The Yoruba Council of Elders(YCE) on Thursday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to revisit the 2014 National Conference report as well as the report on devolution of power submitted by Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, in order to find lasting solution to the current security challenges currently bedeviling the country.
The group made this known after its National Executive Council(NEC) meeting held at its National Secretariat in Bodija, Ibadan.
YCE also known as Igbimo Agba Yoruba in a communique signed by its new President-General and Secretary-General, Justice Ademola Bakre (Rtd.) and Dr Kunle Olajide respectively , commended President Buhari for suspending the RUGA project, urging him to do more to restore the dwindling confidence of Nigerians in his administration.
It said: “The YCE commends the President for suspending the RUGA project but he must do more to restore the dwindling confidence of Nigerians in his administration.
“His public pronouncement at the APC Award Ceremony where he stated that at this stage of our democratic evolution what we need now is true Federalism must be followed by concrete action.
“The President must without delay revisit the 2014 National Conference reports and the El-Rufai Committee report on devolution of powers. As soon as possible relevant bills to commence this process must be forwarded to the National Assembly.”
The Council called on state governors of the Yoruba- speaking states of Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Kwara, Ondo and Kogi to rise up and deploy technology to monitor its forests so as to flush out criminal elements masquerading as herdsmen from the forests.
According to the YCE, “grazing routes of the pre-independence era and the first republic have been wiped off and in most cases taken over by housing estates. Nomadic grazing is therefore no longer feasible because the cattle would destroy farmlands and impoverish our people, who are predominantly farmers. Some of the herders have been known to kill, abduct and rape our women.
“The YCE believes Mr. President can heal the gaping wounds in the polity by reassuring Nigerians with his actions walking the talk on his preachment on unity.
“YCE assures President Buhari of our support to build a truly egalitarian, Federal Republic of Nigeria where justice and progress will reign supreme.”
The body appealed to Nigerians “to avoid making inflammatory statements in these difficult times”, saying that “all our efforts and speeches must be to unite our people, not to polarize them.”
The YCE also expressed its deep condolences with the immediate and extended family of Olakunrin, the entire Yoruba nation on the killing of Mrs Funke Olakunrin, the daughter of Afenifere Chieftain, Chief Reuben Fasoranti.
Meanwhile, the Council has unanimously appointed Justice Ademola Bakre (Rtd) as the fourth President-General of the oganisation.
The appointment was made at the same meeting.
Bakre will take over from Col. Sam Ade Agbede (Rtd) who was appointed in interim capacity to oversee the affairs of the Council in July, 2018 following the death of Chief Idowu Sofola (SAN).
The NEC meeting was attended by delegates from Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Kwara and Diaspora (UK/USA) chapters of the group.