Posted on Fri 30 Jun 2017, 02:50 PM

Oludayo Tade, Ibadan

Prominent Yoruba leaders in the South West on Thursday charged the federal government to commence the process of implementing the 2014 National Conference report as a template for restructuring the country.

They insisted  that Nigeria must be restructured to reflect true federalism and promote regional and national development.

The Yoruba leaders, under the aegis of Yoruba Leadership and Peace Initiative on converged in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, warned that no nation has ever witnessed war twice and survived it, stating that Nigeria cannot afford another civil war .

According to them, time is ripe for Yoruba people to put on thinking caps and take a stand on the current agitation across the ethnic groups in Nigeria.

The leaders, who emphasised Yoruba unity,  noted that there is a national consensus that Nigeria is overdue for restructuring, urging the Federal Executive Council and legislative arm of government to begin the process of implementing or review of the confab report before the 2019 general elections.

Chief Olabode George in his remarks,  warned that the mistakes of the past should not be allowed to be repeated , adding that there must be collective effort to avoid  truncating  the unity of Yoruba race.

Speaking on the need for restructuring of the country, the former Deputy National Chairman ( South West) of the People's Democratic Party ( PDP) , said restructuring Nigeria does not mean scrapping the national government. 

While harping on the education and enlightenment of the younger generations, chief Bode George stated that the thoughts of former Premier of the defunct Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, should be revisited in administering South West states, adding that Awolowo's methodology in education,  health,and politics remained the best till date.

He urged South West governors to pick it up and sincerely manage Yoruba states successfully.

In his submission , former Ogun state  governor , Otunba Gbenga Daniel threw his weight behind restructuring of Nigeria and advocated that the report of the 2014 national conference should be re-considered by the Federal Government and not confine it into dustbin.

Dr Olapade Agoro, while speaking, however, urged the Yoruba race to stand with the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, especially at this  period .

Earlier, the convener of the retreat, Otunba Deji Osibogun , noted that after several years of debate on how to bring the Nigerian people together to agree on the modalities for restructuring the polity, the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo convened the National Political Reform Conference in 2005,  but noted that the initiative failed to douse agitation in the country.

Correspondent Tade Oludayo reports that those present at the event are a former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Bode George; former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Senator Bode Olajumoke; a legal luminary, Chief Niyi Akintola  (SAN); Pro-Chancellor , Lead City University, Professor Gabriel Ogunmola, Chief Mrs Bola Doherty, and Chairman, Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), Hon. Olawale Oshun .

Others included  National Chairman, National Action Party ( NAC) , Dr. Olapade Agoro; Proprietor, Lead City University, Ibadan, Professor Jide Owoeye; a retired archbishop of Methodist Church Nigeria, Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu; National Coordinator of Oodua Peoples Democratic(OPC), Otunba Gani Adams; Chief Tokunbo Ajasin, the scion of former governor of Ondo State, the late Pa Adekunle Ajasin; Secretary General,  Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), Otunba Kunle Olajide; Oloye Lekan Alabi , and convener of the retreat, Otunba Deji Osibogun.

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