Yoruba Elders Decry Worsening Socioeconomic Conditions, Call for Urgent Restructuring
By Matthew Eloyi
The Council of Yoruba Elders (CYE) has called for the immediate restructuring of Nigeria in response to the worsening socioeconomic conditions in the country, particularly in Yorubaland.
In a statement released on Tuesday, November 21, 2023, the CYE lamented the alarming rate of deaths by suicide due to hunger and hopelessness, emphasizing the unprecedented suffering of the masses. The resurgence of Fulani herdsmen attacks, abductions for ransom, and indiscriminate killings in Ondo and Oyo states were highlighted as ongoing nightmares, despite a temporary reduction after the change of government in May 2023.
The council also decried the skyrocketing inflation on essential goods and services, the widespread unemployment crisis leading to criminal activities among youths, and the consistent challenges in the supply of electricity and fuel. The unaffordability of healthcare services was emphasized, with a stark contrast between the struggles of the masses and the ease with which government officials access medical treatment abroad.
The CYE acknowledged the victory of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and congratulated him on becoming the 16th President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. However, the council stressed that, as the new voice for the Yoruba people, President Tinubu must address the pressing issues facing the region.
A significant part of the statement focused on the council’s renewed call for the restructuring of Nigeria. The CYE highlighted the historical success of regionalism in the era of Obafemi Awolowo and expressed the need to harness the intellectual and natural resources of the Yoruba people for the overall betterment of their lives.
The council specifically called on President Tinubu to excavate the report of the 2014 National Conference, which former President Buhari had swept under the carpet. The CYE urged all Yoruba delegates who participated in the conference to unite and present the report, proposing the formation of a mass committee for the restructuring of Nigeria.
The CYE listed several notable individuals, including Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, and Femi Falana SAN, as key figures to lead the restructuring efforts on behalf of the Yoruba people. The statement concluded by inviting all other nationalities to join in the call for a more prospective arrangement for the country.
The council’s press release marks a significant step in advocating for change and addressing the challenges that have plagued the nation, emphasizing the need for a collective effort to reshape the future of Nigeria.