Friday, July 29, 2016 8:46 pm
By Gbenro Adesina/Ibadan
An erudite scholar and international poet, Professor Niyi Osundare, Pastor of Latter Rain Church, Tunde Bakare, Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, Professor Banji Akintoye, today, spoke on the unity and restructuring of Nigeria.
That was during the Golden Remembrance of the first Military Governor of the Western Region, ColoneL Adekunle Fajuyi held at the International Conference, University of Ibadan, UI where the virtues of Fajuyi were extolled.
Feilding questions from newsmen, contrary to the position of President Muhammadu Buhari, Bakare said that the unity of Nigeria is negotiable stressing, “There is nothing in life that is not negotiable. Marriage is negotiable, friendship is negotiable and relationship is equally negotiable. So, the unity of Nigeria is negotiable and the early we accept that the better for us. But when we are negotiating the unity of Nigeria, we should negotiate it to reunite the country.”
For Osundare, “Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable because you cannot negotiate what does not yet exist. Nigeria political restructuring is not enough”.
On Fajuyi, he said further, “Show me your hero and I will tell you who you are. You know a country by the kind of people it remembers. Adekunle Fajuyi was the first major Nigerian figure to achieve the proverbial handshake across the Niger. Adekunle Fajuyi is Omoluabi in the true Yoruba sense of the word. Fajuyi died as a soldier. He lives on as an Ideal”.
An international historian, Professor Banji Akintoye who berated the way the nation treats her nationalists, advocated an aggressive integration stressing that he would continue to fight until an egalitarian nation is achieved.
Pointing out that all Nigerian should work for one nation, he said that if one nation cannot be achieved, then there is nothing bad in breaking up.
His words, “Yoruba nation is the best nation with 50million people. We are larger than most countries in Europe. There are strong reasons for Nigeria to be restructured and restructuring Nigeria is the only way for us to be prosperous. We must not give up a fight for a proper structuring and if we fight and fail, then we Yoruba must come together as one. If Nigeria cannot be built rightly, Yoruba will have to come together and stand alone. We must fight first for Nigeria to work as a nation. We must fight first for Nigeria to be prosperous. If we keep fighting and it does not work, then we should have the courage to take the next step”.
In the same direction, the Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko who strongly supported the restructuring of Nigeria asked, “Is Yoruba nation ready for that restructure?”
In a communiqué titled, “We must revive our culture”, issued and signed by the chairman of the forum, His Royal Majesty, General Olufemi Olutoye, the Alani of Idoani Kingdom, the Yoruba people expressed unhappiness with the damage that has been done to their cultural and economic life by the unitary governance structure which has been foisted on Nigeria gradually since independence.
The communiqué stated, “Many young Yoruba people below 30 years of age have either faint or no idea of historical figures like Fajuyi because Nigeria has stopped the teaching of History in our schools, thereby repressing our culture. There is nothing Nigeria can offer us that can compensate for the relentless erosion of our rich culture which we are proud of and which deserves to be cherished eternally”.
To repair the damage in Yoruba land, the forum advocated the compulsory restoration of the teaching of History in both primary and secondary schools and conducting regional examinations, and issue certificates on it for the students. It stated, “Yoruba Language should be a compulsory subject in our schools and our Houses of Assembly should use it as is now done in the Lagos State House of Assembly”.
The forum also frowned at the poverty rate in the country as well as the unitary economy adding, “We particularly reject the situation whereby our Yoruba Nation’s welfare ideology has become practically impossible to implement in the context of the terminal crisis that Nigeria has now plunged into”.
To get out of this crisis, according to the communiqué, “the Yoruba people insist on the restructuring of the Nigerian federation.
Among the dignitaries in attendance were: Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, Honorable Femi Gbajabiamila, Deputy Governor in Ogun State, Chief Abosede Onanuga, former Deputy Governor in Ekiti State, Professor Modupe Adelabu, General Alani Akinrinade and Chief Cornelius Adebayo