Ibadan — ELDERS in Yorubaland under the aegis of Yoruba Unity Forum, YUF, have said the alleged marginalisation of the South West zone of the country in the distribution of topmost positions is an attempt to drive the zone out of the federation.
While speaking at a meeting at the Premier Hotel in Ibadan, yesterday, the forum comprising notable Yoruba men and women such as Mrs. Hannah Awolowo, Bishop Bolanle Gbonigi, Senator Bode Olajumoke, Senator Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele, Senator Mojisoluwa Akinfenwa, Senator Femi Okurounmu, Tokunbo Ajasin, Chief Olu Falae, Chief Biola Ogundokun, among others, frowned at the way President Goodluck Jonathan made appointments without considering the contribution of the Yorubas to his emergence as the president of the country.
Expatiating their claims, members alleged that in the control of the apex of political positions such as the President, Vice president, Senate President, Speaker, House of Representatives, Chief Justice of the Federation, Deputy Senate President, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, the acting President, Court of Appeal, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief of Staff to the President, National Security Adviser and Head of Service of the Federation, there was no Yoruba person among them.
The elders contended that "the absence of Yoruba in the above power apex has consequential adverse effect on the zone in respect of appointments and job security throughout the Federal Government."
Other areas they claimed the zone had been marginalised included control of the principal economic and financial agencies, control of the security services, control of the bureaucracy, control of the information broadcasting agencies, control of election related agencies.
The group also alleged ethnic cleansing and other discriminatory acts against the Yoruba in the federal service.
They noted how Mrs. Stella Oduah, Minister of Aviation in October 2012 sacked eight general managers of the Federal Airports Authority, FAA, including six Yorubas.
According to them, all attempts to meet the President and discuss the issue were fruitless as President Jonathan made several unfulfilled promises to address the issue, which he had not done till date.
Pointing out why President Jonathan should have placed the zone in the right position, they recalled that in the "dying days of the Yar'Adua administration when he was incapacitated by illness and there was a lot of reluctance to make Jonathan Acting President, it was predominantly Yoruba activists who led the march on the National Assembly to force our lawmakers to pronounce Jonathan acting President".