A chieftain of the defunct National Democratic Coalition, Chief Ayo Opadokun has advised Yoruba youths to ask politicians about their position with regard to the ‘Yoruba Agenda’.
He noted this while speaking at a conference organised by the Alliance of Yoruba Democratic Movement with the theme, ‘Democracy and the future of Yoruba Nation’.
According to him, the Yoruba Agenda has been harmonised since 1994 under the Chairmanship of the late Professor Adebayo Adedeji with that of traditional rulers at conveyed meetings at the Ogbagba Court of the Awujale of Ijebu land.
He said Yoruba youths should seek to know the positions of aspirants on the Yoruba Nation’s demand for a return to true federalism.
Opadokun noted that Nigeria gained independence through the practice of Federal Constitutional Governance but the country had since 1996 remained under a Unitary/Central government which was imposed on the people.
He further charged the youths to demand from political aspirants, written and actionable guarantees of positive and categorical determinations on promises and vows made.
Opadokun said, “The second and perhaps a much more fundamental matter for the younger generation to consider, request and insist upon is that aspirants who will soon be coming to you should respond to where they stand on the Yoruba Agenda.
“Since 1994, the Yoruba Agenda has been harmonised under the Chairmanship of the late Professor Adebayo Adedeji. The political/elite’s position was harmonised with that of the traditional rulers at conveyed meetings at the Ogbagba Court of the Awujale of Ijebu land when we thought that General Sani Abacha was going to organise a truly representative assembly of Nigerians to discuss and resolve the national question.
“The most germane item is the Yoruba Nation’s categorical demand for a return to Federal Constitutional Governance. We have always stated with clarity that Nigeria secured its independence on a Federal Constitution Governance that was negotiated by the different ethnic nationalities and their political leaders.
“There was no time where Nigerians consented to, nor agreed with the Unitary and Central Government that was imposed on us by military governments by decrees since January 15, 1966.
“And Nigeria has since then been governed unitarily and centrally till date, in spite of popular, credible and sustained categorical demands for a return to the negotiated Federal Constitution that recognises the fact and reality that the geographic and political space created by the imperialist Great Britain composed of heterogeneous people with over 350 ethnic nationalities with their different languages, religions, cultures, customs, traditions, artefacts, folklore, mores, morals, etc.
“Furthermore, those who will come to seek your votes must give you written and actionable guarantees of positive and categorical determinations on the 10 points you have highlighted above that they will not again renege on their promises as many of the current political operators have done.
“I need not remind you that Federalism, as was practised in the First Republic, assisted the various governments not only to be responsible and responsive to the electorate’s yearnings and aspirations; but it guaranteed justice, equity and fair play, as well as the protection, defence and consolidation of the rule of law as the basis of government policies.”