The Yoruba race is one for which I have the greatest respect, because of their liberalism.
I was born in Yoruba land, had my primary and secondary education in Yoruba land, married a priceless Yoruba woman and live in Yoruba land. My children are thus partly Yorubas. My business investments are majorly domiciled in Yoruba land and I speak the Yoruba language more fluently than my mother tongue…
I love the Yorubas and consider myself even one.
Only recently, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) concluded its presidential primaries, with former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar emerging as the Presidential Candidate of the Party that ruled Nigeria for sixteen years, before the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) took over in 2015.
After much permutations amongst opposition political gladiators, Mr Peter Obi, former governor of Anambra state, noted for his astuteness and probity was picked as the running mate of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
The social media has since been saturated with the cries from not a few Nigerians, especially of the Yoruba extraction, with the question of ; “what is in the Atiku/Obi ticket for the Yoruba race”?
Many have wondered if the Yoruba nation is advancing or retrogressing!
In the incumbent administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, a Yoruba man, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, occupies the number two seat as the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Now, our Yoruba race is slidding even further down the power chain with the Atiku/Obi ticket”, they echo.
Many Nigerians, especially from the South-Western region have since wailed aloud that the least the PDP could do, was to pick a Yoruba running mate for Atiku, since the South-West comes next to the North-West in terms of voting population in Nigeria.
What strikes me the most in all of these is that the majority of those who so wailed, are very educated and enlightened dignitaries; persons who in their private enterprises would most certainly settle for excellence as against tribal sentiments!
In as much as I do not believe in the recycling of political office holders, I’m of the opinion that at every point in time, excellence should take the fore in our national life, irrespective of one’s ancestry.
By the way, how genuine is the agitation of those who are mooting for the emergence of a Yoruba person as the running mate to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar?
Why agitate for a second place, when the first place is at your beck and call?
Fela Durotoye is the Presidential Candidate of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN); a full-blooded Yoruba man from Ekiti state. If all those who are wailing over the choice of an Igbo man from South-Eastern Nigeria as Atiku’s running mate, mobilise en mass to sell Fela’s candidacy, would they not be giving core credence to their agitation?
By the way, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, a Yoruba man, was President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria between 1999 and 2007, a whooping eight years! Did that solve the problems of the Yoruba nation? Did it tar all the roads in Yoruba land? Did it restore 24hrs power supply to the Yoruba nation? Did it provide jobs for all Yoruba youths? Did it reduce the cost of foodstuffs in Yoruba markets compared to other regions? How did it place the average Yoruba man on the street at an advantage, compared to his peers in other parts of Nigeria?
Prof Yemi Osinbajo, the incumbent Vice President of Nigeria for three years running, is a Yoruba man. How has that impacted on the lives of the average Yoruba man on the streets?
Wherein lies then the morality of our condemnation of the nepotic inclinations of President Muhammadu Buhari, if we yet agitate for the emergence of our own tribes?
If Nigeria will grow to become the nation of our dream, we must grow our orientation to appoint people based on what they have to offer for the betterment of our nation and not because of their tribal affiliation.
If Nigerians who reside in Europe and America can stand for elections and the white aborigines vote them in, why must we discriminate amongst ourselves in our father’s land?
We must deliberately shove up our best brains to run this country and place her on the pedestal of recovery and geometric development, irrespective of their states of origin.
The Nigeria of our dreams shall emerge, the day we begin to pay our primary allegiance to Nigeria as a unitary entity and not put our tribal affiliations ahead of our gross nationality.
A New Nigeria is possible
Together we can
Dr Thomas-Wilson Ikubese, is the Convener of YesWeFit Revolutionary Movement