A renowned constitutional lawyer, Dr. Kayode Ajulo, has called on Yoruba stakeholders to hold a strategic conference in the interest of the South-West and the betterment of the nation at large towards the 2023 presidential election.
Ajulo made this call while reacting to recent political developments in the region. He said a crisis that may serve as a clog in the wheel of the South-West from producing the next president ws looming if the internal clash of interests is not quickly and carefully managed by South-West stakeholders.
He said: “It will be unfortunate for the southwest to blow this chance of a lifetime to further reposition Nigeria towards the path of progress”.
The Mayegun Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland stated that it was important for Yoruba stakeholders, irrespective of political and religious affiliations, to come together to discuss the future of the region.
Ajulo, waxing philosophical, stated that, “when history is asleep, it is memory that wakes it up, and when memory itself falls into a stupor, we invoke remembrance to kick it into active consciousness.
“It is exactly 60 years that Yoruba witnessed the ugly crisis between two great Yoruba illustrious sons on the altar of tussle for political leadership. The late sage and former premier of the Western Region, Chief Jeremiah Oyeniyi Obafemi Awolowo and one of his foremost followers and last premier of the Western Region, Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola due to clash of interests.
“I can tell that the same scenario is gradually playing out between Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his foremost loyalist, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. It is no news that these two men do not have unfriendly feelings towards each other but a lot of their followers and lackeys have started throwing bricks of words across walls, and that is certainly an invitation to crisis.”
The former National Secretary of the Labour Party, which said it will be bad for the region to experience the same crisis that rocked the southwest political space in 1962, stressed that the opportunity of the region to produce the next President is clear and only internal crisis can abort it.
“The truth is late S. L Akintola, an orator, a preacher, a teacher at the Baptist Mission, the legal adviser of the defunct Action Group after the demise of Balogun Bode Thomas, was the “Starboy” and the pan-Nigeria face of Chief Awolowo’s group and a lot of political pundits at that time and at present agreed that Akintola, being in a more favoured position by providence could have seen more than his leader and same informed his stance at that time.
“By parity of reason, one cannot deny the fact that Prof. Osinbajo, an astute orator, an inspiring harmony of brawn and brains is the “Starboy” and the most outstanding federal face of Asiwaju’s group. Undoubtedly, Osinbajo has represented this Government at different fora and definitely, would have seen more than his leader. It is a big plus that he is part of the government at the apex level.
“Asiwaju has done well for his followers and people, and I personally acknowledge that. But I strongly believe that it will further glorify Asiwaju’s leadership to support the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as the next President,” Ajulo stated.
The civil rights activist noted that the same crisis also rocked both the northern and eastern regions of the country in the 60’s, between Sir. Tafawa Balewa and Sir. Ahmadu Bello, and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and Dr. Michael Okpara respectively. He said the leaders of these two regions effectively handled the differences in the interest of their regions and the nation at large.
“Thunder Never Strikes the same Place Twice. Yoruba leaders must put their personal differences aside and hold a Conference of Yoruba Stakeholders involving President Olusegun Obasanjo, Alaafin of Oyo, Ọọni of Ife, Awujale of Ijebu, Alake of Egba, Iba Gani Adams, Bishop Gbonigi, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Olusegun Osoba, Deji of Akure, Olugbon of Oke Igbon, Baba Bisi Akande, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, present and past Governors in Yorubaland and other stakeholders who have the southwest interest at heart to discuss the way forward,” Ajulo stated.