24th June, 2011
Former south-west governors yesterday, Thursday, 23 June, shunned a meeting of the Yoruba Unity Forum (YUF) slated for Ikenne home of the late sage Obafemi Awolowo.
The former governors who were expected at the meeting, but failed to turn up were Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Ogun; Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Osun; and Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, Oyo.
Others are Engr. Segun Oni, Ekiti and Olusegun Agagu of Ondo State. Also, serving governors of the Yoruba-speaking states were equally absent from the meeting and did not send any representatives, either.
Although ex-deputy governors of Oyo and Ekiti States, Alhaji Taofeek Arapaja and Sikiru Tai Lawal respectively, attended, it was however not certain if they had come to represent their former bosses.
The meeting which began at about 12:18 pm, was unequivocal in its condemnation of an article by Sam Omatseye, Chairman, Editorial Board of The Nation newspapers and his counterpart in TheNEWS, Tayo Odunlami, which it perceived to be scathing to the Awolowos.
In a communiquÃ© issued at the end of the meeting and signed by Senator Anthony Adefuye, Revd. Ayo Ladigbolu and Dr. Femi Okunrunmu, the YUF demanded an apology from Omatseye.
However, darts were thrown in the way of former Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Lagos State, who they alleged sponsored the said article against the Awolowos.
The YUF said it â€œconsidered the haughty and unapologetic posture of Omatseye and his sponsors since the infamous publication as even more offensive and more irritating and warned that only God and the people can confer leadership on any individual, and not his wealth.
â€œThe forum calls on Omatseye to tender an unreserved apology to the Yoruba and the Awolowo familyâ€¦, and should be prepared for any consequences if they fail to apologise.â€
The YUF condemned killing of Yorubas in the various ethno-religious crises in the North and warned of reprisal attacks in the event of future attacks.
The meeting attracted prominent figures in Yorubaland like former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Prince Bola Ajibola, former Health Minister, Professor Adenike Grange and ex-governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande.
Former Western region administrator, Gen. Akin Aduwo, Gen. Oladipupo Diya, among others attended the meeting.