Exclusive: Ooni of Ife Leads Obas to Jonathan, Activist Calls Move a Sellout
Today, the 2ist of April, 2013, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, will lead 23 chiefs from the Yoruba South-West region to Abuja to meet with President Goodluck Jonathan at the Aso Villa. This meeting, we can report, is a culmination of the several secret gatherings and consultations held by the president and some of his representatives with some Yoruba leaders in order to woe them over to his political party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and use them to break the stronghold of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu-led offensive over the soul of the region.
The Ooni, we gather, has been tapped to assemble Obas and chiefs, who can be trusted to help the president gain more support from the region ahead of the 2015 elections.
Whether these Obas have the mandate of their people to hold meetings with a government that has allegedly left the Yoruba people poorer that it met it is uncertain. Despite repeated media expositions, interviews and reports showing the Jonathan government has deliberately marginalized the Yoruba nation, nothing has been done to correct this.
While the merger plans of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and other major opposition parties gathered steam, the PDP and Presidency are said to have implemented a number of strategies to empower some select Yoruba leaders. Former presidential candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), Olu Falae, was tapped to cobble together a number of parties and call it a merger.
It would also be recalled that the Founding Father of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Dr. Fredrick Fasheun, recently admitted seeking a multi-billion Naira contract for the protection of oil pipelines in the SouthWest, a move many consider very suspicious. These allegations are further strengthened by the sudden desire of the erstwhile respected doctor to resuscitate the rested is Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) and it is suspected that the funds being used for this are illegal proceeds from this dubious security contract.
An activist with strong Yoruba roots, Comrade Olaitan Ifelodun, has decried the situation, calling out the leaders involved for selling out their birthrights for a “pitiful bowl of pottage.”
“What has the Jonathan administration done for the SouthWest to justify the overwhelming support he got in the 2011 elections?” he mused. “We gave him all the support from when he was denied his constitutional position as Acting President when the late Musa Yar’ Adua was incommunicado for months to when we voted against our own to ensure his victory. We (Yoruba people) got nothing. Not even the seat of the Speaker of the House of Representatives as the PDP formulae was constituted. Our roads remain terrible, while our youth remain unemployed, leading to rampant cases of robbery and kidnaps, of which the case of the Chairman of Ejigbo Local Government is a case in point.
“If the Obas that we expect to have our best interest at heart and protect us have chosen to sell us off for a pitiful bowl of pottage, I wish them luck. But, they should note that their people will resist this move. The time of taking our people for a ride is over. We can see clearly now and we know those who want the good of our people.”
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