The Aare Ona Kakanfo-in-Council held an extraordinary meeting on the state of the Yoruba nation and sundry matters affecting the Nigerian state on Sunday, August 23, 2020.
At the extraordinary meeting presided over by the Ààrẹ Ọ̀nà Kakaǹfò of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams, far reaching decisions were taken on some pertinent issues affecting the Yoruba nation vis-à-vis its strategic interest within the Nigerian union; and appropriate recommendations made, among others, to the country’s security agencies as well as Southwest Governors.
Below is the communique issued at the end of the extraordinary meeting:
1. The Ààrẹ Ọ̀nà Kakaǹfò of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams, and his Chiefs in the Ààrẹ Ọ̀nà Kakaǹfò-in-Council, hereby restate their resolve and commitment to the preservation of the territorial integrity of the Yoruba Nation.
2. The Council also restates its resolute resolve to work towards the achievement of the cohesion and unity of all stakeholders in the Yoruba cause, with the fervent belief that such commitment would lead to a greater Yoruba Nation where no citizen shall be subjected to inequity, inequality and deprivation of opportunities and liberty within the Nigerian state.
For the avoidance of doubt, the Council pledges to concentrate all its powers, energies and our God-given intellect into the onerous task of the preservation of the racial identity and territorial aspirations of the Yoruba Nation.
3. The Ààrẹ Ona Kakanfo-in-Council has in its possession credible intelligence, gathered from within and outside the country, which strongly indicates the infiltration of terrorists and killer Fulani herdsmen in the region. More worrisome, the intelligence report also reveals that suspected ISIS operatives have already positioned themselves in Niger State via Ìbàrùbáland and are now within the Òkè-ògùn corridor of Ọ̀yọ́ State.
4. Indeed, the intel also reveal that about 500 power bikes and assorted armour belonging to the terrorists have been physically sighted along the abandoned Lusada route moving towards Sokoto, from Igbó-ọrà in Ọ̀yọ́ State. The Council, therefore, enjoin all Southwest governors, as well as the Governors of Kwara and Kogi States, to emulate the Governor of Benue State, Mr Samuel Ortom, by directing their citizens to apply for gun licence for self-defence against the marauding terrorists and killer
5. In the same vein, The Aare Ona Kakanfo-in-Council strongly advise the Federal Government and President Muhammadu Buhari, to take urgent steps to tighten Nigeria’s borders, especially the lengthy and porous borders with our northern West African neighbours, with a view to stopping the illegal entry of killer herdsmen and other criminals into the country. We say: Enough is enough!
6. Council calls for an immediate halt to all ethnic and genocidal killings in Nigeria. No nation prospers on the blood of the innocent. President Muhammadu Buhari, rise to the occasion and put a stop to the senseless killings in Southern Kaduna, Benue, Plateau and Taraba States, among others. Stop this senseless bloodletting now.
7. The clamor, by the Yorùbá, for effective and adequate security architecture for the region goes beyond Àmọ̀tẹ́kùn or any form of self-help. It is all about the preservation of our heritage as a race, our way of life, our patrimony, our culture and Traditions, that are so precious to us and which we guard so jealously.
8. Since 1991, the Yoruba have been clamouring for resource control or restructuring as a basis for equitable co-existence within the Nigerian nation. The clarion calls have gone largely unheeded. Now, our people are sick and tired of the deafening silence they have been receiving over time. In fact, our people are tired of asking for the smallest, irreducible element of Federalism.
Feelers gathered from Yorubas at home and in the diaspora is that with the way things are going, our people may be forced to press for self- determination as an irrevocable means to take their destiny into their hands. This has become inevitable because the 60 million strong Yorùbá Nation can never, and will never play second fiddle to anyone, no matter where they find themselves. With a 16,000 history and science of existence in their native land, the Yorùbá can never be second class citizens in their own land.
9. For peace to reign, we genuinely and sincerely advise the President Buhari Administration to urgently embark on a just and equitable restructuring of the Nigeria federating units before October 1, 2020, based on the recommendations of the Yoruba Submit Group at its meeting held in July. This is a sine qua non (necessary condition) to avoid imminent implosion and possible dismemberment of the country.
10.The Aare OnaKakanfo-in-Council noted, with sadness, the surreptitious attempts by the Federal Government to smuggle the rejected RUGA policy with its toxic provision to annex the ancestral lands of the indigenous peoples with the active connivance of the 9th National Assembly. This will not work. Of a truth, we have resolved to do everything possible to make sure NO INCH OF YORÙBÁLAND IS CEDED TO THE FULANI UNDER WHATSOEVER NOMENCLATURE, BE IT THE OBNOXIOUS WATER BILL OR WHATEVER!
11.The Ààrẹ OnaKakanfo-in-Council equally condemns the outrageous intention of the Federal Government of President Muhammadu Buhari aimed at mortgaging the ports in Lagos to China for a needless credit facility. Examples of African countries abound where China has seized national assets in lieu of loans taken and not serviced according to the terms of the Chinese. China has taken over huge national assets in Zambia. Djibouti has lost 80 percent of its GDP to China. In 2017, Republic of the Congo became host to China’s first overseas military base.
The Republic of the Congo owes an estimated $2.5billion to Chinese lenders. Egyptians are not sleeping easy because China is financing their country’s new capital New Cairo. Their future, as it were, lies in the hands of the Chinese.
Now, our dear country, Nigeria, is priming itself for the same nightmare. We cannot accept this ungodly lure into neo-colonialism; not even by the Chinese.
OUR SUBMISSION TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: DON’T TAKE THE CHINESE LOAN. DON’T MORTGAGE OUR FUTURE AND THAT OF GENERATIONS UNBORN. LET US TAKE OUR DESTINY INTO OUR HANDS, LOOK INWARDS, AND SALVAGE OUR COUNTRY TOGETHER.
12. On August 7, 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) into law. The law provides for religious bodies and charity organisations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and a supervising minister. The furore generated by the signing of the law should tell the President that it is an unpopular law. The Council condemns it. We believe it will add to the hardship currently suffered by Nigerians. We, therefore, ask the President to rescind his decision and withdraw his assent. The hallmark of a true leader is to listen and accede to his people’s yearning. We call on the President to respect the sensitivity of Nigerians and do the needful.
The reintroduction of the vexatious National Water Resources Bill, which was rejected in 2018 by the National Assembly (NASS) is of great concern to the council.
Presentation of this bill at this time is not of National interest. It is purely suicidal because the bill on water management and control in a country like Nigeria that prides itself as a Federal state actually negates the spirit of true federalism as it is practised in saner climes.
Nigeria is presently practising a centralized system of government, that is solely unitary in body and soul. The council condemn the process in its totality and we advise the Federal to retrace its step.
13. The Ààrẹ Ona Kakanfo Foundation, a worthy initiative by our leader, the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams, has noted with deep concerned the untold suffering hardship being faced by Nigerians, especially youths. The Foundation also notes that the problems have been seriously compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant agonies in all facets of life.
As part of its continuous efforts to help alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians, therefore, the Ààrẹ Ona Kakanfo Foundation has packaged various palliatives for our people in Yorùbáland. Among them is the provision of scholarships to indigent but brilliant undergraduates in Nigerian universities that shall soon be determined by the Foundation. In addition, the Foundation will also provide adequate support to young entrepreneurs. Other areas of intervention shall include promotion of science and technology as driver for growth and an engine to galvanise the return of Yorùbáland to her former glories.
14. The Council reiterates that the unity of all Yorùbá people, both within and in the diaspora, is non-negotiable. Now, more than ever before, we must bury personal ambitions, close our ranks and submit totally to Yoruba unity. We reiterate that sterling verse in the Yorùbá Anthem, as given to us by our father, the sage, Papa Obafemi Awolowo, that the unity and freedom of the Yorùbá remain our watchword. We shall ensure the will of the people in establishing the unity of all Yorùbá stakeholders, groups and other affiliates. All Yorùbá groups, must unite, irrespective of political and religious affiliations, and indeed, all other alliances.
15. In conclusion, it is in the interest of the present administration to judiciously, intelligently see our intervention at these precarious times as a genuine effort by the important voice of the Yorùbá people as partners in progress, therefore heeding to our voice. We repeat, the politics of 2023 presidency will NEVER DETRACT THE REAL YORUBA FROM CLAIMING THE CHOICE OF RESTRUCTURING OVER THE PYRRHIC GIFT OF A YORÙBÁ PRESIDENCY WITH A FAULTY STRUCTURE. SUCH SUBTERFUGE WILL NOT WORK… NEVER AGAIN!
Chief Babajide Tanimowo, Atoloye Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland on behalf of the the Aare in Council