Never in the history of the Yoruba people have we found ourselves in this mournful passage.
Our traditional cohesiveness is gone. Our sweeping etchings of truth, honor and balanced equitable fixities are equally eroded, disfigured, destroyed by a new ethos of personal pursuit and selfish absorption.
From furthest reaches of Ekiti to the hills and the deepening forests of Ondo, our common amity is gone .
From the historic hinterlands of Osun to the valleys and the mountainous ranges of Oyo, there are divisions and unethical largeness.
From the rocky hills of Ogun to the Atlantic waters of Lagos, there is persistent discord and chaotic enmity.
The inherent strength of our forefathers was their instinctive willingness to rally around themselves and confront any foe with determined will and courageous vastness.
Our forefathers believed in the sanctity of the Omoluabi stamp of reference. They were men and women of uncommon distinctions whose totality of vision was about the protection and strengthening of the larger interests of the Yoruba nation.
They were great men and women of uncommon valor, unafraid to confront the agents of ruin and darkness. They were firm in purpose and will, resolved to grapple with the ills of society with unbending convictions and clarity of purpose.
But alas we have deviated from these historical characterizations that gave nobility and inestimable honor to our ancestors.
We are now being harried, hounded and harassed by little men because we have lost our traditional unity. We have belittled ourselves.
As we widen the pool of discord and enmity, our collective weakness is pronounced, our differences shatter the necessary unity and togetherness without which a people cannot enrich their society with deserved development and growth.
If we had stood up as One indivisible people, the charade that took place during the Ekiti gubernatorial election wouldn’t have happened. There is no doubt about it that our candidate won the election.
But we did not speak with one voice. We were equally intruded upon by agent provocateurs, deceitful, traitorous characters who would sell their people for a mess of porridge.
But we shall overcome. We have justifiably taken the issue to the Appeals Tribunal where Justice will prevail on the side of the Truth. The court of law is the last bastion of the Democratic Vanguard.
It is the critical balance between the Executive and the Legislature. It is the very anchor that ensures that the society is guided by equity and fairness and that no one is trampled upon by the excessive vehemence of the other two arms of government.
Again, the farcical, blatant thwarting of the will of the people of Osun reverberated across the world, marring the integrity of our democracy. Senator Ademola Adeleke was clearly the People’s choice. He won fair and square. But they distorted the results. They fabricated a tainted victory for the APC candidate.
Desperate men without honor, swollen with very transient power, colluded with equally flawed characters to sabotage the people’s will.
They have shattered the peace of Osun. Things are no longer at ease. But no lie can live forever. Justice can be delayed but it will always prevail in the end.
I appeal to President Buhari as a junior officer to be guided by the well known traditional culture of our former profession where discipline, fair play, respect for order and equity are the watchwords.
This Democracy cannot and must not continue along this flawed, demeaning path. We must return to the path of rectitude. We must strengthen this delicate process with basic adherence to truth, decency and honor.
Equally important, I believe it is incumbent upon us all at this conference to demand from the Presidential Aspirants of our great party what the plans they have for the people of the South West. We must never throw away our votes without getting firm and binding commitments from them. Our people should never be taken for granted again. Never !
As the Atona Odua of Yorubaland, I appeal to our people to eschew bitterness and rancor. Let us return to the ways of our ancestors. Let us increase the bond of amity and accommodating largeness. Let us support each other. Let us embrace our traditional integrity and defining image of Omoluabi.
The present drama playing out in Lagos state confirms that falsehood may triumph for a while. It will invariably give way and unravel.
Finally, the whole world is watching, insisting that our leadership do what is right and proper.
Our people justifiably deserve a far better treatment. Let us remove the shackles of envy and ill-will. Let us restore the glory of our past through mutual cooperation, instinctive embrace of our common heritage and the love for each other.
May the good Lord continue to guide our people along the righteous path. Oduduwa a gbe gbogbo wa oooo .
•Chief Olabode Ibiyinka George,
Atona Odua of Yorubaland.
Southwest Stakeholders Conference at Ibadan on Tuesday October 2, 2018.