities of the country.
2. Self-Determination would be a most satisfactory outcome for the progress and development of the ‘Yoruba nation’, but it is certain to be resisted, perhaps even violently, by the government in power, presently holding Nigeria hostage without any idea of how to bring it out of its multifaceted crises.
|Dr. Sina Fagbenro-Byron|
3. To achieve either Restructuring or Self-Determination, the Yoruba nation and its citizen need to make haste slowly, reconstruct, recalibrate, recreate and institutionalize its time-tested Omoluabi virtues, values and principles which undergirded the philosophy, politics and successful governance of the avatar, Oduduwa and subsequently, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
4. All Yoruba groups should collaborate to maintain, expand and increase all ongoing peaceful, non-violent advocacy and public enlightenment engagements such as rallies, seminars, conferences, workshop/training and retreats to enlighten and mobilise the masses of Yoruba people in both urban and rural locations so that at the appropriate time they can make a free and informed choice of either ‘Restructuring or Self-Determination’.
|Pastor(Dr.) Sunday Adelaja|
5. All Yoruba groups should resolutely avoid violence and security breaches in their engagements with the Police and other Security agencies knowing full well that peaceful protest is what repressive regimes fear most and that they would seek to provoke violence so that they can clamp down on voices of change.
|Senator Olu Adetunmobi|
6. A ‘Referendum’ is deemed necessary to determine which of *Restructuring or Self-Determination* is the choice of the Yoruba people, however this can only be undertaken when sufficient enlightenment and advocacy has taken place and a critical mass of the Yoruba population are better informed about the issues and enfranchised to participate in a plebiscite.
For such a Referendum to be valid, legitimate and acceptable both within Nigeria and internationally, it is best to be jointly organised by or with the support of a legitimate authority such as the elected State governments and representatives of Yoruba people at the State & National Assembly or as the situation might determine, by an international entity such as the United Nations.
|Mr. Femi Odedeyi|
Towards this end, Yoruba citizens are to lobby and put pressure on their governments and representatives to prioritize actions towards the termination of the 1999 Constitution and empower the Yoruba people with the right of Plebiscite by reinstating our right to a Referendum which is the universally accepted indicator for a free people to choose their destiny and organizing same as soon as the time is appropriate.
7. In the meantime, Yoruba groups are to avoid go-it-alone polls and surveys which may prove inconclusive, none inclusive or unacceptable to the generality of the Yoruba nation.
|Prof. Femi Otubanjo|
8. That Yoruba’ groups must do all in their power to maintain peace and cohersion amongst , within and between each other as a first step to addressing the immediate security threats that we currently face and for all leaders and groups to develop and/or strengthen all crisis management and early warning systems, and put our people on alert and to be our brothers and sisters keeper.