Setting a new agenda in Yorubaland
By Dr Victor Taiwo
Once again I welcome all Yorubas to my world today. May the peace, love and mercy of God Almighty abide with us all. Amen.
I most gladly dedicate this episode, once again, to Prof. Banji Akintoye. I am not doing Prof. Akintoye this honour of dedication all because we just resolved our much lingered feud but rather deriving from the fact that I am always a man not given to sentiments or flattery for the purpose of any ingratiation. My policy has always been honesty in its true nakedness – let us say it as it is. Even when we were in deep quarrel, I had always said what I want to say.
Although Prof. Akintoye as a human being may not be a perfect or infallible creature but imbued with his own visible shortcomings, one undeniable, undialectical fact remains that across the entire Yoruba world, he stands as the only elderly Yoruba leader who has decisively put himself in the cold out there even at his well advanced age of 87/88 fighting the battle of freedom for the Yoruba people without relenting. For this, I raise my swords of honour in both hands and give him 21 salutes.
And so on this basis, I gratuitously solicit that may all those he has wronged in one way or the other, which I know he has, forgive him.
3. The critique of Victor Taiwo: The clarifications:
Let me begin today’s exercise by clearing the air on my critique. Every man of prominence or art is subject to public critique which such a person can never run away from. How do people see you? Some see brilliance of portrait or expression in you. Some see you as an angel. Some see you as a nonentity. Some see you as even a scoundrel. Some see you from the angle of arrogance. Some view you with the mind of envy, bitterness and detraction. Essentially, people see you from different perspectives.
Today, I am one of those being critiqued in the world. If such a person is now setting himself out to curry the appreciation of everybody in the world as to have him loved by all, he would end up hating himself at the end of the day because he would be setting a target he could never meet.
Let me see that person raise his hand to say he is so perfect in his art as to qualify him for universal appreciation and applause. Alas! Not even God Himself. Abi. Lobatan. So, the only antidote is do the best you can offer as to satisfy yourself and leave the rest to your critics.
Yes, I have recorded that a pocket of people perhaps 1% of my readers and listeners whether out of love, envy, detraction or genuine observation have criticized me for speaking too much of myself so much that I feel compelled today to give them a riposte.
One. I have always seen myself as one of the humblest and most unassuming people in the world. So, if I have any cause to speak about myself, the subject on the ground must have warranted it whose evasion would have created a lacuna on the subject.
Two. One of such critics made that expression to my highly revered mentor Ambassador Dr. Yemi Farounbi one day. And the response of Farounbi was: ‘Whatever he said about himself, the question is, is it true or false?’ There ended the discussion.
Three. If I do not speak of myself, must I wait for my adversaries to speak for me? You could have expected Awolowo not to speak of himself but make Shagari, Zik or Sardauna his object of elevation. You could as well tell Tinubu to stop saying ‘Emi lokan’ but raise the standard of Atiku or Obi as the messiah of Nigeria.
Four. In the art of writing, there are two types of composition you do – one is a series as may run from episode 1 to 100 while the other is a complete and independent text. In series, the moment you introduce yourself at the beginning, repeating yourself anywhere else in the exercise is a condemnable verbiage. But in a complete and independent text, you must take cognizance of the fact that every of your works must be landing in the hands of somebody for the first time. And this first timer must be able to grasp the portrait of the writer and the subject in a most explicitly laid out manner such that the reader would have no questions to ask. This norm I have always perfectly observed and maintained. It is of course a daily phenomenon that somebody must come to me to raise issues or ask questions on the subject of the Yoruba emancipation project. And all I do is search my file for the relevant paper, hand to him and leave him to reading. All he would say is: Thank you, no questions anymore.
So, let my pocket of critics keep themselves busy with productive exercises as I will never be out to do the impossible which God Himself cannot do – to satisfy all.
4. A new climacteric in Yorubaland:
On Tuesday the 13th of September, 2022, a new climacteric was ignited in the Yoruba emancipation project when the age-long feud between Prof. Banji Akintoye and my humble self was resolved by some peace makers in the land.
On the 16th September, 2022, the news of the event was unleashed on the world by my ever-dutiful and ever-faithful deputy Mr. Wale Alabi even without my knowledge. And to my utmost chagrin, within a period of six hours, we recorded an unprecedented figure of about 10 thousand positive reactions from across the world. The Yoruba world was literally thrown into jubilation, into a mood of euphoria singing the song of hallelujah at the development of the re-union of Prof. Banji Akintoye and Dr. Victor Taiwo in the manner of ‘Ehennn – this – is – what – we – have – all – been – praying – for – over – the – years.’ Big congratulations to the Yoruba world. Hmmm. Wonderful. I was overwhelmed. I never had the slightest realisation that the reckoning of the Yorubas on the two of us was so much on this high velocity. Glory be to God.
5. Some reminiscences:
I pay tribute to that great Reggae musical legend Bob Nesta Marley today. He was the one who sang that; ‘If you do not know your history, you will never know where you are coming from’.
On the 22nd August, 2019, I spearheaded a revolution in Yorubaland against all odds of uncloaked danger of visible intimidation when we elected Prof. Banji Akintoye as the new Yoruba Leader. All gratitude to the great patriots like Elder Dr. Taiye Ayorinde who chaired the event, Chief Tola Adeniyi, Otunba Deji Osibogun, Sheikh Abdulraheem Aduranigba (Chief Imam Yoruba Ilorin), Dr. Tunde Amusat, Prof. Kayode Ogundoro, Princess Oyeronke Akinlolu, Prince Peter Bamigbade (who got involved in a motor accident on his way down), Comrade Sina Akinpelu and a host of other prominent patriots and the historic audience. My intention was to set an agenda where we would embark on a biblical 40-day journey to security and freedom in the land. But the ugly experiences I witnessed were sharply opposite to my expectations and dream. Those who were not part of the risk we took to effect the installation of Prof. Akintoye brazenly rushed in at the point of success, swarmed around the leader and hijacked the whole system. Having experienced a similar case of hijack from me at the formation of Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) some 19 years prior to then i.e. in the year 2000, I felt I was duty-bound to fight back to rescue the situation. But what did I see? The hijackers portrayed me as a rebel and ganged up against me until I was pushed off the vehicle of the Yoruba World Congress. Now running my own affairs via my original organisation – Oodua Redemption Alliance – the majority of the Yorubas out there who were not in the ken of reality were misled into seeing me as a rebel indeed and started calling me names. But according to Oliver Wendell Holmes; ‘Truth is tough. It does not break like a bubble at a touch. Kick it about all day, it will still be round and full in the evening.’
In the course of time, the hitherto most famous Yoruba World Congress too soon collapsed like a pack of cards and all those who ganged up against me and desperately tied their aprons to the loin of the Leader have all dropped off his stem from A-Y. But before the damage was realised, the set 40-day journey has turned a 40-year journey. Hence the ugly situation of confusion, chaos, insecurity and protracted struggle of liberation we are contending with in Yorubaland today. I am now solidly vindicated. Yorubaland has now hit a cul-de-sac.
Then some wise among us in the Yoruba struggle were able to diagnose the ailment in the land and appealed to me to overlook the past wrongs. And the pressure started mounting that I should agree to reconciliation with the leader lest we are submerged in the sea of enemy forces. Then I succumbed in the spirit of forgiveness. Hence, the reconciliation of 13th September, 2022.
6. Setting a new agenda:
Now with the new development of the great expectations the Yoruba world look up to from the collaboration of Prof. Banji Akintoye and my humble self, I feel obliged to set a new agenda right away without further procrastination.
7. The man with the large heart: Begging for character emulation by the Yorubas:
I often tell people that two weaknesses that I have are as follows:
a. I forgive people any offences committed against me even to the point of stupidity.
b. As a personally adopted principle, I never fight over money or make money my god.
Just a short time past, the Yoruba world witnessed the terrible unwarranted and undeserved malignity I suffered in the hands of some of our media presenters. First among them was one man called Olu Michael Obalola a.k.a. Arole Baba 10 10 who felt he could drive the traffic of viewers to his show for the purpose of enhancing cool cash for himself by pouring acid on my white linen through the ballistic lies he weaved around me and the character assassination he unleashed on my person.
Following this was another presenter namely Omoniyi Victor Omojowo a.k.a. Omoluka who followed the same trend by tearing me to pieces for the offences I never committed all in the name of making money under the pretext of Yoruba Nation agitation.
And in quick succession, others like Yeye Dara followed suit and my image was painted black to the Yoruba world who were fast constructing the cross for my crucifixion except those who were wise enough to read between the lines and identified the truth from the falsehood. I sadly remember an old woman in London who I took as my mother raining abuses and curses on me on the basis of the unfounded allegations without seeking the truth. Poor Victor Taiwo.
Right immediately I set the machinery in motion to bring the man Arole to justice by suing him to court. I got his details in South-Africa where he is domiciled and mandated my lawyers to deploy their cranes to lift him. While the process was on, I felt that Omoluka who is in the homeland should first be dealt with. I sued him for N540 million to prove his allegations. But knowing full well that all the SANs in Nigeria could not save him from going to the prison, he mobilised a contingent of elders headed by Yeye Simisade Kuku to my office to plead for forgiveness with his chest lying flat on the ground in my office a number of times.
The import from this story is that were I not given to forgiving people to a fault, nobody would have succeeded at placating me for the evil done me by the commercial presenters. But drawing from my ‘weakness’ of forgiveness to the point of stupidity, I did not only forgive Omuluka, I was prevailed upon by the contingent to spare him the payment of the bill for the lawyers’ service.
Thus if I could forgive Omoluka, why not forgive Arole, Dara and others? Then I closed the matter as a sacrifice of leadership.
Therefore, in the spirit of the above, I hereby declare today that I have forgiven whole-heartedly everybody who has offended me or caused me any psychological or spiritual harm in one way or the other in the course of the Yoruba project.
In the same spirit, I hereby implore all to adopt the ideal of forgiveness towards one another as a pre-requisite for our propulsion in Yorubaland. Failure to do this, we may soon collectively sink under the water. Forgiveness. Forgiveness. Forgiveness. Forgiveness. Forgiveness. Forgiveness. Forgiveness.
8. The hierarchical order of the projects in Yorubaland:
What I consider as the order of concerns by the Yorubas are as follows:
a. Unity among the leaders and people,
b. Security in the land and
c. Liberation project.
If we failed to have unity of purpose first, the second and third items would practically be impossible. To this effect, I hereby offer the following suggestions:
i. Let us adopt the lodestar of forgiveness towards one another as a matter of rule or compulsion, and with immediate effect.
ii. Let us identify the leaders who constituted the defunct Yoruba World Congress and bring all of them back on board.
iii. Let us revive and adopt the identity of the Yoruba World Congress (YWC).
iv. Let us build workable structures this time for the body learning from the fall of the defunct YWC with well defined functions for all the members of the executive whereby everybody will have a sense of belonging as against the old practice.
v. Let us implore Elder Dr. Taiye Ayorinde to bring back his Yoruba World Assembly the fraction of the defunct YWC.
vi. Let us plead with Chief Tola Adeniyi to bring back his Yoruba Global Alliance the fraction of the defund YWC.
vii. Let us prevail on the highly valued and impactful Otunba Deji Osibogun to bring back his Yoruba Koya into the fold.
viii. Conscious of the fact that all but one of the original members of the Ilana fraction of the defunct YWC have left Ilana today, let us prevail on them all to return on board. So, let our appeal go to Arc. George Akinola, Evang. Kunle Adesokan, Otunba Sade Olukoya, Princess Tanimowo Okusaga, Princess Ronke Akinlolu, Mr. Maxwell Adeleye, Mrs. Sola Salako and a host of others on the list to return on board.
ix. Conscious of the fact that Aare Gani Adam’s OPC was never part of YWC, let us implore him to submit to the exigency and launch himself and his group into the system.
x. Let us implore all other old and newly established multifarious organisations to file in and key into the system.
xi. Lest we build our castle in the air, let us all bury our pride and go for compromise for the sake of the land.
xii. Anybody found running against the above appeasement and the set standard of compromise should be sanctioned and regarded as a suspect whose DNA as a true Yoruba person must be questioned.
These above done and the unity achieved, we have won already half of our battles.
Migrating from the above, let us make an experiment in security.
i. Let us set up a broad committee to work on the agenda of YORUBA GLOBAL SECURITY SUMMIT which must come up as urgently as possible.
ii. Right in the hall of this event, let us appoint the members of the suspended YORUBALAND SECURITY TRUST FUND whose duty will be to mobilise the required fund in an underground manner.
iii. Let us have credible and creditable personages to constitute the Board of Trustees who will govern over the funds.
iv. Let us mobilise and constitute our mystical power custodians into a high-powered spiritual force.
v. Let us mobilize and constitute our able-bodied men into a guiding force, a replica of Benue-State initiative.
c. The Liberation Project:
i. Let the two projects above be primarily experimented as a ground preparation for the liberation project.
ii. While we all appreciate the impacts of media propagation in this Yoruba cause, let our erring media presenters however cultivate the tradition of discipline against sentiments, sensationalism, falsehood and malignity all in the name of championing their commercial purposes.
iii. Let us leave the affairs to the intellectuals knowledgeable about the arts.
This is an open blueprint I am hereby presenting to the entire Yoruba world.
9. The experiment in the Unity and Security agenda:
As a step in the direction of unity and security, the text below represents an agenda in motion presently:
YORUBA GLOBAL SECURITY SUMMIT
6th October, 2022
1. Dr. Bayo Orire – Chairman – 08035062512
2. Chief Taju Ajamajebi (Aare Ogboni Agbaye) – Secretary – 08023187275
3. Otunba Deji Osibogun – 08083680079
4. Chief Mrs. Simisade Kuku – +17622003385
5. Mr. Fredrick Akinteye a.k.a. Engr. Ola – +218927151896
6. Archbishop Dr. Paul Onanuga – 08068171117
7. Dr. Duro Akindutire – +16462095158
8. Sheikh Abdulraheem Aduranigba (Chief Imam Yoruba, Ilorin) – 08034457321
9. Bishop Prof. Solomon Akinlabi – 08162670166
10. Mrs. Felicia Ariike Ojo – +447940384797
11. Prof. Nelson Fashina – 08139106497
12. Prof. Bishop Adegbolagun George – 08103144729
13. Comrade Adesina Akinpelu – 08035631815
14. Comrade Toafeek Adeyemi – 08033180147
15. Dr. B. J. Olowo – 07066177215
16. Dr. Tope Taiwo – 09126643668
17. Mr. Tunde Ibrahim – 08066319844
18. Dr. Francis Anomu – 08054316259
19. Mrs. Anike Obot – 08034066949
20. Prince Ade Adefioye _ 08024231783
21. Mogaji Nurudeen Akinade _ 08032127226
YORUBA GLOBAL SECURITY SUMMIT: APPOINTMENT AS A MEMBER OF THE PLANNING COMMITTEE
On behalf of our leader Prof. Banji Akintoye, I most humbly write to inform you of your appointment as a member of the above-named instructive Committee.
On the 18th August, 2022, a high-power event was billed to take place at the Oba Okunade Sijuwade Memorial Hall, Ile-Ife under the auspices of EGBE ALAABO ILE OODUA under my coordination but which was suspended due to a reason put up by the women of virtue under the organisational setting of Obinrin Oodua Agbaye led by Chief (Mrs.) Simisade Kuku, their reason being that the merrier it would be if the most laudable programme was undertaken by the collectivity of the entire Yoruba organisations across the world. Beautiful impression. Thus responding to good reasoning, we agreed to the idea and so the event was suspended.
Now, emanating from some beautiful developments recorded in the line of wide consultations and reconciliations among the organisations’ leaders, we thus have no reason to procrastinate any further on the issue of insecurity in Nigeria as it affects our dear Yorubaland.
To this effect, the great names of the patriots above have been penciled down as the members of the Planning Committee of the proposed YORUBA GLOBAL SECURITY SUMMIT with the following proposed details and items for consideration.
1. To make the event a mega gathering of representatives of various organisations in Yorubaland with a population of not less than three thousand.
2. To consider University of Ibadan International Conference Centre as a place spacious enough to harbour the huge population of the three thousand people being the capacity of the hall.
3. To pick a date that is least in distance owing to the exigency on ground which does not permit further procrastination.
4. To consider bringing in our Obas, Governors, National and State Legislators, our religious leaders, market leaders, academics, professionals, captains of industries, retired military officers etc.
5. To consider the logistics involved.
6. To source for the resources to meet the logistics.
The effects of the event would be:
1. To display the success of our drive for unity.
2. To send the signal to the world out there that the Yorubas are no more penetrable for enemies.
3. To identify those who are fit to form the Committee for YORUBALAND SECURITY TRUST FUND i.e. those who will go underground to mobilize fund for the Trust Fund.
4. To identify those who are fit to be members of the Board of Trustees to superintend the fund.
5. To establish the structures for the implementation of the security agenda.
To this effect, a highly respectable and bridge-building personage in the land in the name of Dr. Bayo Orire has been proposed to chair the committee. Thus the chairman will be expected to mandate the secretary to link up with the committee members for their maiden and subsequent meetings.
We therefore, hope you will all give Yorubaland the best.
Thanks and God bless you all.
Dr. Victor Taiwo
10. Updating the Directory of Yoruba Organisations:
In my humble capacity as the Registrar or Custodian of the Directory of all Yoruba organisations worldwide since the past 26 years, I hereby implore all old and the newly emerging multifarious Yoruba organisations worldwide to re-forward or forward, as the case may be, the following current information about their respective organisations for fresh computation and for record reckoning more especially for the purpose of participation in the above-relayed scheme of the YORUBA GLOBAL SECURITY SUMMIT:
a. Name of organisation
b. Name of the Leader specifying the title namely President/National Coordinator, etc.
c. WhatsApp number and
d. E-mail address if available
Here I anchor for today.