By Alaba Abdulrazaq
In continuation of the calls for integration of all Yoruba States in the South western part of Nigeria, a group known as ‘Atayese’, comprising all Yoruba socio-cultural
associations has proposed a referendum that will bring about the creation of Yoruba Nation.
The Group in a press statement signed by Tokunbo Ajasin averred that the state of insecurity pervading the nation and general restiveness in the land are clear indices that each ethnic group must be independent of one another.
“We started at independence with a constitutional arrangement which we called a Federation. But we have since taken steps upon steps to distort the system, relentlessly giving and transferring more and more powers and resources to the so-called federal center, and relegating the federating components into impotent states in whose powerless states”.
According to the group, Nigeria has reached a point at which the people who hold authority under the laws of the country can no longer refuse or postpone actions towards solutions of the long-standing and vexing problems relating to the pattern of relationships among the peoples of Nigeria.
The Group further warned that for Nigeria to avert the kind of sectarian war being witnessed in some countries in the Sub-saharan Africa, it must allow each of the major ethnic group in the country to form a federating unit under what it called Nigeria Union.
“In the light of this, all Nigerians who desire peaceful change in their country should welcome as a constructive initiative the recent announcement by the people of the Delta that they intend to hold a Delta- Peoples conference on the situation in Nigeria, and their statement that it is time for all us , Nigerian Nationalities to revisit our mode of association”.
The Group noted that various members of the Yoruba Nation, as prominent individuals, or leaders and members of political parties, or groups and meetings of intellectuals and highly respected dignitaries have raised their voices, wholly or partly in response to the troubling situation in Nigeria.
”There have been minor variances in the thrusts and emphases of their statements. But, from everyone of them, and from all of them, if viewed together, a clear message of the Yoruba Nation is unmistakable. First, they all proclaim the clear Yoruba rejection and abhorrence of conflict, bloodshed and destruction as a means for solving the Nigerian problem”.
The coalition of all the Yoruba groups comprising of Oodua Peoples Congress, Basorun Rock Apapo Omo Oodua, COSEG, Agbajo Yoruba Agbaye, Okun Peoples Congress, Oodua National Congress and Atayese; on behalf of the Yoruba people and Nation, being one of the nationalities in Nigeria, suggested that all nationalities in Nigeria should become a Federating/Constituent unit of the Nigerian Federation.
It added that, any number of small contiguous nationalities in any area of the country may agree among themselves to form one federating unit of the federation. “ On this basis, the Nigerian Federation shall become a union of the nationalities of Nigeria and Nigeria becomes known officially as The Nigerian Union”.
According to the group the new structure of Nigeria shall be protected by a binding agreement negotiated and subscribed to, by all the nationalities of Nigeria, and which shall form the basis of the constitution of the Nigerian Union and may not be amended of modified except with the consent of all Nigerian nationalities expressed through their separate referendums.
“Each federating/constituent unit shall have primary interest and control over its own natural resources with an agreed tax model, constitution, administration and internal security system”.
The group further stated that already it has submitted a bill for a referendum to each of the speakers of all the state houses of assembly in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti state for the referendum to be held not later than 23 of March, 2012.