Yoruba KO’YA And Her Peaceful Match For Restructuring

By Afiz Mosope Abolayo
Last Week Friday 13th of April, 2018, will remain a memorable day for a long time to come in Yoruba land. It was a day when millions of people in the six south western states of Nigeria comprising of Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, Ogun and Lagos state respectively woke up to behold a Pan Yoruba Movement Group “YORUBA KO’YA ” in their hundreds marched round all the state capitals in the south western geo political zone of Nigeria in a peaceful protest to  sensitive the people of south west to demand without equivocation, the restructuring of Nigeria’s political, economic and social cultures, and as well, reject  heinous activities in Yoruba land such as, killings and destruction of farm lands by herdsmen, youth unemployment, food insecurity and infrastructural decadence.
The group enjoin Nigerians, especially all Yorubas and their lovers to support the agitation for restructuring of the country and to reawaken the consciousness of Yoruba people to the hidden agenda of some ethnic oligarchy’s to domination and enslave the Yoruba nation.
The Pan Yoruba group, which is made up of  professionals such as artisans, students,  business men and women, bankers,  retired police and military top-notch, just to mention but a few, needs to be commended for taking the bull by it horn.
Currently, it is no doubt that the Yoruba nation is lagging in the political equation of the country and this situation has made the economy of the states in the south western states especially, to be in comatose with attending worrisome states of  high insecurity, youth unemployment, infrastructure decadence, corruption in public service, farmers/herdsmen clashes amongst many others.
It based on these discomforting scenarios that the socio cultural movement staged a peaceful demonstration across all states in the south west.
All wearing customised t-shirts, with placards that had various inscriptions  such as We Reject:  “Kidnapping”, “Food Insecurity”, Youth Unemployment”,  “Infrastructure Decadence”, “Corruption in Public Service”, “ Farmers versus Herdsmen Clashes” and we demand for, “housing for all”, “quality healthcare services”, “free and compulsory primary and secondary education”, “ qualitative and affordable education”, “economic and political and political restructuring”, restructuring”, “transparent and accountable governance”, the YORUBA KO’YA Movement created awareness for her advocacy.
In Lagos, they marched from Ikeja Shopping Mall to the State House of Assembly, Alausa, Ikeja where they submitted a protest letter to the office of the Speaker of the State House of Assembly while in Ibadan, they walked peacefully from Ring Road, to Agodi-Gate, Government House, Ibadan where they sang solidarity songs to the admiration of road users.
In Abeokuta, Ogun State, capital, the members of the Yoruba KO’YA movement walked peacefully from Iwe Iroyin, the headquarters of the Nigerian Union of Journalist in the state situated at Kuto to the Oke Ilewo, Government House creating awareness with their banners, handbills and public address system,. Similarly, in Akure, Ondo State, the group members who converged at the popular First Bank round about in Alagbaka GRA and led a procession to the front of the office of the Governor, did not only stage a peaceful protest, they distributed fliers and danced like other members in the aforementioned states. The mother of all protest took place in Ado-Ekiti from where the group gathered at popular Fajuyi Park  through Oke Isa to Post Office road to create awareness for their advocacy against what the state coordinator of the Yoruba ko’oya movement, Comrade Shina Awopeju described as “balkanization of Yoruba hegemony.
As it is currently seen in our polity, when political leaders do not treat different ethnic nations that constitute a federal system of government equitably, there is bound to be genuine agitation for fair inclusion in the scheme of things will always lead to agitation and class struggle hence, primary reason for the simultaneous protest embarked upon by Yoruba KO’YA Movement.
The morbid governance in Nigeria and the perceived ethnic oligarchy of some section of the country is typified in the current state of high insecurity, deplorable living condition of millions of Nigerians, high level of unemployment among the youth and gloomy economic space just to mention but a few. All these indeed call for a protest such as the one organized by Yoruba KO’YA to make known to the authority that time is ripe for the political restructuring and economic emancipation of the country.
Watching YORUBA KO’YA last week in their peaceful protest across the south western geo political zone of Nigeria, the event brought the question of why can’t Nigeria embrace restructuring of her political and economic sphere? Why should the country continue to operate on a default political philosophy, where one ethnic nation seems to continue to dominate and exploit the others in a supposedly plural society such as ours? It is on this premises that, I believe that the advocacy of Yoruba KO’YA Movement should be given serious consideration by the political elites and be supported by all true sons and daughters of Yoruba both at home and in Diaspora.
If one looks at the historical contributions of the Yoruba nation in the political emancipation of Nigeria and the entrenchment of democracy and its consolidation, one will not but concur with the assertion of the National Organizing Secretary of YORUBA KO’YA, Comrade Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye when he opined during the peaceful protest in Ado-Ekiti that “Yoruba KO’YA is made up of true sons and daughters of Yoruba who are united in the fight against mis-governance in all the six states in the south western Nigeria and the organization strongly reject the current infrastructure decadence and poor economic growth in Yoruba land as a result of bad governance.”
Speaking further, Adeleye said “Yoruba nation deserves much more better in the current national politics in our country and we must all rise to this occasion by supporting both the economic and political restructuring of Nigeria through a more transparent and accountable governance especially in our region”
Members of Yoruba KOYA movement inside the popuy KUTO market, Abeokuta, Ogun state during their peaceful walk on Friday April 13th 2018.
“We cannot continue like this and expect any positive change. It is annoying that the kaolin and Limestone at Orin-Ekiti in Ido/Osi Local Government Area of Ekiti State cannot be explored for economic development of my state without the permission of a Minister in Abuja who may not even know where Orin-Ekiti is situated.
“The Governor of Ondo State, Oluwwarotimi Akeredolu announced in July 2017 that Federal Government has granted his state permission to mine the Bitumen deposited in Irele Local Government Area of the state but till date, the licence has not been released officially.
“The highest oil block in Nigeria today is owned by those outside the oil producing areas. We are saying no to a unitary system in federalism uniform. I am calling on all Yoruba sons and daughters to take their destinies into their hands by rejecting the satanic marginalization of their nation.
 “In 2016, Lagos state contributed 57% of the total VAT shared into all the 36 states of the federation through the federation account yet the construction of most economically important road in Nigeria – Lagos/Ibadan highway – remained abandoned without any justification.
“Every day, herdsmen are killing our people with security men looking elsewhere; the youths are wallowing around the streets in search of non-existing jobs. This must come to an end” the human rights activist said in a no-hold-barred interaction with news men.
In conclusion, though it is disappointing that our leaders are yet to understand the importance of restructuring our nation to address the many needless challenges we currently face, It is therefore believed that such movement like Yoruba KO’YA, through her advocacy may help convey the agitations of the different sub nationals in the country to those who are in power and thereby address these issues in a way and manner that is fair and equitable to all without disrupting our sense of unity and oneness as a country.
Though the group have eminent Yoruba leaders such as Bishop Bolanle Gbonigi, Otunba Deji Osibogun, CEO, Space FM, Ibadan, Pa. Ayo Adebanjo, Professor (Mrs) Adetowun Ogunseye, Bishop Ayo Ladgbolu, Pa. Rueben Fashoranti as PATRONS, however, I humbly call on Yoruba political elites to rally round and support Yoruba KO’YA Movement in her move to emancipate the region from continue relegation in the scheme of things in Nigeria. The leaders of the region need a pragmatic advocacy to create awareness and drive support for this movement for the sake of posterity.

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