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    Enabling Yorubas’ effective role in building, upholding Nigeria our aim — CYE



    The president of a newly inaugurated socio-cultural group, Council of Yoruba Elders (CYE), Chief Adegboye Onigbinde, has stated that the aims and objectives of establishing the group is meant to enable the Yoruba race play an effective role in building and upholding Nigeria.

    Onigbinde stated that the group which was launched on 31st of August, 2023 is ready to work together in a bid to achieve unity in Yoruba land and Nigeria in general.

    He said unity, if achieved will lead to bringing of ideas which will pilot solution to problems faced in the country.

    Onigbinde, who is a former coach of Super Eagles, said this on Saturday during the maiden press conference of the group held at Oduduwa Center, Iwo road, Ibadan, Oyo state capital.

    He noted that the main focus of the group is to bring unity among the Yorubas which according to him can be achieved through acting, thinking and performing together.

    Onigbinde stated that the group is not at war with any other Yoruba socio-cultural group but meant to create unity among the tribe, adding that the group is opened to all sons and daughters of yoruba who are interested in the unity and progress of the race and Nigeria as a whole.

    The group’s president lamented lack of unity among the yoruba tribe while emphasising the need for Yoruba to come together and speak in one voice.

    He stated that in its bid to bring progress to the different sectors in Nigeria, the group had decide to set up committees which will conduct thorough research into various sectors of human endeavors.

    The committees constituted into sectors which include; Committee on Agriculture, Sports, Education, Health, Petroleum resources ,solid minerals,political affairs, committee on security, works and transport,Judiciary,Industry and Employment, Science and Technology,Urban and Regional planning, Lands and Housing, Investments ,Religious Harmony, Tourism, Mediation and Reconciliation, Aviation and Space , Strategy and Tactics, Women Affairs , Youths and Employment Arts and Culture.

    He said, “Without deceiving ourselves or being unnecessary hypocritical, things are not rosy in Nigeria today as it has always been in the past . This ugly atmosphere has thus stimulated vehement calls by some for the restructuring of Nigeria to true federalism or regional system of government as we used to have in the era of the triad of North, East and West of Ahmad’s Bello , Nnamdi Azikwe and Obafemi Awolowo where the clime for competitiveness gave room for the greatest development in the West . At the other end , some have even been calling for self -determination . Nobody is grudging any of the two demands . But our preference for now as elders is to opt for the softer agitation which is the restructuring of the country which we are sure is going to avail to us the best track of race towards competitive development as we so had it in the past.

    “Let the truth be said, the bane of our situation of the retrogressiveness in Nigeria was the unitary system brought by the military in 1996 . It is thus our duty to demand for what can propel us forward.

    “Along this line , just before we begin the reinforced campaign for this restructuring,we have decided to set up a number of committees which will conduct a thorough research into various sectors of our human endeavors and mould expert papers for each sector as a guide to our demand and proactive preparation for the drive.

    “With all the above structures and activities in place as to be guided by well articulate constitution , I want to assure you that the journey to the redemption of Yoruba land has begun in a practical form.

    “We hereby call on Yoruba sons and daughters across the world to let us throw our egos overboard and join hands together in love,unity and harmony for the good of our father land”, he concluded.

    In his welcome address, the Secretary General of CYE, who also doubles as the President General of Oodua Redemption Alliance, Dr Victor Taiwo, said “We cannot continue to be fooling ourselves, most of Yoruba groups that we all known have been polarized with either by politics or personal interest.

    “We cannot continue to pretend as if we don’t know what is going on, Hausa people have a formidable group that champion their interest, which is Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), they speak with one voice irrespective of their political differences, Igbo people also have their own which is called Ohaneze Ndigbo, but here in Yorubaland our Afenifere group have been polarized.

    “We now have Afenifere Renewal Group, and so many other factions, even the Yoruba Council Of Elders (YCE) has also been factionalized, there is Pa Rueben Fasonrati group, and there is Pa Ayo Adebanjo group so we are no longer speaking with one voice and it is so sad, we cannot move forward with all these mess, we need a strong and formidable group that will be championing our interest at the national level too, this is what gave birth to this Council of Yoruba Elders (CYE) that was officially launched on Thursday 31st August, 2023 at the House of Chiefs here in Ibadan, the event was a successful one, as it was attended by illustrious sons and daughters of Yoruba race from different parts of the world, enough is enough, we must move forward.”


    NGO, FCT Inaugurate Culture For Peace Project Committee



    A Non-Governmental Organization , NGO, Oneworld Initiative for Sustainable Devolpomet (OISD), in partnership with the Department of Arts and Culture of the FCT Social Development Secretariat, have inaugurated a committee geared towards promoting peaceful coexistence in Abuja the Nations Capital.

    Speaking at the formal launching and inauguration of the steering committee on the ‘Culture for Peace Project’, the Mandate Secretary, FCT Social Development Secretariat, Mrs Justina Pawa said the event was timely.

    Mrs Pawa also added that the committee is charged with the responsibility of identifying, listing and studying the various groups within the FCT with a view to finding common grounds for social interaction, economic development, peaceful coexistence and general well-being of all.

    “The well-being of the residents of the FCT, will translate into less work for the FCT Administration and a model city for us to live in and others to visit. One of the expected outcomes from this committee is a Cultural Policy for the FCT that will identify and promote the cultural activities in the FCT.”

    “Your recommendations policy draft will go a long way to provide the needed direction towards achieving the much needed peaceful coexistence that FCT and indeed the entire country deserve.” Paws added.

    Mrs Pawa thanked all the stakeholders who have agreed to be part of the drive especially the traditional institutions and the area councils, the NGOs.

    She urged the committees to go into serious business research and consultation to harness all relevant information needed to accomplish the task within record time.

    On his part, the President, OISD, Timothy Achanya, said the project was conceptualized to galvanize stakeholder efforts towards promoting the culture of peace through dynamic conflict resolution and transformation strategies with a view to achieving sustainable development in Nigeria .

    Mr Achanya also said that the project was concepualized in response
    to Nigeria’s fragile State and conflict infested social space.

    “This ugly trend is further fuelled by religious, ethnic and tribal bigotry which result in distrust among the citizens, lack of patriotism, disunity and huge craving to harm one another at the slightest provocation. Abuja being the capital of Nigeria and adjudged one of the safest cities in the country is beginning to witness this ugly trend. Achanya added
    “The daily influx of victims and other citizens running away from insurgency and crime from the affected states calls for serious concern. The situation has resulted in astronomic increase in Abuja population. This again impacts negatively on the social, economic, human and physical infrastructure of Abuja. If not checked, this could make Abuja worse than most of other cities in Nigeria.” She said.

    She noted that the initiation of the the project using culture as a unifying factor was apt. Mr. Achanya summon all hands to be on deck in the efforts.

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    Real reason I ordered Oyo traditional rulers to stand, Obasanjo opens up



    Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has revealed reason he ordered traditional rulers in Oyo to stand during the inauguration of two projects in Iseyin area of the State, last Friday.

    Obasanjo in a now-viral video had condemned the monarchs for failing to rise to greet the State Governor, Seyi Makinde.

    On reason for his outburst, Obasanjo in an interview with Premium Times said; “I arrived at the event venue with the governor,” the former president said from South Africa where he was attending the burial of politician Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who died on 9 September at 95.

    “As we arrived, every other person at the venue rose, but they (the monarchs) remained seated. I was surprised because I considered that a breach of protocol and disrespect for the governor.

    “It later became the turn of the governor to speak. As he rose, every other person at the venue, including me, stood up as demanded by protocol and in respect for the governor and his office. Again, the Obas refused to rise. They all remained seated.

    “I then asked people around whether that was the practice in Oyo State. I was told the Obas have always displayed disrespect for their governor. I wondered where they got that from and then decided to speak to them about it.

    “As far as I am concerned, there is constitution and there is culture. By our constitution, the governor is the leader of a State. Everyone must respect him no matter his or her status or age. He deserves respect no matter how young he is and protocols must be observed.

    “That was why I spoke to them the way I did. I wanted them to realise that it is not part of Yoruba culture to disrespect authorities. Respect begets respect and they must learn to deal with their governor with respect if they want to be respected in return.

    “I respect traditional rulers and even when I was President and till today, I treat them with reverence. I prostrate, bow and knee before them as necessary.

    “I respect our culture. But let us also know that there is a Constitution which puts a chairman as head of a local government, a governor as head of a state and a president as head of our country. Whatever we do must be in respect for that arrangement. I am saying there is culture and there is constitution. One must not disturb the other.”

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    Document, court judgment show new Alaafin selected by Oyo kingmakers



    The Oyo Mesi, a group of kingmakers, selected a new Alaafin of Oyo last year to replace the late Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, who passed away in April 2022, according to documents obtained byFreelanews.

    Nearly 18 months since the throne became vacant, there has not been an official announcement of a new monarch by the Oyo State Government, with many blaming the kingmakers for delaying the selection process.

    However, a proclamation document and a court judgment seen by this newspaper have now shown that the Oyo Mesi selected Lukman Gbadegesin and forwarded the name of the prince from the Agunloye Ruling House to the government since last year.

    “We hereby proclaim Prince Lukman Adelodun Gbadegesin the new Alaafin,” the proclamation reads, signed by the five living Oyo Mesi members and two warrant chiefs selected by the government to replace deceased Oyo Mesi members.

    The kingmakers said they received a list of 82 aspiring princes from the Baba Iyaji of Oyo, the head of all princes, Mukaila Afonja. By Oyo tradition and the Alaafin Chieftaincy Declaration, Baba Iyaji is empowered to collect the names of aspiring princes from the next ruling house and transmit them to the Bashorun, the head of Oyo Mesi.

    The Bashorun would then convene a meeting of the kingmakers to take a vote and the prince with simple majority is to be proclaimed Alaafin.

    As the proclamation shows, all the kingmakers signed for Mr Gbadegesin, whose grandfather, Alaafin Bello Gbadegesin Ladigbolu II, was the predecessor of the immediate past Alaafin Adeyemi III.

    The proclamation was signed on September 30, 2022. According to the law, an aspirant or the ruling house has 21 days to petition the government to challenge the selection. But no such petition was written.

    However, after the expiration of the 21-day window, a prince, Hakeem Ladigbolu, approached the court to set aside the selection process. But in a judgment given on December 19, 2023, an Oyo State High Court in Oyo Town, upheld the process leading to the selection of Mr Gbadegesin, court papers show.

    However, despite the proclamation by the Oyo Mesi and the court judgment upholding the process, the government has yet to make a formal announcement, giving rise to concern that political interests might want to undermine the Oyo Mesi and foist another person on the ancient Yoruba town.

    When contacted, the Bashorun of Oyo, Yusuf Akinade, confirmed the process has been concluded.

    He, however, refused to disclose the name of the prince selected. Instead, he said, “we have submitted everything to the government, direct all other questions to the government, but we have completed the process.”

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