The Yoruba Council of Elders has urged the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgent importance, create an enabling environment for the return of all involuntary exiles, who are victims of past draconian regimes.
The Yoruba elders said that those in exile include “the personages of Professor Banji Akintoye and Chief Sunday Igboho, who were harassed for advocating proper and dignified treatment of their law-abiding kinsmen”.
The elders spoke in a communique signed by YCE scribe, Elder Oladipo Oyewole and Publicity Secretary, Elder Niyi Ajibulu at the end of the council’s meeting of the Secretary-General and state secretaries which was held in Ado Ekiti made available to journalists on Saturday.
Oyewole and Ajibulu, who said YCE had been miffed about the degenerating level of acceptance of Yoruba language, culture and civilisation, said that the meeting also deliberated on the presentation of a book, ‘Yoruba Renaissance, Challenges and Prospects’
They described the book, written by Sir Egunjobi, a renowned educationist, as “a timely enunciation of Yoruba history and contemporary affairs which succinctly illuminates both recurring and emerging challenges and prospects to the Yoruba experience”.
They called on the Federal Government to reaffirm its responsibility to provide equal protection to all citizens and constituent groups in the country.
The Yoruba elders, who took exception to the action of the former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, against some traditional rulers in Oyo State last week, said that the former president “should certainly apologise and make restitution”.
The elders stated, “The YCE takes exception to the humiliation recently meted out to various traditional rulers of Oyo State by Chief Obasanjo upon the claim of status as a former Head of State. This malfeasance constitutes a shameful affront to the dignity of Yoruba tradition and culture and thus stand condemned”.
Oyewole and Ajibulu stated that “to start with, the book presentation visits shall be made to the governors of the Yoruba states in due honour of their statuses as the chief executive officers of their various states.
According to them, the book, ‘Yoruba Renaissance, Challenges and Prospects’ “is a compendium of efforts made to ensure the enviable leadership position of the Yoruba in the ‘arrangement’ called Nigeria. It delves into many aspects of frontline activities (historical, social, economic, political (etc)”.