This is the text of the communique issued at the end of the Yoruba World Summit held last
Ibadan, Nigeria, October 21, 2016…. Over the past few years, Egbe Omo Yoruba North America (National Association of Yoruba Descendants in North America) has made several efforts to ensure that the glory days of the 60s and 70s when the Yoruba of the Western Region of Nigeria thrived, is recaptured in order to ensure that the region is economically stable, independent of the allocation of oil from the Federal Government of Nigeria. However, several obstacles have prevented the Egbe from making headway on its efforts especially due to what its President Bolu Omodele classified as “war against ourselves.”
The above was the premise of the 2016 Yoruba World Summit, a five day event recently concluded in Ibadan, Oyo State. The Yoruba World Summit provided a forum for the Egbe to dialogue with all grassroots organizations and other stakeholders in order to come up with a solid agenda that promotes unity, economic empowerment and other cultural gains.
The summit took place at the International Conference Center of the University of Ibadan from October 17 through October 21 and was attended by over 600 delegates representing about 40 groups from Western Nigeria and the Diaspora including representatives of elected officials, Yoruba Obas’, Yoruba leaders of thought and leaders of Yoruba organizations.
The five-day gathering featured a variety of programs including a tour to Ile-Ife the cradle of the Yoruba race and culture, the inauguration of the Ile-Oluji, Ondo State farming scheme, plenary sessions and a gala night which featured colorful traditional dancers and a band stand.
After exhaustive deliberation the Summit resolved as follows:
- That all Yoruba must uncompromisingly work towards the call for a referendum on the 1999 constitution as a way of correcting the structural political, economic and social imbalances that continue afflict the Nigerian nation.
- That the Yoruba have allowed progress it made in the 60s and 70s to be systematically eroded thereby suffering socially and politically.
- Further realizing that we the Yoruba due to politics, has allowed itself to be relegated to a lackluster position within Nigeria, but going forward need to reassert and make it clear that the Yoruba are not indolent; but are hard working people, without whom the conglomeration called Nigeria cannot survive and therefore, must go forward working together with one focus – to preserve its dignity, pride and heritage of leadership.
- That we are at our strongest capacity when we work together as one. Therefore, all Yoruba should subscribe to efforts that foster unity and peace in our land.
- That State and Local Governments must create the right environment for the social and economic development of Yoruba land.
- That the Yoruba nation should adopt the strategy and tactics of “The Peoples Republic “ written by the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo as our frame work for development, going forward.
- That elected Yoruba officials, especially the Southwest caucus in Abuja must work together to present and fight for one Yoruba agenda.
- That the Yoruba must re-invest in agricultural development programs and work with farmers to enhance production while providing local processing opportunities of raw materials within the region.
- That the Egbe Omo Yoruba at home and abroad must as a matter of necessity make a success of the 100 hectares of land donated by the Jegun of Ile-Oluji for its pilot program on integrated farming; then replicate the success throughout the South West.
The President of the Egbe Omo Yoruba in North America, Aare Bolu Omodele, in his address promised that the Association will not only play the role of a watch dog, but be “a facilitator to ensure our resolutions are implemented.”
Egbe Omo Yoruba is the umbrella socio-cultural organization for all Yoruba in the USA and Canada
Aare Bolu Omodele.