By Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye
…As Alapini, Adegoke, others Reiterate call for Restructuring, New Constitution
…Demand for Violent Free, Fair and Credible elections
Encomium and tribute flowed yesterday at the Highbrow Area of Lekki in the commercial city of Lagos, Nigeria as friends, colleagues and associates of late renowned Real Estate Consultant and Property Developer, Prince Goke Omisore described him as a man who meant well for the nation of Nigeria and whose commitment, patriotism and dedication to the path of humanity and service to Yoruba land will forever be missed.
The late Omisore who was the Convener of a policy Think-Tank/Yoruba Interest Group, Voice of Reason (VOR) was also praised as a man who really desired and fought for the enactment of a new constitution that will serve the interest of Nigerians and restructure Nigeria economically, politically and socially towards drastic reduction, if not a total abolition, of hunger, poverty and starvation in the country.
Speaking to news men yesterday at a press briefing, members of VOR who all converged at Omisore’s palatial Omisson plaza at Lekki for a short ceremony marking the 70th Post Humous Birthday of their Convener, promised to keep the agitation for the restructuring of Nigeria and enactment of a new people’s constitution as desired by their leader alive until victory is achieved.
Omisore died on October 7, 2018. He was aged 69.
“Goke Omisore was looking forward to this day, his 70th birthday, when he was called to the great beyond a few months ago. GOKE was full of life, and for him, life had a purpose. That purpose, in the twilight of his life, was to see his Yoruba race, and Nigeria at large, cut free of the physical and mental shackles that held them down, and rise to take their rightful place in the world.
“His passion, especially for Yorubaland, was infectious. He did not have all the answers, but he clearly discerned, like every one of us, that something was wrong with Nigeria that needed to be put right.
“The events that we have all witnessed since his death, culminating in the embarrassing hitch in the electoral process that we witnessed last weekend, are enough to convince even the most naive among us that we are indeed in a profound crisis as a nation and as a people. All hands must be on deck if we are to dig ourselves out of the deep hole we are in.
“Goke took the initiative of corralling together the ‘Voice Of Reason’, for the purpose of deploying all their accumulated knowledge and experience to chart a course for the human and material development in their homeland.
“VOR came early to the conclusion that it could no longer be business as usual, that the Yoruba and others welded together in the Nigeria project, could not continue to do the same thing over and over, expecting different results.
“The truth in that conclusion, hopefully, is now clear to the majority of our people, given the ongoing events in our land, as well as the dramatic events of our recent past. Our nationhood cannot continue to be an undignified and unfulfilling struggle by different peoples to outdo one another for control of an overbearing and overweening ‘centre’”, VOR members said in a tribute read by their Chairman, Dr. Olufemi Adegoke.
On the solutions to the socio-economic and political problems bedeviling the nation, Adegoke said “We must look back to the commanding heights of our history to guide us forward. An arrangement that enabled Western Region, from Ibadan, to institute free education and to build the first television station in Africa, not through ‘Federal might’, but through its local enterprise and leadership vision, was an expression of that true federalism that has unfortunately been eroded to the point of extinction by the ‘Unitary’ experience of the past half century in our national life.
“To use the evidence of the recent past to advance the argument from the opposite pole, the masses in those parts of the nation that have been most ‘successful’ in ‘controlling’ ‘Federal might’ have today the lowest scores on the Human Development Index. No ethnic group has been served by ‘federal might’ in the way it is being practised in Nigeria but a few individuals.
“Our Organization the Voice of Reason is more convinced now than ever before, over and above the distractions of the ongoing bad-tempered struggle by various interest groups to seize political control of the executive and legislature at various levels in the country that a Restructuring of the polity is the way out. We insist that the responsibility and resources for development must be handed back to the federating units, as close as possible to how they were originally conceived in the Nigerian union.” Adegoke, a Trained Medical Practitioner, posited.
Also speaking at the news briefing, a Retired Assistant Inspector General of Police, Mr. Tunji Alapini said “We are doing a lot to ensure the success of our cause. We have gone as far as publishing a draft constitution to drive the discussion and provide a detailed picture of what a restructured nation and a structured Yorubaland should look like.
“Much of the inspiration of VOR has been derived from the infectious energy and total commitment by Goke Omisore, the man we are honouring today. We are aware that the greatest honour we can do to his memory, and the one he would most appreciate, is to stay the cause until victory is won.
“Our ultimate objective is the attainment of peace, prosperity and a conducive climate for the full expression of the creative genius of the Yoruba and other nationalities in Nigeria, good governance and a life free of security threats from kidnappers, sundry miscreants, and rampaging local and foreign hoodlums posing as herdsmen.”
On the fast approaching general elections, Alapini, supported by members of VOR, urged Nigerian youth to do away with any form or act of political violence, describing them as the future of the country. He admonished Nigerians to come out and cast their vote in a peaceful conduct on Saturday without any fear of intimidation.
The group, as opined by a legal luminary and foremost public commentator, Mr Soji Awogbade, condemned President Muhammad Buhari on the presidential order to security agencies to shoot ballot box snatchers or anyone found disturbing the peace at voting centers during the Saturday election, said indiscriminate shooting at people will be counterproductive as many Nigerians, including those of good conduct, risk being killed by stray bullet.
Also present during the press briefing were Medical Insurance gurus Drs. Ladi Awosika and Ebun Sonaiya, foremost Industrialist, Otunba Remi Abdul, Developmental Economist, Mr. Bolaji Ogunseye, renowned Advertising consultants Chief Femi Kufo and Lere Awokoya, Human Rights Lawyer, Tokunbo Sholu-Ekukanim, Mr. Folahan Olumide, Dolapo Balogun and Chief Tola Mobolurin .
Others present are Lamide, the wife of late Goke Omisore, former Rector, Nigeria College of Aviation, Zaria, Mr. ‘Yele Caulcrick, Business Mogul, Mr Sam Bolarinde, Dr Seyi Roberts, Seasoned Enterpreneur, Yomi Williams, Mr. Kamar Raji, Leke Oshunniyi among others.