The first National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande, has asserted that some ‘selfish and greedy’ Yoruba leaders are responsible for the retrogression and underdevelopment that the Yoruba race is witnessing currently.
Akande buttressed his assertion by stating that some western leaders in military uniforms collaborated with the north to destabilize the Yoruba political strength, maginalize its people and expropriate their common patrimonies like University of Ife, the western Nigerian television and the Liberty Stadium.
The former governor of Osun state spoke at the weekend at the unveiling of Karele Oodua Logo and Investiture of Karele Oodua Ambassadors organized by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Culture and Tourism in the state.
Karele Oodua is a pilgrimage-like initiative aimed at getting Yoruba people in diasporas to return to their ancestral land to learn, understand and see what the African Traditional Religion encapsulates.
According to Akande, the selfish Yoruba leaders also took part in annulling the June 12, 1993 Presidential election won by Chief MKO Abiola to take him out of the Presidency of Nigeria.
He noted that the beginning of the current republic, the same leaders, for reasons of greed and self aggrandizement, cringed to the north and the East for political influence to continue to depress and degrade the authentic aspirations of the Yoruba people with a sermon that the Yoruba should join the mainstream politics of Nigeria.
Akande noted that the consequence of the actions of these Yoruba leaders in connivance with their Northern and Eastern counterparts metamorphosed into the disunity of the country and the promotion of religious conflict which resulted in the migration of the Yoruba people to the diaspora.
The Asiwaju of Ila-Orangun posited that the action and inactions of the selfish leaders has put the nation into a situation of economic imbroglio and massive exploitation of the nations commonwealth.
He said: “After the independence, for reasons of rank promotions, our leaders in military uniforms collaborated with the north to destabilize our political strength, to maginalize our people, to expropriate our patrimonies like the University of Ife, the western Nigerian television, the Liberty Stadium etc, and to hound our elites and youths into graves and into exile for another layers of Yoruba in diaspora.
“And they assisted in annulling Abiola’s election out of the Presidency of Nigeria. Since the beginning of this Republic, the same leaders, for reasons of greed and self aggrandizement, cringed to the north and the East for political influence to continue to depress and degrade the authentic aspirations of the Yoruba people with a sermon that the Yoruba should join the mainstream politics of Nigeria.
“The consequences of all these corrupt actions of our Yoruba leaders in collaboration with other greedy and corrupt Nigerian leaders is the total crash of the Nigerian economy which gave rise to the present urban and rural slums and infrastructural decay together with its accompanied various criminals ravaging our society today.
“The emphases of the economic destructions have resulted in more migration of most Nigerian Youths into most ugly exile to the diaspora since the beginning of this century. Each community has its criminals.
“It is a fraudulent and ungodly tradition to join the corrupt North and East of Nigeria in throwing Nigeria into an economic perdition and begin to call on those of us who are innocent to give chorus to your songs in blaming the criminal consequences on a particular religion or ethnicity.”
Akande who warned that the result of using politics to generate religious wars will continue to send numerous other Yoruba Youths into diaspora in a most undignified fashion, commended efforts of the Osun state government to encourage the pilgrimage of Yoruba in the diasporas back home.
He traced the history of the first layer of Yoruba in disaporas to the slave trade in pre-colonial era where the leaders hunted the people about the bush, kidnapped and sold them into slavery abroad.
The state Governor, Mr Gboyega Oyetola who was represented by his Deputy, Mr Gboyega Alabi said the motive of Karele Oodua is to preserve the rich Yoruba culture and boost the tourism potentials of the state.
He expressed optimism that the programme would be an annual affair of bringing back sons and daughters of Oduduwa who have migrated to the outside world to their ancestral land to know more about the tradition of their forebearers.
Governor Oyetola stated the resolve of his administration to continue to promote culture and enact policies that would make the state the Tourism hub of the nation.
In his address, the Supervisor, Ministry of Home Affairs, Culture, Tourism and Environment in the state of Osun, Dr Adebisi Obawale said the state government of Osun decided to sponsor the Karele Oodua programme to sustain and promote the rich cultural heritage of the Yoruba people.
He said the attraction of Yoruba people from the diaspora to the state in a pilgrimage holding between 10th – 25th August, 2019 would also boost the economic potentials of the state, urging the people of the state to accord the visitors warm reception during the period of the pilgrimage.
The Chairman, Technical Committee of Karele Oodua, Prof Adisa Ogunfolakan, said the initiative is geared to return the descendants of Oduduwa to their ancestral land with the aim to learn and see for themselves what the African Traditional Religion encapsulates.
He stressed that the essence of the project is to also enhance the promotion of the rich Yoruba cultural heritage.