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.
Chief Onigbinde in his maiden press conference while reacting to some insinuations that emerged from various groups shortly after he was appointed as the President of Council of Yoruba Elders at the House of Chiefs, Parliament Buildings, Agodi Secretariat Ibadan on Thursday 31st August, 2023 maintained that CYE as a social cultural group is not in any loggerhead with any other yoruba group.
Onigbinde who addressed journalist at the group’s head office, situated at Oduduwa House, Iwo Road Axis of Ibadan the Capital city of Oyo state noted that the group that 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 bring solution to problems faced in the country.
While he emphasised on the need for restructuring the country which according to him will avail to the best track of race towards competitive development in the country.
He noted that the main focus of the group is to bring about unity among the Yorubas which according to him can be achievable through acting, thinking and performing together.
Adding that the group is opened to all yorubas who are interested in the unity and progress of the Yoruba race and Nigeria as a whole.
The group’s president lamented lack of unity among the yoruba tribe while he emphasised 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.
Some of the pro tem exco of the Council of Yoruba Elders, as unveiled by the former Super Eagles National Coach, Chief Onigbinde include, Dr Victor Taiwo, Secretary General; Hakeem Danmola,National Treasurer; Erelu Tijani, National Financial Secretary; Mr Lanre Ogundipe, Publicity Secretary; Elder Taiye Ayorinde, Chairman Mediation and Reconciliation committee; Prince Bowofade Aderemi, Legal Adviser; Retire AIG Bola Alonge, Security Adviser; Chief (Mrs) Simisade Kuku, Chairman Women Affairs; Princess Dorcas Amusan-Fagborun, Chairman Diaspora; Mr Muhammed Babatunde Aliyu, Chairman Public Awareness; Prof. Olukayode Ogundoro, Administrative Secretary; Others include states Chairmen, and committee chairmen.
Chief Onigbinde 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 retrogressive 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.”
He said, “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.”
“We Yorubas are so brilliant, we are known for our brilliance, but it is so sad because when it comes to wisdom to speak with one voice we are lacking behind, politics has divided us, personal interest has divided us, we need to forget all these and come together for the betterment of our race and for the interest of our nation at large. Victor Taiwo said.
In his speech, Chief Onigbinde however maintained that the Chief Mrs Erelu Dosumu Abiola, the Yeye Oodua of the has been upgraded from her status as the Vice President of the group to grand- patroness.
He said, “I want to specially thank our dear mother, Her Royal Highness Erelu Abiola Dosumu the Erelu Kuti I of Lagos and Yeye Oodua of the Source for agreeing to work with us on this mission of Yoruba renaissance in her capacity as the Grand-Patroness of this organisation, it will be recall that on the day of.yhe event she was appointed as the Vice President of the council, but we later considered her for elevation to the status of the Grand-Patroness of the council conserving her position as the official mother of the Yoruba race.”
Also in attendance at the press conference are Prof. Kayode Ogundoro, Chief Olu Alege Olaseyi, Mogaji Ogunsola Anisere, Alhaja Bisola Quadri, Chief Dara Odunjo, Comrade Wale Alabi, Dr. Tope Taiwo, Mr Rahaman Adebayo, Mrs Bose Oni, among others.