Samuel Awoyinfa, Abeokuta
The governors of Ogun, Oyo and Osun states, Ibikunle Amosun, Abiola Ajimobi and Rauf Aregbesola respectively, on Wednesday renewed the call for unity among the Yoruba race.
They made this call at the ‘Tributes Day’ organised by the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, in honour of the late Afenifere chieftain, Sir Olaniwun Ajayi, at his Isara-Remo, Ogun State residence.
Also, Afenifere chieftains such as Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Femi Okunrounmu, and a former Osun State governor, Chief Bisi Akande, among others who were at the event extolled the virtues of the late Ajayi.
They urged leaders in Yorubaland to emulate him by pursuing issues that would promote the unity of the Yoruba race.
The governors, who spoke one after the other, recalled their encounters with the late lawyer cum politician and they hailed him for his doggedness, leadership qualities and undying love for humanity.
Amosun said though leaders from the Yoruba race might belong to different political parties, they should unite for the peace and progress of the Yoruba nation.
He said political differences should not be used as a tool to blackmail others.
Amosun, who said the state had set aside Tuesday, November 29 to honour the late politician, noted that until his death, Ajayi worked tirelessly for the unity of the Yoruba race.
He said, “Yes, we have our differences, we should not paint ourselves in black, we should not give ourselves bad names. Though we may belong to different political parties, we must all unite for the progress of the Yoruba race. We should avoid mischief, it’s important that we unite.”
On his own part, Ajimobi described the late Ajayi as a great nationalist, patriot and an accomplished Nigerian.
He also referred to him as a Yoruba leader who promoted the culture and ethos of the race.
However, Ajimobi lamented that the Yoruba people were not united, urging the leaders and other stakeholders in the Yoruba nation to work for its unity.
He said, “Pa Olaniwun preached Yoruba unity till he died.”
Aregbesola also harped on Yoruba unity, but “It is not a blanket unity we are looking for, but a qualified and quality unity. Baba (Pa Olaniwun Ajayi) laboured tirelessly for the unity of the Yoruba race.
“Those of us who are like-minded should emulate him. There is nothing to do to honour him than to work for unity in Yoruba land.”
Adebanjo urged all the stakeholders to do away with their egos, and work for the unity of the race.
He noted, “Yoruba are suffering, because there is too much ego. If we don’t unite, it is the masses that will suffer.”
While speaking on Yoruba unity, Adebanjo observed that there was still unity among the Yoruba, but the only challenge was that some stakeholders were engaging in inter-personal quarrel.
Others who spoke at occasion included Chief Femi Okunrounmu, Ambassador Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu, Afenifere Renewal Group chieftain, Chief Wale Oshun, Tokunbo Ajasin, a former deputy governor of Ogun State, Adegbenga Kaka, and a former governor of Kwara State, Chief Cornelius Adebayo.
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