From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Yoruba leaders have warned that it may be difficult for South West to overcome banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery and all forms of criminality, unless the race shun their socio-political and economic differences and unite towards speaking with one voice.
They raised the alarm at world assembly of Yoruba at home and abroad, organised by Pan-Yoruba Congress, entitled: ‘Our Destiny in our Hands,’ held at Mapo Hall, Ibadan. The progarmme was well attended by Yoruba leaders across the six states South West – Oyo, Ogun, Lagos, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti, as well as Kwara and Kogi States.
According to them, some Yoruba leaders have been sabotaging unity of the land. They emphasised why all hands must be on deck to liberate Yoruba race from insecurity and economic hardship, besetting the progress of the region.
Oyo Governor, Seyi Makinde; the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams; Secretary General of Yoruba Council of Elders, Kunle Olajide; traditional and religious leaders were among dignitaries that attended the programme.
Adams, in his address, said he has agreed to work with leaders of all socio-cultural groups in Yorubaland towards ensuring security of life and property, adding that all Yoruba leaders must be united to overcome insecurity in the zone.
Governor Makinde, in his address, said: “When I was informed about this gathering, I told Baba Adebanjo that I will be here personally.
“By the virtue of my office, I can see certain things that you cannot easily see and I stand on my honour to say will take decisions in the best interest of my people.
“Now, some are saying Presidency should be zoned to the South West in 2023 and making some unfounded comments. One thing I know is, the issue of 2023 should not be the main discourse for now but how we can ensure we give people what they deserve in this federation called Nigeria.
“That is what I think is the major challenge before us. And where it is needless to spill the blood of innocent people, we should not. Like our father will say ‘wisdom surpasses power’. So, I want to urge us to apply wisdom in all we do,”he said.
In a paper presented by Soji Adejumo, he revealed that studies have shown that South West consumes 10,600 cows daily.
According to the breakdown, 6,000 cows are being slaughtered in Lagos everyday, while he puts the figures at 1,800 cows in Oyo State, 400 cows in Ekiti, 800 cows in Osun, 1,000 cows in Ogun and 600 cows in Ondo.
He stated further that if a cow is sold for an average of N120,000, it means South West consume cows that worth N1.3billion daily.