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Friday, September 21, 2012

Yoruba National Assembly Communique

By Agency Reporter.

Yoruba Assembly held on 30 August 2012
Text of the communique from the Yoruba Assembly held at the Oyo State House of Assembly, Ibadan, Oyo State - 30 August 2012

Representatives of various political parties, sub-ethnic groups of the Yoruba of Nigeria, professional and vocational groups, at a PAN-YORUBA CONFERENCE to which the following categories of eminent Yoruba personalities were invited:All former Heads of state of Yoruba stock, All former Vice Presidents of the military era, Chiefs of General Staff or Chiefs of Staff (Supreme Headquarters), All former and current state governors of South West states and Kwara, and Itsekiri who are Yoruba, All Yoruba former Presidents of the Senate and Speakers of the House of Representatives, all former Chief Justices of Nigeria, (CJN) former Justices of the Supreme Court and other retired judges, all Yoruba former and serving members of the House of Representatives, all former and serving Speakers of the various Yoruba states Houses of Assembly. They also include leaders of all political parties from Yoruba land, Top Yoruba professionals, Chairmen and secretaries of all Self-determination Groups at the state levels in Yoruba land; Yoruba Trade Groups Chairmen and Secretaries at state levels, Chairmen and Secretaries of Diaspora Groups, Women and Youth Leaders of Yoruba land at state levels, Yoruba Academics, Religious Leaders and other Yoruba leaders from across the States of Ekiti, Lagos, Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Kwara, Kogi and out Itsekiri kith and kin of Delta state,met in Ibadan on the 30 August 2012 and discussed the general state of affairs of the so-called Nigerian federation.
At the end of robust deliberations on pertinent issues, the following decisions were adopted as resolutions:
1. Noted that Nigeria is, once again, at a critical crossroad. After more than 50 years of Independence and less than 2 years shot of 100 years after the 1914 amalgamation, deep structural issues and Nationality Questions, such as Federalism, Fair and Equitable Revenue Allocation, Security, Free and Fair Elections, State Police and inter-relationship amongst the different Nationalities remain unresolved! Indeed, the need for a National Dialogue to resolve the issues has never been more pressing. The general state of the Nigerian federation is disturbingly unhealthy. There is general insecurity in the land, there is growing decay of infrastructure, and there is increasing tension in the polity, exacerbated by mounting unemployment all over the country.

2. Observed further that the failure of the Nigerian Federation to meet the challenge of building a modern multi-ethnic democratic state can be traced to several factors that include: absence of a negotiated constitution by citizens, existence of a constitution that erodes the pre-military federal character of the Nigerian State, political and bureaucratic corruption that seems to arise from a sense of alienation from the state on the part of those expected to provide a sense of belonging and direction for the citizenry, and the menace of religious and cultural intolerance.

3. Noted in particular, the 1999 Constitution, on the basis of which the country is governed today, is seen as a source of tension between federating units. The constitution imposes a unitary model of government on a country with diverse cultural and religious orientations and values, thereby putting most of the powers and resources to develop the federation in the hands of the government at the center, the farthest government from the citizenry.

4. Noted that the growth of the Yoruba region, referred to as the Southwest in the 1999 Constitution, has been stalled by the imposition of a unitary form of government that denies states the right and benefit of fiscal federalism, a corner stone of federalism worldwide. In this respect, all aspects of modern life in the Southwest: education, health, transportation, and social welfare of citizens have declined so sharply that the quality of life of the average citizen in the region today is lower than what it was in 1970.
5. Expressed alarm towards the commencement of the cashless policy in Lagos state while living out equally vibrant commercial centers such as Kano, Onitsha and Port Harcourt. The Assembly recognizes that making Lagos a guinea pig of this policy amounts to a deliberate attempt to ruin the base of Yoruba economy

6. Viewed the menace of Boko Haram as a sign of religious and cultural intolerance that is capable of destroying the unity of the country and of endangering the life of citizens not only in the North but all over the country. We believe that central ideology of Boko Haram regarding modern or western education is not a matter to be settled by security forces, but one that needs to be discussed at a national conference that is designed to restructure the federation.

7. Observed that sustainable unity and development of the country cannot flow from over concentration of power and resources in the central government. For example, we note that lack of effective law enforcement and assurance of security and safety for citizens is traceable to the over concentration of powers in the central government: police, intelligence gathering, and crime prevention. This arrangement leaves states without the power to enforce laws made by their elected officials for ensuring public order.
8. Noted that on the basis of the evidence that the failure of governance in the country has grown with the transfer of powers from federating units to the central government, we affirm the urgency to restructure the polity at a national conference of federating units, at which representatives of federating units chosen by citizens strictly for such purpose will produce a new constitution to be ratified through a national referendum.

9. Agreed that the process of restructuring should start with federating units, which must in their own space first discuss and determine the type of relationship they want between their region and the central government and relationship between states and the region in which they are located. For we, the Yoruba, the country Nigeria, is a forced marriage of diverse ethno-national groups, struggling to find form and shape, and limiting promises and possibilities.

10. Re-affirmed the commitment of the Southwest to the territorial unity of the country and resolved to work for enhancement of the country's unity by cooperating with other regions to resolve peacefully the conflict and tension thrown up by the current unitary constitution that limits the control of federating units over their affairs and development.

11. Recognized that the best way to sustain unity in a culturally diverse polity and society is to organize the politics and economy of such country on the basis of a federal system of governance. Most culturally diverse countries of the world that are able to sustain peace and development have been able to do so through a federal constitution. Nigeria's cultural diversity is too pronounced for the political elite to pretend that a unitary constitution can be substituted for a federal constitution that is generally designed to respond to diversity and optimize the benefits of diversity for peace and development.

12. Resolved to set up the Southwest Constitutional Commission (SCC) for the purpose of coordinating memoranda from citizens and groups in the Southwest towards a federal constitution for the country and of producing a constitutional framework for the region as unit of the Nigerian federation.

13. A new Nigeria consisting of a federal government and six regional governments (based on the current six geo-political zones) operating federal and regional constitutions, respectively.

* A single legislative list which will be the Exclusive Legislative List consisting only those functions ceded to the Central Government.
* The adoption of the Westminster model of parliamentary government.
* A Regional and State Police force structure.
* The establishment of a Constitutional Court with jurisdiction over inter-governmental cases and petitions from elections to the national Assembly
* The Conference fully supports the on-going Regional integration in the South West.
* That all public officers who currently enjoy immunity be made amenable to court processes on charges bordering on commission of crimes.
* That an informal role for traditional rulers in the political structure be recognised.
The conference further decided as follows:
* The adoption of Open-Secret ballot system for voting at elections.
* Total condemnation of Boko Haram's indiscriminate violence in killing people, including Yoruba in the North.
* The setting up by the South West States of vigilante groups to protect them against the re-insurgence of crimes and violence perpetrated by nomadic tendencies or motivated by faith or otherwise. In this respect, each State House of Assembly in the region should pass appropriate laws.
* That the Yoruba as an ethnic group should design and produce a common flag and anthem. This is without prejudice to the anthems and flags of each state.
14. Finally and in conclusion, the Conference thanks the Governor and people of Oyo State for hosting this most important and crucial meeting of a comprehensive cross-section of the Yoruba people. 

Beyond Yoruba Agenda

Just recently the Yoruba people converged at the political headquarters of the South West region, in Ibadan to re-echo what have been articulated over five decades ago. But political pundits were of the opinion that the gathering was an attempt to further bulkanise the Yoruba nation as the Afenifere still remains the sole voice of the Yoruba race. Excerpt:
Again, the Yoruba people marched out in their large numbers to their political capital, Ibadan penultimate Thursday to articulate once more, decades of what they considered to be an agenda for their race. The gathering which appeared more of traditional jamboree witnessed display of rich cultural heritage as expressed in the flown agbada, beads and other traditional costumes worn by the delegates from the different states that make up the South West region.
Apart from the core Yoruba in the South West, the gathering also attracted Yoruba from Kogi, Kwara and itsekiri whose long standing political affinity to the Yoruba people begun in the time of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

One after the other, each of the representatives mount the podium to articulate an agenda on the way forward for the Yoruba people.
The Assembly convener, former Chief of Defence Staff, General Alani Akinrinade summarised the essence of the gathering thus: "The Yoruba were at a crossroads in a country facing perilous times amid the multiplicity of the unresolved crises."
The army general lamented that the tremendous progress achieved by the Awolowo era in the South West had been rubbished following prolong military rule.
Against this backdrop, the convener insisted that for Nigeria to remain as one federating unit, there must be an urgent need to address once and for all the creation of regional and state police, restructuring of the polity, abolition of Land Use Decree, regional constitution and autonomy within a united federation.

The Assembly noted in dismay that virtually all late Chief Awolowo's achievements which include Cocoa House Ibadan, first television in Africa, free education and relics of farm settlement have been nationalised. This development, according to General Akinrinade has left the region with no option but to depend fully on revenue from oil and hand outs from Abuja.

"At independence in 1960, the federal government was obtaining loans of substantial amount from the government of Western Nigeria. Unfortunately today, the truth is that apart from Lagos State, our region waits endlessly for limited dropping from the table of the federal government in Abuja," he said.
Accordingly, the development, Dr. Dejo Remi a Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain said led to the introduction of strange values as fraud, street begging, gangsterism and other unethical vices into the culture of the people. "That's why we are clamouring for regional autonomy to reposition our region for excellence in order to imbibe once again the concept of omolabi, handwork, honesty, patriotism, merit and standard," said Dipo Famakinwa, a member of the planning committee.
The Itsekiri who were represented by renowned playwright, Chief Fred Agbeyegbe and Elder Isaac Jemide stated that the convocation of the Sovereign National Conference (SNC) remains the only panacea to our co-existence as a federation as it will help to define how each of the regions will administer its resources.But the Yoruba from Kogi and Kwara lamented that the geographical arrangement of the country has ostracized them from their fellow brothers in the South West.
Their spokesperson, Ayo Abereoran insisted that they would want an arrangement that would unite them with their fellow compatriot of the South West rather than being referred to as Yoruba from the north.
Knocks on the Assembly

Although, the gathering was reported to have defied political and religious leaning but report had it that South West leaders of the Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) advised members against attending the meeting.
Beyond this, political pundits mainly from the South West region have described the Assembly as merely a conglomeration of birds of the same feathers.
An elderstatesman from the South West who would not want his name in print described the Assembly as another Action Congress of Nigeria’s (ACN) conference but not a Yoruba Assembly.
Which agenda are they trying to articulate for the Yoruba race?," he queries, "they are all ACN members who are only trying to seek relevance.
Apart from one or two sycophants who are not members of ACN, tell me who else was present in the gathering? Those who represented the Yoruba in Kogi and Kwara what was their nomenclature in their respective states. For the representatives in Delta, they are confirmed ACN members."
However a perusal on the list of delegates showed that some prominent Yoruba elderstatesmen were not present at the all touted Yoruba National Assembly (YNA).
Additionally, some Norther leaders as former Kaduna State governor, Alhaji Lawal Kaita and past Minister of Defence, Dr. Bellow Haliru Mohammed jointly described the agitations of the Yoruba people as an aberration.
"Regional autonomy and parliamentary system of government can no longer serve a complex society like Nigeria and our founding fathers were wise enough to jettison the system and adopt the present presidential system which to all intent and purposes, remains the best for a country like ours," Kaita posited.

For Mohammed, a return to the old order where the big three, Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo will operate a regional government means, that other minority groups would be marginalised.
Crack in Awo's Camp
From all intent and purposes, core members of the present Awolowo's camp seemed to have shunned the Assembly ostensibly for reasons yet to be known.
Although, the over all essence of the gathering was to re-echo the Awolowo's long held ideology of parliamentary system of government but true members of the Afenifere were unavoidably absent at the meeting which they tagged the Yoruba National Assembly.
The past and current leaders of the Afenifere probably refused to honour the gathering with their presence. The current National Chairman and even executive members of Afenifere, Chief Reuben Fasoranti were absent.
Other personalities who were absent include former secretary general of Afenifere, Chief Ayo Opadokun, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, Chief Olu Falae, former Minister of Finance, former governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande among others.
Political pundits described the Assembly as an attempt by some Yoruba people seeking relevance to create a paralleled body of the Afenifere.
Former Finance Minister, Chief Olu Falea admitted this much in an interview with the Saturday Vanguardwhen he retorted to a question put forward to him over the Yoruba National Assembly.
"Did you see me there? What happened in Ibadan could have been a joint thing so that all of us can speak with one voice. But some people still want to have their own forum in order to have their own show. It is unfortunate. In fact, they would have come to Ikenne and said we want these changes. At the end of the day, we would have spoken with one voice. But they chose to speak in their own voice which is not different at all from what we have been saying in the past 25 years."
The former minister lamented that the Yoruba National Assembly is only an attempt by some people in the race to create a parallel organisation to Afenifere, adding that those group of persons have refused to accept Afenifere leadership as the leader of the Yoruba people.
"We have a leader, Baba Reuben Fasoranti is one of the original Action Group members of Pa Awolowo. He was in detention with Pa Ajasin. Since 1951, he has never changed his party. He's a role model and a man of integrity, that is our leader. Those are the attributes the Yorubas saw in their leaders," he stated.
Since the demise of Pa Ibrahim Adesanya, the Yoruba people have been enmeshed in leadership tussle. The oversized shoes left by Pa Awolowo and subsequently Pa Abraham Adesanya seems to put the Yoruba in disarray.
For political observances, what is currently happening to the leadership stool of the Yoruba race may be the hand of Jacob but the voice of Esau as notable men as Alhaji Ahmed Bola Tinubu strive to provide leadership for the Yoruba people.

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I am an Igbo, I was born an Igbo, I live the life of an Igbo, I come from Igbo, I speak Igbo, I like to be Igbo, I like to dress in Igbo, I eat Igbo food, my heritage, culture and tradition is Igbo, my parents are Igbo.

Am sorry I cannot help it if you hate my lineage. Am sorry I cannot help it if you detest Igbo, am sorry I cannot help it if you hate me because am Igbo. Igbo is who I am, my name is Igbo and I must die an Igbo.

You see Igbo as a threat, why? You call Igbo rapist, criminals, ritualist, prostitutes, kidnappers. You attribute all negative vices to represent Igbo? Why do you do that? You do because you feel threatened that Igbo might outrun the rest of the tribes. Why do you hate Igbo and despise us? You do that because we are creative, enlightened, hardworking, industrious, genius, intelligent, smart, rich, beautiful and amazing. But its difficult for you to admit it because you feel jealous of my race.

Igbo do not own politics, Igbo do not control the economy neither do we control the natural resources and the common wealth of the nation. You do, we don't and yet, despite the fact that you own everything, we still remain one indispensable race that has outshined the other race in all ramifications.

You fear us because you want to exterminate and annihilate our race, you deny us many things and yet we are stronger, richer and mightier. You fear us because we are everywhere. You fear us because no matter how rural a place might be, when Igbo steps in, they turn it into a Paradise. We have our own resources, which lies in resourcefulness, we do not bother you and your control over the polity, but yet when we cough you and the other race begin to shiver.

Am proud being an Igbo, am proud of my heritage and culture. Igbo means high class, Igbo means independence, Igbo means hard work and strength, Igbo means riches, Igbo means resourcefulness, Igbo means self belonging, Igbo means self esteem, Igbo means pride, Igbo means swag.

Udo diri unu umunnem.
# IgboAmaka
# AnyiBuNdiMmeri

Michael Ezeaka

This is beautiful poetry ...

In response to Alaba Ajibola, the Babcock Lecturer Hate Speech against Igbos.


In Igboland women live apart from their husbands and neither cook for them nor enter their husband's quarters when they are in their period. They are seen as unclean. Even up till today such practice is still applicable in some parts of Igboland especially by the traditionalists. Before a woman can enter the palace of Obi of Onitsha, she will be asked if she is in her period, if yes, she will be asked to stay out.

Leviticus 15: 19-20
When a woman has her monthly period, she remains unclean, anyone who touches her or anything she has sat on becomes unclean.

An Igbo man's ancestral heritage, called “Ana Obi” is not sellable, elders will not permit this. If this is somehow done due to the influence of the West the person is considered a fool and is ostracized by the community.

1 Kings 21:3
I inherited this vineyard from my ancestors, and the Lord forbid that I should sell it, said Naboth.

Igbos have practiced the taking of a late brother's wife into marriage after she had been widowed until the white men came. Now it is rarely done but except in very rural villages.

Deuteronomy 25:5
A widow of a dead man is not to be married outside the family; it is the duty of the dead man's brother to marry her.

In Igboland, there is a unique form of apprenticeship in which either a male family member or a community member will spend six (6) years (usually in their teens to their adulthood) working for another family. And on the seventh year, the head of the host household, who is usually the older man who brought the apprentice into his household, will establish (Igbo: idu uno) the apprentice
by either setting up a business for him or giving money or tools by which to make a living.

Exodus 21:2
If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve you for six years. In the seventh year he is to be set free without having to pay you anything.

In Igboland , the yam is very important as it is their staple crop. There are celebrations such as the New yam festival (Igbo: Iri Ji) which are held for the harvesting of the yam. New Yam festival (Igbo: Iri ji) is celebrated annually to secure a good harvest of the staple crop. In the olden days it is an abomination for one to eat a new harvest before the festival. It's a tradition that you give the gods of the land first as a thanksgiving.

Deuteronomy 16:9
Count 7 weeks from the time that you begin to harvest the crops, and celebrate the harvest festival to honor the lord your God, by bringing him a freewill offering in proportion to the blessing he has given you. Celebrate in the Lord's presence together with your children, servants, foreigners. Be sure that you obey my command, said the Lord.

In Igboland it's a tradition that the male children are circumcised on the 8th day. This tradition is still practiced till date.

Leviticus 12:3
On the eighth day, the child shall be circumcised.

In Igboland, there is a practice known as "ile omugwo ". After a woman has given birth to a child, a very close and experienced relative of hers, in most cases her mother is required by tradition to come spend time with her and her husband. During which she is to do all the work of the wife, while the new mom's only assignment to the baby will be to breastfeed. This goes on for a month or more. In the Igbo old tradition, at this time, the new mom lives apart from her husband, would not cook or enter his quarters.

Leviticus 12:1-4
For seven days after a woman gives birth, she is ritually unclean as she is during her monthly period. It will be 33 days until she is ritually clean from the loss of blood; she is not to touch anything that is holy.


The Igbo tribe is in a serious problem and danger of extinction for the following reasons:

50% of Igbos are born outside Igbo land. Meaning that those children are not likely to live and work in Igbo land and cannot speak Igbo language but foreign language (Yoruba, Hausa, French, English).

40% of Igbos girls between the age of 25 & 45 are single with no hope of marriage because 35% of Igbo boys live overseas and they have all married white ladies.

75% of Igbo youths leave Igbo land every year in search of opportunities in Yoruba, Hausa land or overseas.

85 % of Igbos have family houses and own investments outside Igbo land. They strongly believe in one Nigeria but failed to know that NO Yoruba or Hausa man has a family house or investment in Igbo land.

Igbos are the only people who believe that living outside their land is an achievement.

Igbos are the only tribe that celebrate their tradition outside their land e.g. Eze Ndi Igbo, Igbo Village in America and this is because they have family homes in foreign lands.

Igbos have failed to know that the children you have outside Igbo land especially overseas will never think of living in Igbo land. So what happens to the properties you are building for them when you are gone?

Igbos are the only tribe who see their land as a place to visit or a tourist site than a place to work and live.

Igbos are the only tribe who instead of promoting and appreciating their culture through movies and documentaries they have sought to ridicule it by portraying rituals, killings, wickedness, love for money and other social vices which were not originally inherent in our culture thereby cursing more harm than actually promoting their culture.

Igbos are the only people who without hesitation believe their history and description when it is told or written by an enemy or a foreigner. E.g. that you do not love yourselves or that you love money.

Igbos are the ONLY largest tribe on earth who fought for their independence and failed to achieve their freedom after 40 years.

Igbos are the only tribe who fails to honour their brave heroes and heroines especially the innocent children starved to death during the Biafran war.

Igbos are the only tribe who embraced their enemy after a bloody civil war and subsequently become slaves.

Igbos do not find it necessary to teach their own version of history to their children.

Igbos fight for marginalisation in Nigeria but has no collective strength or teeth to bite.

Igbos how long are you going to fight for your relevance in Nigeria?

How long are you going to fight for a functional airport, rail networks and other structural establishments that underpin sustainable development?

How long are you prepared to wait for your enemy to guide you to your destiny?

Oh Igbos!
Where are your leaders?

Unfortunately, none of them live and work in Igbo land. If you wish to save the future of your children, your identity, your generation and your race then you need freedom and that freedom is Biafra.

Ukpana Okpoko gburu bu nti chiri ya!

By Chime Eze

The Igbo: We die for causes, not for personalities

Written by Emeka Maduewesi

~on fb. 28th September, 2016.

The Igbo will never die for anyone. We will not even riot for anyone. But the Igbo will die for any cause they believe in because the Igbo have a true sense of justice and a determination to obtain it.

The Igbo will not riot because one of their own lost an election. Operation Wetie was the Western response to a massively rigged 1965 election. The Yoruba doused fellow Yorubas in petrol and burnt them alife. Properties were burnt with occupants. The Igbo will never do this.

In 1983, the Yoruba went on a rampage again over the massive rigging by NPN. Lifes were lost and properties destroyed. The riots were over personalities.

Contrast that with Anambra State where Chief Emeka Ojukwu was rigged out by his own NPN, who also rigged out Chief Jim Nwobodo. The Igbo did not protest because the goat's head is still in the goat's bag.

In the North, ba muso was the battle cry when Sultan Dasuki was imposed on the Sokoto Caliphate. The riot and protest lasted for days and crippled economic activities.

The Igbo will riot over issues and causes. The Aba Women Riot was over Tax. The Enugu coal mine riot was about conditions of service. The Ekumeku Uprising was over British colonialization.

Those of "Ekumeku" ancestry - Umu Eze Chima and Umu Nri - were at the forefront of the struggles for Nigerian independence, with people like Dr. A A Nwafor Orizu and Chief Osita Agwuna serving prison terms. Any struggles the parents could not conclude is continued by the children by other means.

The Biafran war was a response to the genocide. The war in fact was brought upon us. The battlefield was Eastern Region. The war ended in 1970 but the issues and causes were not resolved. That is where we are today.

The Igbo will also jointly rise to fight evil in their midst. They did it in Onitsha in the 1980's, Owerri in the 90's, and with Bakkassi in the 2000.

The Igbo will not die for any man. But the Igbo will stand by any man who symbolizes their cause and their pursuit of justice. Even if the man dies, the struggle continues, and like the Ekumeku warriors, the children will pick up the baton from their parents.

This is the Igbo I know, the Igbo I am, and the Igbo we are. This is my story. Feel free to tell yours.


"My boy, may you live to your full potential, ascend to a dizzy height as is possible for anyone of your political description in your era to rise. May you be acknowledged world-wide as you rise as an eagle atop trees, float among the clouds, preside over the affairs of fellow men.... as leaders of all countries pour into Nigeria to breathe into her ear.

But then, Chuba, if it is not the tradition of our people that elders are roundly insulted by young men of the world, as you have unjustly done to me, may your reign come to an abrupt and shattering close. As you look ahead, Chuba, as you see the horizon, dedicating a great marble palace that is the envy of the world, toasted by the most powerful men in the land, may the great big hand snatch it away from you. Just as you look forward to hosting the world’s most powerful leader and shaking his hands, as you begin to smell the recognition and leadership of the Igbo people, may the crown fall off your head and your political head fall off your shoulders.

None of my words will come to pass, Chuba, until you have risen to the very height of your power and glory and health, but then you will be hounded and humiliated and disgraced out of office, your credibility and your name in tatters forever...”


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