Akinyemi cautions Yoruba leaders on restructuring

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By Agboola Bayo



A Lecturer at the Department of African Languages, University of Florida, Gainsville, Florida, USA, Prof. Akintunde Akinyemi, has advised Yoruba leaders to be careful in their call for restructuring of the country.
He gave the advice on Tuesday while speaking at the opening of 2017 edition of National Conference of Yoruba Studies Association of Nigeria (YSAN) held at Department of Linguistic and African Languages, University of Ibadan.
Akinyemi said though the high rate of employment, poverty and social vices in the country could make agitation for restructuring among other things, “yet there is the need for Yoruba leaders to find ways of making things better in the country, saying, instead of calling for restructuring in any form, Yoruba should look for ways to better the lot of the country.”
Speaking on the theme of the conference, “Warfare, Ethnicity and Polity in Yorubaland, Nigeria and Africa,” he said: “I am not saying we should not restructure Nigeria, we Yoruba need to think on how to progress. We the people have enormous power, if we give them tough time, they will run away.
“I am not against restructuring of this country, but we are not united. Yoruba is looking for Oodua Republic, if we get it we cannot speak in one voice. Ibadan does not agree for Egba, Egba does not agree for Ijebu or are we going to fight ourselves? Anyone who witness civil war will know that war is not a joke. It is until we stop sharing money in Abuja that Nigeria will get it right. It is the lawmakers that can do it but they will not do it.”
Continuing, he said: “Our leaders want the masses to come to them for help that is what killed Kunrunmi. If we say let us come, let us sit down and talk, some people will call themselves that they are the leaders, some other people will say they are the elders council, some people will just change the name that they are Yoruba council. Who are our leaders? Hausa have their leaders, this is the major problem. But 2019 is around the corner, which is when they will know the power that people have.
“We should be careful before we join any tribe. What is important is look at how things will get better. If you look at it, things are not easy. Still, some people are telling me that some universities could not pay their full salary of their staff. In some states they are paying half salary and some people will say don’t talk so that they will not stop the salary entirely. One of my younger ones is in LAUTECH. These are the problems. Tell me how sensible it is that Oyo and Osun states could not manage LAUTECH and Oyo state is establishing Technical University.”

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