The South-West people have been urged to ensure the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan in order to safeguard the benefits derivable to the region from the draft constitutional recommendations of the National Conference.
At the end of the post national conference summit, held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital on Thursday with the theme, ‘The National Conference, 2015 elections and the Yoruba nation,’ it was unanimously agreed that President Jonathan deserved commendation for yielding to the yearnings of the Yoruba nation through his National Conference initiative.
The summit, which was convened by the Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko, had in attendance prominent Yoruba leaders including Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Femi Okurounmu, Richard Akinjide, his daughter and Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, Jumoke, a former Oyo State governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, the chairman of the Yoruba caucus at the National Conference, Olu Falae, and the Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship candidate in Oyo State, Teslim Folarin.
Also at the forum is a former governor of Imo State, Peter Obi.
A communiqué issued at the end of the summit noted, among other issues, that the recommendation of the conference, which said that each of the existing six geo-political zones be equally divided into nine states, was in line with the core value of the Yoruba nation.
The recommendation read, “That the President be commended for the successful conduct of the 2014 National Conference which perhaps can be described as a very bold and in fact the most courageous step ever taken by any president since the return of democracy in 1999.
“That other profound recommendations of the confab, particularly those that touch on devolution of powers, creation of states and community police service; making prison service a concurrent matter; allowing each state to have its constitution; decentralisation of power that will allow each region to make law on the establishment and management of railways, sea ports and airports; and development of solid minerals are central to the core interest of the Yoruba.”
The communiqué also said that the conference recommendation of rotational presidency among the six geo-political zones and the rotation of the position of governor among the senatorial districts of each state were in accord with the political aspiration of the Yoruba race. It also noted that the race was committed to the unity of the country based on principles of justice, equity and the rule of law, with ample respect for cultural, religious and linguistic difference.
“We resolve therefore to fully back and work for the re-election of President Jonathan in the presidential elections as only this could guarantees the implementation of the Confab recommendations,” it stated further.
Speaking at the summit, Mimiko said that the decision to hold the meeting in Ibadan and at the Premier Hotel was to reconnect with the recent history of the Yoruba people and the defunct Western Region government where Ibadan was the capital.
“Here, the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, whom I love to refer to as a recent ancestor of the Yoruba people, held court. Let me salute President Goodluck Jonathan for his bold and momentous move as well as his focused leadership which was demonstrated through his compliance with the agitations by Nigerians to debate their collective future. Convening the 2014 National Conference was indeed a historic assignment that we are proud of and as a people; we must do everything possible to ensure that the Confab recommendations get implemented.”
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