The Yoruba Summit Group on Thursday held a virtual meeting on the state of Nigeria.
The discourse centered on insecurity, COVID-19 pandemic fight, economy, resignations from the military, insurgency war, kidnapping, banditry, unemployment, corruption, etc.
In attendance were prominent elders and leaders including Ayo Fasoranti, Ayo Adebanjo, Banji Akintoye, Gani Adams, Segun Mimko, Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele, Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu, Yinka Odumakin, Tunji Alapini, Supo Shonibare, and many others.
They insisted that the nation is veering off precariously into a precipice, and restated demand for restructuring.
The group warned President Muhammadu Buhari that, “any attempt to go ahead with elections in 2023 without addressing the issue of restructuring would spell doom for Nigeria”.
Their joint communiqué lamented daily tales of looting by public officials, while the country is being encumbered with massive debt.
On late Nigeria’s first female combat pilot, they condemned “the initial casual manner Tolulope Arotile’s killing was handled by the Nigerian Air Force”.
“The authorities did not imagine that so much noise would be made, and so many questions would be asked. Her death was treated with levity, just as many other cases. The lives of Nigerians do not seem to matter anymore.”
The group demanded a full-scale independent investigation by an inclusive panel of experts.
They protested that on the day Tolulope was buried (July 23), Major General Olusegun Adeniyi was court-martialled for daring to voice out the lack of equipment needed to battle Boko Haram.
The communiqué agreed with numerous calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to change Service Chiefs, “who have failed to provide the highest quality of security, leadership and delivery of forthrightness in their duties”.
It condemned in strong terms, “the cherry-picking of our soldiers and officers as cannon fodders easy-targets and operational fall-guys for experimental disciplinary measures, whilst the real culprits, go free!”
The group also cited, “news of friendly fire from soldiers of a particular part of the country using their guns on our fighters who dare carry the battle deep into the Boko Haram held territories”.
On licenses for gold prospecting in Yorubaland, they raised alarm of the dangers of banditry, kidnapping and sundry criminalities.
The leaders reiterated support for Amotekun security network in South-West states and charged the Governors and the people to ensure success of the outfit.
“Notwithstanding the interests of some in our midst, it would be presumptuous to assume that the educated Yoruba Nation will dive headlong into the 2023 elections, when the Military, Paramilitary, INEC, Judiciary, have been rigged and appropriated by a single minority.”
The body vowed to mobilise the Yoruba not to participate in further elections “until the goal of restructuring or self-determination is attained”.
The communiqué added that as Nigeria moves toward 60 years anniversary as an independent country, the Buhari administration should call a meeting of all nationalities “to determine the nature of our relationships”.
“Unless this peaceful step is heeded to, so that Nigeria heads in the right direction thereafter, the clear alternative would be for self-determination quests to proceed rapidly without any further restraint”, it concluded.