Michael Olanrewaju, Ilorin.
A Yoruba socio – cultural organization – Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG)has charged the Kwara state Government to implement several court judgments on the grading of Yoruba Obas in the state.
Adding that “the affected Royal Fathers have been lawful and patriotic in their approach to the demand for “their God-given, historically sanctioned and culturally approved rights.”
In a communique signed by the National Chairman and National Secretary, Olawale Oshun and Ayo Afolabi respectively, at the end of the ARG meeting with Kwara Yoruba leaders and Obas in Ilorin, the group, in particular, is demanding from the state government an equitable and egalitarian governance, lamenting that in an age where merit and innovation drive social progress, Kwara state still ties the progress of its citizens to ethno-religious affiliation.
“Many of our people testified to being denied the opportunity to maximise their potential and reach the zenith of their careers simply because they are considered not loyal to the diktat of the Ilorin Emirate system. The people voted for the government, not the Emirate and it is important that the instruments of governance are used exclusively to benefit the people and not for the use of feudal lords and their acolytes.
“We call on media houses, human rights organisations, civil societies, and community based organisations to focus their attention on Kwara State. Flagrant abuses of human rights and Rule of Law are being perpetrated which do not serve any good cause known to human history.
“We advise religious and traditional leaders – particularly the Islamic and Christian clerics – to use their positions to serve humanity. Religion is and must remain a vehicle for moving humanity towards piety and also progress.
“Similarly, traditional institutions are and must remain socio-cultural structures that exist by virtue of the consensus of the people. Any religious practice or traditional structure that stands for oppression and regression cannot please the Almighty God nor serve humanity,” the group said.
The group commended Yoruba people of Kwara State who have chosen to identify with their ancestral heritage despite obvious victimisation, urging them to continue to support their Obas in their joint resolve to uplift Yoruba civilisation in the state and beyond.
The group, however, admonished Yoruba people all over the world to extend support to their kith and kin in Kwara State, adding that “although Nigeria professes to be a democratic, open and free society, the testimony and palpable evidence from Kwara State is that they live under bondage and oppression. They are also not immune from the security breaches that afflict our country. This is an unacceptable reality in today’s world.”
The group, however, commended Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for his pro people policies since assumption of office, noting that the steps have endeared the governor to the people, urging him to continue with the good work, while asking him to right the wrongs of past administrations especially as they affect the Yoruba traditional rulers in the state.