Yoruba leaders led by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi and the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi on Thursday met at the residence of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo in Ikenne, demanding new generation of politicians who are ready to protect and defend the interests of the Yoruba nation.
They spoke at a workshop organised by the Yoruba Unity Forum with the theme: “State Of The Nation: Yoruba, Where Are We?”
In his speech, Ogunwusi expressed regret that there is sheer lack of unity in Yoruba nation, saying until Yorubas are united Nigeria’s unity in diversity may never be accomplished.
The Ooni of Ife maintained that tribal and ethnic crises in Nigeria have remained unabated because they tend to flow from the disunity among Yoruba leaders.
“We have allowed deception, mistrust to divide us as a nation. It was the colonial masters that distorted our history. Yoruba nation is the home of civilization and structure of the political administration. We should be examples for other nations in Nigeria.
“From time immemorial, God has ordained us as leaders, but why do we allow disunity in Yoruba? I have one belief as Arole Oodua that, the moment Yoruba unity is settled, Nigeria will progress. We are the light of the nation.
“Until disunity in the Yoruba nation is resolved, Nigeria’s unity and indeed that of the black nation may not be accomplished,” he said.
Also speaking, the Alaafin of Oyo, who was represented by the Basorun Oyomesi, Yusuf Olayinka, equally agreed that the current generation of politicians have failed, saying there’s need to emulate Awolowo who according to him lived a selfless life.
A Professor of History, Banji Akintoye disagreed that there is disunity in the Yoruba nation, pointing out that the present crop of politicians are not deeply rooted in the Yoruba culture.
“I do not agree that there is disunity in the Yoruba nation. What is actually wrong is that we are not producing enough politicians who stand strong in Yoruba culture and ready to protect the culture and interest of Yoruba.
So, we need new leadership. The group of politicians who can protect and defend the interest of Yoruba land” he said.
In her remark, the daughter of the late sage, Dr Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu said the 2019 general election provides “Nigeria another golden opportunity to reset our compass and choose our direction wisely.”
Earlier in his address, the Chairman of the Forum, Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu said the Yoruba nation has a role to play in the sustenance of Nigeria’s unity and put the nation on a stable course.
Other dignitaries who spoke at the workshop Include; Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Adetunji, Aare Ona-Kankafo, Chief Gani Adams, former Governor of Oyo State, Victor Olunloyo, Senator Femi Okunrounmu, Chief Yinka Odumakin and Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu.