YCE seeks environment for return of Akintoye, Igboho from exile

* Obasanjo should apologize to monarchs, make restitution – Elders

By John Odunjo

The Yoruba Council of Elders has called on the Federal Government to to reaffirm its responsibility to provide equal protection to all citizens and constituent groups in the country.

To this end, the YCE has urged the Federal Government “to immediately create an enabling environment for the return of all involuntary exiles who were victims of past draconian regimes.

The Yoruba elders spoke in a communique signed by YCE scribe, Elder Oladipo Oyewole and Publicity Secretary, Elder Niyi Ajibulu at the end of the council’s meeting of the Secretary General and state secretaries which held in Ado Ekiti made available to journalists on Saturday.

Oyewole and Ajibulu, who said YCE had been miffed about the degenerating level of acceptance of Yoruba language, culture and civilisation, said that the meeting deliberated on the presentation of the book – Yoruba Renaissance, Challenges and Prospects – a book described as “a timely enunciation of Yoruba history and contemporary affairs which succinctly illuminates both recurring and emerging challenges and prospects to the Yoruba experience”.

The YCE said that those in exile included “the personages of Professor Banji Akintoye and Chief Sunday Igboho, who were harassed for advocating proper and dignified treatment of their law-abiding kinsmen”.

The Yoruba elders, who took exception to the action of former President Olusegun Obasanjo against some traditional rulers in Oyo State last week, said that the former president “should certainly apologize and make restitution”.

The elders stated, “The YCE takes exception to the humiliation recently meted out to various traditional rulers of Oyo State by chief Olusegun Obasanjo upon the claim of status as a former Head of State. This malfeasance constitutes a shameful affront to the dignity of Yoruba tradition and culture and thus stand condemned”.

Oyewole and Ajibulu stated that “to start with, the book presentation visits shall be made to the governors of the Yoruba States in due honour to their statuses as the Chief Executive Officers of their various States.

“In pursuance of above, each presentation shall be made by a delegation of the EXCO and representatives of the state chapters and shall be led by the President of the YCE.

“The logistics of the presentation ceremonies shall be handled by the Secretariat of the YCE, the Implementation Committee in collaboration with those of respective States under the auspices of the Secretary General of the YCE”.

The book written by Sir Egunjobi, a renowned educationist from Ekiti State, “is a compendium of efforts made to ensure the enviable leadership position of the Yoruba in the “arrangement” called Nigeria. It delves into many aspects of frontline activities (historical, social, economic, political (etc).

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