– By Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie
“To avoid going to war is not cowardice. It is to have the courage to subdue our ego and negotiate. …..” Better still, go get a copy of El Rufai’s book titled “Accidental civil servant” and read the dialogue between the Author and Baba Obasanjo the then President. You will appreciate the value of native intelligence of the Yoruba which some ignoramus called cowardice. Pray, has Yoruba ever lost any war whether of the guns, intellectual, political or spiritual? No. Check the political, Social and religious history of Nigeria. Who checkmated the advancement of the Fulanis to the South in 1807 at the famous Jalumi war outside Offa at Odo Otin to be precise? Who opened the gate of influx of our youths to the western world in search of Knowledge and sound education after the obnoxious policy and body called “Ijamba Foriti ” otherwise known as Jamb? Remember the Exploit of the Yoruba in Nadeco that crippled the country to the extent that the dark goggled wearing General Abacha could not step into Yoruba land for four years.
When Jonathan Administration with the aids of Pius Anyim schemed out the Yoruba out of his government inspite of protestations from the likes of Baba Bode George and other PDP leaders in Yorubaland, the Yoruba simply went to work with their brains to see to his exit after all, they put him there in the first place through careful planning.
Today, the Yoruba are the best educated black professionals in the USA. If in doubt check out the high brow teaching hospitals in the USA, UK, South Africa and Europe. The Yoruba stand out. Take a trip to Cardiff University in the UK, you’ll think you are in Unilag. I was at a teaching hospital in Cape Town in February this year. On the Notice Board of this air Ambulance running teaching hospital was displayed the names of the consultants and specialists. Of the 41 consultants on the Notice Board were 17 Nigerians 16 of whom are of Yoruba extraction and the 17th Nigerian hails from Edo state going by his name. I was elated when to my dismay, the helicopter pilot that took me to my hotel from the hospital turned out to be another Nigerian of Yoruba extraction and indeed from my local government back home in Nigeria. These Eminent Yoruba professionals are victims of the gang up against Yoruba interest.
In 1960, the Yoruba was kept out of government but we made no notice. In 1963/64, Midwest was carved out of the West leaving the North and the East intact and untouched. Lagos Island and some parts of Apapa was carved out of the West as federal capital territory by the expansionists who had their eyes on our choice land, again, we let them be. In 1979 to 1983, there was a gang up against the Yoruba again as they were kept out of government whilst the South East took the Vice President, the Speaker and of course, Cross River took the Senate Presidency.
Then, came the Jonathan Era, the old Eastern Region had the President, the Deputy Senate President, the Deputy Speaker, the Secretary to the Government, the Finance Minister, the Central Bank Governor after Lamido Sanusi, the Petroleum Minister, the Director General of the Securties and Exchamge Commission, the Sure P Executive Secretary, the Director General of the Budget Office, the Director General of the Punlic Procurement Comissipn, the Aviation Minister, the IGP and many more leaving the Yoruba with only one key Ministry of Agriculture.
Now, compare and contrast the above scenario with Obasanjo regime of all inclusiveness. His Finance Minister was Igbo, CBN Governor was Igbo, Army Chief was Tiv, later Igbo and Later Kaje from Southern Kaduna. His DG of Nafdac was Igbo, his IGP was Yoruba, his External Affairs was Fulani, his Speaker was Fulani alongside with the Vice President, the Senate Presidency goes to Igbo land whilst the SGF went to Cross River throughout his 8 years reign. Even the PDP Chairmanship was denied a Northerner of Yoruba extraction by Obasanjo on the ground that he a Yoruba man being the President should not allow another Yoruba man though from the North to occupy the Chairmanship of PDP. I am speaking of Chief Awoniyi here. I make bold to say here that Yoruba leaders at various levels of governance have fair sense of justice compare to those who would not mind filling all available positions under them with their kinsmen. It always back fire on them day in day out.
Compare the administration of Obasanjo in terms of appointments and infrastructures like roads to that of subsequent administrations in this 4th Republic. It was the gang up against Yoruba interest that led millions of Yoruba to migrate to other parts of the world where they are now shinning like stars. Ijamba Foriti was conceived to keep the Yoruba down. University of Ife was taken over for the purpose of truncating the plan of Yoruba nation to turn the University into Yoruba speaking where medium of teaching and instructions would be Yoruba language. If in doubt ask Admiral Akin Aduwo. At every point in time the Yoruba employees power of reasoning over emotion whilst some other nationals resort to emotion, intimidation, threat and outright force. Me think, the approach of the Yoruba is the best in the circumstances. It is not cowardice to subject issues to empirical analysis before taking a decision. I am a Yoruba man, I am proud to be one and I would go for the Yoruba approach which is laced with loads and loads of native intelligence. We don’t need to stand in front of a moving train just to prove bravery. It is the height of stupidity.
Source: -Vanguard Newspaper
Lets all stop the songs of war and sit together like brothers and sort out our differences.