The umbrella body for the Igbo, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and leaders of the Niger Delta joined leaders of the South-West in Ibadan on Thursday, where they demanded a return to regional government in Nigeria.
The Yoruba Summit, held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, was convened to deliberate on the position of the Yoruba on restructuring and the future of Nigeria.
The summit was attended by Yoruba leaders, South-West governors, traditional leaders, lawmakers, Yoruba socio-cultural groups, professional bodies, various Yoruba youth groups and leaders of various groups from the South-East and the South-South.
The South-South and South-East leaders and groups, who said they came to offer solidarity to the Yoruba’s position on restructuring, came in large numbers and added colour to the event with their traditional performers.
In the 16-point communiqué, dubbed Ibadan Declaration, which was signed by the summit chairman, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), and the Chairman of the Planning Committee, Dr. Kunle Olajide, and read by National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, the Yoruba elders stated that Nigeria must return to proper federation as obtained in the 1960 and 1963 constitutions.
They stressed that this had been the position of the zone since the 1950 Ibadan Conference.
The communiqué read, The “Yoruba are clear that restructuring does not mean different things to different people other than that a multi-ethnic country like Nigeria can only know real peace and development if it is run only along federal lines.
“The greatest imperative of restructuring Nigeria is to move from the money-sharing anti-development economy to productivity, by ensuring that the federating units are free to own and develop “The federating units, whether states, zones or regions must be governed by a written constitution to curb impunity at all levels. Nigeria shall be a federation comprising six regions and a federal capital territory in Abuja.”
The summit proposed that in the new arrangement, the Federal Government could make laws and only have power in relations to items specified on the exclusive list contained in the constitution of the federation, their resources while they pay an agreed sum to the federation purse to implement certain services.