“Today nothing is practically working in Nigeria. The citizens are currently battling with the acute menace of starvation, hyper-inflation, naira currency floating, unemployment, collapse of industries, education coma, health jaundice, electricity flight, kidnapping, ritual killings, armed robbery, insecurity and general poverty in the land”

 
THE PRACTICAL BEGINNING OF THE JOURNEY TO THE RESTRUCTURING OF NIGERIA
 
Being the 8th Press Release
 

  1. Preamble
    On behalf of the Patrons and Patronesses, the Governing Council, the Global Executive Council, the Chairmen of our states and the Diaspora and the General Assembly of this organization Council of Yoruba Elders, we hereby couch these golden words to represent the submissions of the Yoruba people of Nigeria towards charting a new course of survival, redemption, emancipation and transformation for our people in our capacity as the new veritable voice for the entire Yoruba race.
     
    We are practically out to instigate a serious conversation in the socio-political sphere of Nigeria such as will generate the steam to ignite all the geographical zones of this country into coming to terms with stark reality and beginning to chart new courses for the respective nationalities of the country.
     
    On 21st November, 2023 the Council of Yoruba Elders made a powerful press release launching the excavation of the 2014 CONFAB conducted by the government of President Goodluck Jonathan but which was ignominiously swept under the carpet by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari. Since then we have recorded tremendous positive reactions from across the country. This, therefore, ignited our resolve to emplace a body known as NEW NIGERIA MOVEMENT with the focus on the pursuit of INDEPENDENT NATIONAL CONFERENCE.
     
    The foundation or pioneer leaders drawn from across the country are as follows;
     
    1. Dr. Victor Taiwo –  Convener & National Chairman – 08126923916
    2.  Rev. Dr. Tola Osinubi – Chairman South-West zone – 08066251045
    3. Ambassador Akpelu Azunna E. PhD –  Chairman South-East zone – 08126694385
    4.  Emeritus Professor Obasi Igwe – Vice Chairman South – East zone – 08064090495
  2. Dr. Sunday Ogon – Chairman South-South zone – 08035481003
    6.     Dr. Lucky Eneyo – Vice Chairman South – South zone – 08038917356
    7.  Engr. Samuel Tabara – Chairman North – West zone – 08135577653
    8. Alh. Abdullahi Abubakar Husseini –Vice Chairman 
    North-West zone – 07044445444
  3. Dr. Suleiman Yusuf Bagirei – Chairman 
    North-East zone – 08085484134
  4. Dr. Abare Kallah – Vice Chairman, North East zone – 07088242422
  5. Dr. Barr. Nankin Bagudu – Chairman North-Central zone – 08037246017
  6. Mr. William Jimam Lar – Vice Chairman North Central zone – 08036741010
     
    At this juncture, let it be known that this organisation is not speaking for the NEW NIGERIA MOVEMENT as it is soon coming out with its own release, rather we have made reference to the above as a precursor to its debut.

2.  The imperative for the renewed clamour for the restructuring of Nigeria
Today Nigeria’s general structures have collapsed like a pack of cards. The country is fast being driven to a cul-de-sac, a grand halt. Today nothing is practically working in Nigeria. The citizens are currently battling with the acute menace of starvation, hyper-inflation, naira currency floating, unemployment, collapse of industries, education coma, health jaundice, electricity flight, kidnapping, ritual killings, armed robbery, insecurity and general poverty in the land. And come to think of it, there seems to be no hope in the horizon.
 
Literally speaking, according to the postulation of some famine and poverty scholars which says, ‘Hunger makes a thief of any man’ (Dr. Lasisi Olagunju acknowledged), the ravaging hunger in the land is about practically making a criminal of everybody.
 
There are countries ravaged by hunger in the world but the drives are connected to national conflicts, war or something similar. There are 26 million people suffering hunger in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This hunger is connected to national conflict. There are 5.5 million people suffering hunger in Northern Ethiopia. This hunger is connected to conflict. There are 4.7 million suffering hunger in Haiti. This hunger is connected to violence and weather. There are 13 million people suffering hunger in Sahel. This hunger is connected to conflict. There are 17 million people suffering hunger in Yemen. This hunger is connected to civil war. There are 19.9 million people suffering hunger in Afghanistan. This hunger is connected to conflict. There are 5.8 million people suffering hunger in Sudan. This hunger is connected to conflict. There are 12 million people suffering hunger in Syria. This hunger is connected to civil war. In Nigeria today, there are more than 180 million people suffering hunger. What is the hunger connected to? This is the peculiar question for us. Are we in conflict or civil war in Nigeria? No. Then what?
 
3.  The diagnostic analysis
On the 29th of May, 2023 the very day President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was sworn in as the 16th head of government of Nigeria, his first official statement was the immediate removal of fuel subsidy which compelled the prices of petroleum products to jump up by over 300%. Right from this very day the country slumped into economic crises with the loop effect circulating around and percolating through all commercial activities which transformed into hyper-inflation, currency devaluation, resurgence of insecurity and all the vices one can think of most especially the biting hunger which is fast transforming the saints into criminals. And the reactions of the people are indiscriminate industrial actions, protests here and there, rampaging, people’s proselytisation into banditry, cyber crimes, gust of armed robberies, blanket condemnation of the current government for its cluelessness towards resolving the naughty issues of the country etc. Today, emphatically speaking there is no hope in the horizon. But is President Tinubu to blame? Is he guilty of his cluelessness or not? Let us take a breather here and go to the board of analysis.
 
Let us begin this exercise by first and foremost throwing certain pertinent questions to the President, Mr. Tinubu.
 
a.  Other than the personal ambition to be President, did Tinubu know the extent of the decadence on ground before gunning for power?
b. If not, why did he not conduct his research to know?
c. If he knew the degree of the decadence, how much did he prepare for the battle of Armageddon?
d. Does he have any effective solutions to the problems of the country?
e. How much boldness has he mustered or could he muster, or put the other way round, does he have the integrity to clean the Augean stable?
f. Is there any hope for Nigerians under his government?
 
Who will answer the above questions?
 
Come to think of something, there are two people on whose heads the blame of the ruination of the country are put namely, the immediate past president, Muhammadu Buhari whose allegation is his unimaginable ineptitude at governance which allowed for massive, unrestricted, brazen, boundless plundering of the economy from the Olympian height to the depth of Erebus right under his nose by virtually all his aides and appointees with all impunity and without the lifting of a berating finger. Gross exhibition of ineptitude and sheer vacuity of faculty. They did not stop at the total plundering of the reserves of the country, they went further to mortgage the future of the citizens of the country and the generations yet unborn via lunatic indebtedness which are 40 years ahead of us staking our yet untapped resources. Cripes!
 
Then enters President Tinubu.
 
For one thing, one most honest and upright Minister of Petroleum Nigeria ever had was Professor Tam David–West. This man of integrity had always said to the point of death that any claim of oil subsidy in Nigeria was a lie and fraud.
 
a. Thus, agreed that there is fuel subsidy charade existing somewhere, did President Tinubu really conduct his personal or consultancy research on the fuel subsidy mantra before slamming the sledge-hammer of subsidy removal on the citizens which informed the over 300% increase in the prices of oil products?
b. Did he prepare for the loop effect on the economy?
c.  Now that the effects are now biting like thorns, briers and thistles, does he have a clue to solving the problem?
d. As a material of good and unblurred revelation, please listen to this:
As published in the President’s newspaper The Nation of 11 January, 2012, Mr. Tinubu raised a team of economic experts to work out the implications of fuel subsidy removal so he could use the facts to campaign against it. 2012. And good enough the experts did a good job and made their submission as follows; ‘If petrol subsidy was withdrawn in Nigeria, the poor would suffer, there would be less food, less medicine, and less schools across the land. More children would cry in hunger and more parents would cry at their children’s despair. Poor and middle class consumers would spend the same amount to buy much less. The volume of economic activities would drop like a stone tossed from a high building’.
Hmmmmmmmmmmm.
e. Now the final question; with this knowledge in the head of our president, what sudden celestially moulded antidote had he received that so much emboldened him into forcing the poison down the throats of the citizens?
 
 Here we are today.
 
At this juncture, let us come to terms with reality and truthfulness. Just before we lead Buhari and Tinubu to the guillotines, let us liken the situation of Nigeria to the following analogy: However big a tank may be, the droppings of water into it at whatever length of intervals will one day fill the tank to the brim and spill at a time.
 
The decadence in the country as engineered by misrule and corruption is an accumulation of rots being heaped on the country by her various leaders since independence.
 
Another assertion is that when one perpetually consumes on debts without producing, it will always get to the head one day. So, if Buhari and Tiinubu are being held responsible for our woes today, they are only being scapegoats of their contemporary culprits.
 
Essentially, the simple dragnosis of our impasse is that since the day of independence when misrule and politics of bitterness and chauvinism was licenced and more especially with the practical termination of regionalism  in this country by the vacuous administration of Thomas Aguiyi Ironsi whereby prior to then each region strived for its survival and elevation all for us to now concentrate on the centre to share allocations from the free gift of nature – the oil from the Niger-Delta part of the country – Nigeria has had to contend with the inept, myopic, unaltruistic, devilish, callous, rouguish, self-centred ruiners as leaders whose stock in trade is the abysmal and brazen plundering of the country’s resources and literal destruction of the tomorrow of the unborn generations.
 

  1. The way out?
    There are always two approaches to treating ailments. One is the fire-brigade approach while the other is thorough diagnosis precedent to treatment.
     
    When an average African suffers headache or migraine so to say, he rushes to a nearby chemist shop and on complaint of headache, the attendant gives paracetamol. But when the same patient goes to a teaching hospital, he is subjected to thorough medical examinations whose tests for one thing or the other might be too excruciating for the patient of the ‘mere headache’. The basis for this seeming trauma is to get to the root of the cause of the ailment but not mere assumption and wrong prescription.
     
    In our peculiar case in Nigeria all we engage in is the fire-brigade approach whereas the wise and the real intellectuals ought to sit down, conduct thorough examinations of our ailments and come up with effective and lasting antidotes. But nay, it is short-sighted, sentimental, nepotistic, chauvinistic, self-centred, four-year plan agenda our ruiners will always engage in when other altruistic leaders of the other worlds are thinking and working 100-year plan like in Britain and 200-year plan like in Norway.
     
    The simple origin of the ailments of this country is foundational. The crooked, knock-kneed structure of this country was built on a foundation made of quicksand, hence our floating existence as a country. The country is composed with strange bedfellows of sharply incompatible traits whose cohesion can never be moulded right by all the wisdom and forces in the world. It is just too peculiar. So, let all the angels descend from heaven, they can never fix Nigeria except those pretending to be what they are not, impostors, a mere centimeter claiming to be one million kilometers.
     
    Now, coming to assess the current government, it is certain that, looking into the horizon with all intellectual apparatuses and doubling the vision with the employment of the crystal ball, sans all self-deception and sentiment, all the global economic indices for radical turn-around of a drowning country as ours are absolutely nonexistent on the ground. This is a matter of absolute conviction. And so, the current menace of hunger, inflation and the general collapse of the socio-economic structures may not have an end looming. Therefore, if our case would not be Lilliputian to that of the Ireland’s Great Hunger of 1845 where one million people lost their lives out of a population of eight million people (Lasisi Olagunju acknowledge once again) a very urgent and lasting solution must be incubated.
     
    Well, what is the way out? Either of two things – let the country be peacefully dissolved like in the experience of the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia or we restructure the country without further procrastination. But coming to terms with the adopted agenda of this organization Council of Yoruba Elders, the restructuring exercise is our focus.
     
    Thus we set out on two modalities of restructuring. The first is the national restructuring while the other is internal restructuring.
     
    a. The national restructuring
    This is focused on galvanizing people from the six geo-political zones of the country, put in place a national outfit to organize an Independent National Conference, excavate the 2014 CONFAB report and thoroughly study the content to see if it can guarantee our further working relationship in the country or else we fashion out another feasibility study. Good enough we have established the body known as NEW NIGERIA MOVEMENT as earlier adverted to.
     
    b. The internal restructuring
    This is within our Yoruba space and we call it RBR Agenda meaning by expansion Restructuring Before Restructuring Agenda.
     
    Our realization is that we are already too much behind schedule in repairing the damage done to Yorubaland by the evil machinations of the colonialists and the Nigeria factors that have halted our peregrination to our destiny of global height.
     
    5.  Our RBR agenda
    As shortly adverted to, in spite of our grim determination to pursue the national restructuring agenda to a logical conclusion and with all the speed we can muster, lateral and proactive thinking has placed on our heads thinking caps that will not make us to put our eggs in one basket more so that we are in a moment of emergency which has placed on the leadership of this organization the challenge of finding a quick solution to the suffering and hopelessness of our people. Thus our agenda goes thus:
     
    Re-definition of our regional geography
    When we are clamouring for the reversion of Nigeria to the old regional system which was otherwise known as true federalism, it is not as if what we want is the old arrangement of Western Region, Eastern region and Northern Region with the old goegraphical and political components. That state was gone for good or bad. Even then, the geo-political structurisation and composition of the region were fraught with abysmal absurdities nauseating to sound minds.
     
    For God’s sake how do people equate Western Region or South West to Yorubaland? South West is not Yorubaland and Yorubalnd is not South West. The old Western Region extended from today’s Lagos to Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo and Delta States. The point is, if Yorubaland extends to Edo and some part of Delta States namely, the Itsekiriland, how related are we to Asaba an Igbo enclave? Then how insanely could it be to regard Kwara State and the Okunland of Kogi State as part of Northern Region? Crazy, is it not? We made awry laughter when Architect Tunde Olaniyi from the core part of Yorubaland of Kwara State told us on a visit to him about 20 years ago that he has always been reckoned with as the first architect to be produced by Northern Region. Tunde Olaniyi by all reflections is an undiluted Yoruba man. How come then he became a Northern Architect?
     
    Thus the first and foremost exercise of the restructuring agenda be it national or internal is to do the proper re-delineation of the geography of Yorubaland which will emerge as the regional entity of Yorubaland namely, Yoruba Region or Re-defined Western Region with a new map projection.
     
    We, therefore, present our Re-defined Western Region or Yoruba region.
     
    Proposed Re-defined Western Region or Yoruba Region
    The states forming the Re-defined Western Region are as follows:
    Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Kwara, Kogi, Edo and Delta.
     
    Some essays on the geographical composition or justification for the Re-defined Western Region.
     Six states are pure and total unambiguous Yoruba speaking ancestral states viz. Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti.
     
    Kwara State
    Kwara state has 16 local governments viz. Asa, Buruten, Edu, Ekiti, Ifelodun, Ilorin-East, Ilorin-South, Ilorin-West, Irepodun, Isin, Kiaima, Moro, Offa, Oke-Ero, Oyun and Pategi. Out of the 16 local governments, 12 are pure Yoruba speaking and ancestral local governments. These are: Asa, Ekiti, Ifelodun, Ilorin East, Ilorin South, Ilorin West, Irepodun, Isin, Moro, Offa, Oke-Ero and Oyun. The four non-Yoruba local governments are: Baruten, Edu, Kaiama and Pategi. But, the four local governments have to be incorporated into the regional entity on the basis of congruence with the rest of the entity which give the assurance that they will feel most comfortable being with the rest of Kwara State. Aside the above, the geographical border line consideration makes it necessary that we incorporate them into the mainstream system, unless they choose otherwise.
     
    Kogi State
     Kogi state has 21 local governments viz. Adavi, Ajaokuta, Ankpa, Bassa, Dekina, Ibaji, Idah, Igalamela/Odolu, Ijumu, Kabba-Bunu, Kogi, Lokoja, Mopa-Muro, Ofu, Ogori-Magongo, Okene, Okehi, Olabamoro, Omala, Yagba East and Yagba West. Out of the 21 local governments, only seven belong to the Yoruba speaking and ancestral entity viz. Ijumu, Kabba/Bunu, Lokoja, Mopa-Moro, Yagba East, Yagba West and Ogori-Magongo. However, it will be necessary to incorporate into our mainstream 11 local governments on the basis of borderline security.
     
    Put the other way round, we are having 11 local government falling within the right divide of the River Niger which is one of the formulas for our geographical delineation. The local governments are: Yagba East, Yagba West, Ogori-Magongo, Mopa/Muro, Lokoja, Ajaokuta, Ijumu, Kabba/Bunu, Okene, Okehi and Adavi. Essentially, 11 local governments comprise our side of Kogi State, unless the latter local governments choose otherwise.
     
    Edo State
    The cradle of the Yoruba people is Ile-Ife with the legendary Oduduwa as the progenitor of the race. This Oduduwa had many children who later in life dispersed to found their respective settlements extending from the Benin Empire in the south of Nigeria to the present day Republic of Benin. Among these children of Oduduwa, the last child was, in fact, one very great, brave and adventurous warrior known as Oranmiyan. Oranmiyan it was who conquered the Benin people and became the first king who reigned for a period of time after which he decided to return to Ile-Ife. From there, he later took off again to found Oyo Empire. However, before he left Benin, he ensured installing on the throne in his place his direct son born to him by a Benin woman. The name of this son was Eweka. Hence, every Oba of Benin till today (and forever) has been the offspring of Oduduwa. Essentially speaking, direct descendants of Oranmiyan have been kings in Benin and as a ritual each ascending Oba of Benin must first go to the cradle, Ile-Ife, to acquire his authorities of rulership. And in return, all the subordinate towns in the Benin Empire which constitute what is today’s Edo and Delta States must visit Benin to acquire their authorities from the Oba of Benin who is a direct son of Oduduwa. This by implication has committed their loyalty to the authority of Oduduwa, which, good enough, has been their pride. However, let it be noted that not all the Edo clans align with the Yoruba ancenstry. But for the same reason as given above namely, the securing of the border line for our geographical bulwarking, we have had to incorporate the whole of Edo State into our entity, unless they choose otherwise.
     
    Delta State
    The Itsekiri people located in the main heart of Delta State are pure, undiluted and direct descendants of Oduduwa having migrated from the heart of Yorubaland on adventure to the place. They have their homes in three local governments of the state namely, Warri North, Warri South and Warri South-West.
     
    Among the other various peoples constituting Delta State, there are two who by relationship of consanguinity are neither connected to Oduduwa nor Igbo nor Ijaw ancestry. They are the Urhobos and Isokos. But since they naturally cannot exist in isolation, it is, therefore, considerable that they respectively pitch their tents with either of the other regions.
     
    But consultations and opinions conducted over the years especially when we have their representation at our Yoruba meetings have put to rest the argument of where to belong. And the result is that they are always at home with the Oduduwa people more so that they were once part of the political and geographical entity of the Western Region under the leadership of Premier Obafemi Awolowo. Hence, the encompassing of the eight local governments of the Urhobo people namely: Ethiope East, Ethiope West, Sapele, Okpe, Ovwie, Udu, Ughelli North, Ugheli South and the three Isoko local governments namely, Isoko North, Isoko South and Patani into the Yoruba region, unless they choose otherwise.
     
    Thus, all the local governments encompassed into the region from Delta State are 14 in number namely: Warri North, Warri South, Warri South-West, Ethiope East, Ethiope West, Sapele, Okpe, Ovwie, Udu, Ugheli North, Ugheli South, Isoko North, Isoko South and Patani.
     
    6.   Let the conversation begin
    With the above unfurling, we know we have ignited serious conversations and controversies across the country and beyond. Definitely we are conscious of this phenomenon but it is a worthy and inevitable precursor to the ground re-alignments of our political structures and human transformation. Let the conversation, therefore, begin.
     
    Our socio-political obligations
    i. Security
    One of the terrible menaces confronting this country generally is insecurity. Let us say with all emphasis that this organization has the manpower enough to envelope and secure the entire region. As time goes on, we shall soon be able to raise the resources to effect this social obligation.
     
    ii.  National restructuring
    We have set up a high-powered committee to take charge of the national restructuring exercise. This is under the chairmanship of Rev. Dr. Tola Osinubi who is the South-West Chairman at the NEW NIGERIA MOVEMENT.
     
    c.   Our entrepreneurial projects on the Looms
    Since this organization is not yet a government structure with governing authorities and fiscal muscle as to run ministries but a welfarist body for the development of the region, what we have put in place as part of our agenda are some bodies styled entrepreneurships.
     
    Our focus is to run a pseudo government where several entrepreneurial projects are being established viz.
    a. Food Entrepreneurship.
    b. Science and Technology Entrepreneurship.
    c. Sports Entrepreneurship.
    d. Arts and Culture Entrepreneurship and
    e. Youth Development Entrepreneurship.
     
    a. Food Entrepreneurship
    The Food entrepreneurial body has put its act together to establish cattle ranches, rice, beans, cassava, yam, pepper, tomato, onions and a list of other plantations across the region with such special breeds that can guarantee an end to hunger within a period of three months.
     
    b. Science and Technology Entrepreneurship
    One of the major banes of our dead economy is the absence of production while all we engage in is perpetual consumption of foreign goods and services. This body has poised itself to establish expansive industrial estates across the region with the mobilization of our science and engineering experts in our higher institutions and talented artisans and innovators from all the nooks and crannies of the region.
     
    c.  The Arts and Culture Entrepreneurship
    This body is getting set to show our rich arts and culture for the world to behold as contingents from all Yoruba settlements from across the world namely, Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana, Cuba, Brazil, Trinidad & Tobago, Haiti and the rest will be converging at a massively constructed ground in Ile-Ife our spiritual headquarters to showcase the Yoruba race for the world to see so as to attract international focus on the region.
     
    d.  The Sports Entrepreneurship
    This is on the match to launching into action scouting for the sports talents among our roaming youths and organizing sports activities from ward levels, to local government levels, to state levels, to national levels and to international levels. After all England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales are four nations from a single umbrella country known as Britain and each of the four nations has the freedom to go to the Mundial independently.
     
    e.   The Youth development entrepreneurship
    The youths’ development entrepreneurship has been very amazing in drawing up a lot of programmes that will engage millions of our idle and aimlessly roaming youths in productive activities.
     
    7.   Our Projection
    Our projection is that with this glowing pace set, other nationalities will be naturally stimulated and compelled into putting their acts together towards embracing reality and adopting our template for their own respective internal restructuring too. By the time we are done, the easy road to the country’s reversion to the regional system without tears and pains would have been paved.
     
    So, everybody is welcome on board. Emphasis: the conversation has begun. 
     
  2. Dedication
    We dedicate this epochal work to Mr. Reno Omokiri who is an ardent, unrepentant lover of Yoruba race.
     
    E-signed:
     
    Dr. Victor Taiwo
    Secretary General
    08126923916
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