Gani Adams to Buhari: Effect release of Sunday Igboho, Kanu from detention
Says they committed no offence but in pursuit of people's interest
Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Adams, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to order the release of Yoruba self-determination activist, Mr Sunday Adeyemo popularly called Sunday Igboho, who has been in detention in Benin Republic, saying the activist was only fighting for the right of Yoruba people and committed no crime to warrant the treatment he was being subjected to.
Adams also demanded that the leader of Independent People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, who is also standing trial in the country and in detention currently be released by President Buhari, positing that both Igboho and Kanu were fighting for the rights of their people but in different ways.
This was just as he reiterated that the country must be restructured urgently into regionalism before the 2023 elections, saying Nigeria needed to be rescued from break up as, according to him, the country is surviving on oxygen, just like a patient who is sick and about to die.
The Yoruba generalissimo made the call on Thursday at a press conference he addressed at his Lagos residence as part of programmes organised to mark his 4th Anniversary as the 15th Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land.
Reeling out activities to mark his 4th anniversary in office, Adams, who was installed as the 15th Aare Onakakanfo on January 13, 2018, said there will be Jumat service on Friday, inter-faith prayers on Saturday and a thanksgiving service at the Cherubim and Seraphim Church, Alausa, Ikeja, on Sunday, to commemorate the anniversary.
Adams, who spoke at the conference attended by his chiefs, including Chief Gboyega Adejumo, Chief Gani Kola Balogun, Barr Yinka Oguntimehin, Chief Babajide Tanimowo, Chief Abiola Ayankunbi, among others, recalled that he had been in the same situation before during President Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime, maintaining that the duo was not pursuing personal interest but that of their people and should, therefore, be set free by President Buhari.
“I am using this opportunity to call on the government, to effect the release of not only Sunday Igboho alone, it should also release Nnamdi Kanu. The two of them are fighting for the same cause,” he said.
“I call on President Buhari to release Sunday Igboho, and he should also release Kanu,” he reiterated.
Adams, while speaking on moves being made to get Igboho released from detention in the Benin Republic, recalled that he had since rallied Yoruba Obas in the West African country to demand just that, saying that the monarchs had ensured just that by approaching the presidency, the parliament, judiciary in the land with a letter, stating that the activist was their son, who committed no offence to warrant the treatment being meted to him currently.
According to the Yoruba generalissimo, the monarchs are still working, pursuing the release of Igboho from detention in the Benin Republic.
“I have taken steps as I called on Yoruba obas in the Benin Republic, and they held a meeting, and said that Igboho is their son, that he did nothing wrong and should be released. They wrote a letter to the presidency, the country’s judiciary, the parliament, among others. Even up till now, they are still working on his release,” he said.
Adams, while demanding that the country should be restructured to the regional system of government, posited that it was the only way out for the country to halt secessionist move and save her from disintegration, even as he asserted that regionalism would advance the country’s progress and development as witnessed in the old Western Region under the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
Reiterates call for restructuring before 2023
He said restructuring the country could be achieved within the period of a year and four months left for President Buhari to serve his remaining term in office, adding: “And there was a fine document prepared by our political, founding fathers then, which was highly discussed and agreed upon by the political players, which brought us the 1963 Constitution.”
“I think this government has the right to extract the contents of this constitution and make it as the new constitution of the people so that we can move Nigeria forward on the basis of regionalism,” Adams said.
“In Niger Delta, I always laugh when they are calling for resource control. Resource control is a very good demand, which I believe in because resource control is like restructuring. I will be the last person that will oppose Niger Delta on resource control. It’s their right, it’s their resources. Before Nigeria came into being in 1914, they have been existing as people.
“We in the South-West, we always call for regionalism because we have benefitted from the system during the time of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, between 1952 and 1959, and even before the military took over in 1966, and we saw the level of our development,” he added.
Speaking further, Iba Adams maintained that restructuring the country before the 2023 elections was the way out to avoid overheating the polity, saying he was not ready for the poll exercise now having witnessed a lot of transitions as well as a lot of elections to know that Nigerian politicians were the same, who handled Nigerian politics as a business enterprise and, therefore, foreclosed the country from becoming great.
“So the way out is if you don’t want us to call for secession, if you don’t want Nigeria to be overheated, let us restructure Nigeria to regions. And when people are talking of the 2023 elections, I am not ready for the 2023 elections for now.
“Let the government in power resolve the issue we have on the ground, let us restructure. We still have some time, about one year and four months before handing over by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari. Let us restructure this country to regionalism, by then anybody can be a president.
“I have witnessed a lot of transitions, I have witnessed a lot of elections. I have realised that Nigerian politicians are the same. When they want power, they can prostrate before you to get it. By the time they get that power, they turn to tin god. They wouldn’t respect those who gave them power anymore.
“So I can’t allow myself to be deceived anymore, and I have seen Nigerian politics as a business enterprise. In that regard, I don’t think we can have a great nation called Nigeria if the system does not change, it means we are deceiving ourselves,” Adams stated.
Marks 4th Anniversary as 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo
On his tenure as the 15th Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land since 2018, Iba Adams noted that it came with a lot of hope and expectations, especially, from the Yoruba, both home and abroad, who saw the demand of the office as a herculean task, but quickly said that four years down the line, the office under his leadership had fulfilled its promises, adding: “And for us, it is still work in progress.”
He said though it had not been a bed of roses, yet he had been able to weather the storm and till date, becoming stronger and stronger by the day, declaring that all the promises he made to ensure peace and unity in Yoruba land, especially among the traditional institutions, to use all within his capacity as the Aareonakafo of Yoruba land to protect the Yoruba race against attacks, to promote Yoruba culture and tradition, to project the sacred stool of Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land, to raise the bar of the office of the Aare Onakakanfo by building enduring legacies in education, health and human capacity development, among others had all been fulfilled.
“In all of these, I promised also on that day that the days of traditional wars, when we used guns, arrows and other stuffs were over.
“That the wars we shall be fighting would be purely intellectual wars where issues would be raised and addressed in the most intelligent manner.
“Four years down the line, the office of the Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land under my leadership has fulfilled its promises. And for us, it is still work in progress,” the Yoruba generalissimo said.
“I have rekindled the hope of the Yoruba people in leadership and service to humanity.
“I have also remained committed to the values of cultural revolution.
“The office of the Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land is a brand on its own. For us, it is about sacrifices. It is about service to humanity. And going by the demand of the office, I am blessed with people of like minds, people who share in our ideologies and values, people that love Yoruba land with passion, people who can stop at nothing to achieve the dreams of our race.
“Many of them are members of the Aare Onakakanfo Chiefs-in-Council and Aareonakakanfo Advisory Committee.
“Their job is to promote the ideals of the office and project the office to the world,” he added.
“Going forward, I am also working on some projects which I think is necessary for the records.
“I will use my influence and network to build the Aare Onakakanfo Institute of Culture and Tradition.
“The idea is to build a monument of global standard that will take care of Yoruba artefacts, artistry and creative works. A Yoruba language school that will cater to the needs of the deficit in the Yoruba language.
“In the coming years, I will also use the office of the Aare Onakakanfo to build the South-West Agriculture Village that will also help in building the Region’s agric economy where food will be in surplus.
“In no long distant time, my office will create the Southwest Farmers Development/Growth Initiative, an initiative that will take care of South-West farmers’ worries. We will be giving out loans to farmers across the region.
“As the Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land, it is also in my plan to build a Theatre Village where our focus will be to train new artistes and encourage the use of pure and undiluted Yoruba language
“As I have said earlier, our effort in fulfilling our promises to the Yoruba nation is still a work in progress,” he added further.
The Yoruba generalissimo, however, appreciated all those who had contributed to his success stories so far, saying they included all his friends and admirers, the media, both the prints and the electronics, as well as the digital media.
“Your support, so far, spurs us on as an institution. And I want to assure you all of our resolve to continue to promote unity, peace and secure Yoruba land,” he said.
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