Daily Champion (Lagos)

Nigeria: Afe Babalola Decries Yoruba Marginalization, Seeks SNC

Ibadan — Legal icon, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) has raised an alarm that the Yoruba people of Nigeria are being unduly marginalized in the scheme of things in the country and called for an urgent convocation of Sovereign National Conference to fashion out constitutional review in such a way that will enable each part of the country to develop at its own pace.

He bared his mind in Ibadan yesterday on the occasion of the public presentation of a book entitled "Abokede: The Man, the Hill, the City" - Biography of Chief John Adeyemi Ayorinde, edited by the Managing Director of National Mirror newspapers, Mr. Steve Ayorinde.

Dignitaries from different parts of the country thronged the Conference Centre, University of Ibadan venue of the book launch in large number. They included Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi, Professor (Mrs) Bolanle Awe, Mr. Louis Odion, Edo State Commissioner for Information representing Governor Adams Oshiomhole, Ambassador Olusola, Chief and Mrs. Tayo Akpata, Chief Taiye Ayorinde, the Baale of Ekotedo, among others.

Chief Afe Babalola lamented that the Yoruba race which was the acknowledged leading tribe in the whole of Nigeria in education, law, engineering, etc. had now slipped badly in the societal rating in the country.

"We should reconsider our position in Nigeria and opt for urgent constitutional review which will enable each part of the country to nurture and preserve their culture, language and endowments," he remarked.

Specifically, Chief Afe Babalola declared that "what Nigeria urgently needs now is people's constitution where all of us will sit down together at a Sovereign National Conference and fashion out what is best for the nation, as against the presidential system of government which was blindly copied from America."

The legal luminary also condemned stoutly the problem of mass unemployment in Nigeria. He observed that people now think that the only way to sudden wealth is through politics which has been turned into a profession in the country.

"Politics has suddenly become so lucrative that nobody really appreciates hard work or earning from ones labour any longer," he stated.

Speaking in the same vein, the Deputy Governor of Osun State, Chief (Mrs.) Grace Titi Laoye-Tomori urged the entire Yoruba nation to ensure that their rich culture and social values are not allowed to go into extinction.

"We should revive the Yoruba culture and heritage," she insisted arguing that this could be carried out through the way we dress, speak and even carry ourselves in the society.

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