SOUTHWEST indigenes were yesterday encouraged to refuse domination by other regions as prominent Yoruba monarchs and political leaders converged on the ancient city of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital to honour of former Premier of the region, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
It was at the publication presentation of the Yoruba translation of his autobiography titled: “AWO” by Alaroye.
The book presentation held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, drew prominent royal fathers and leaders, including: Olubadan of Ibadan Oba Saliu Adetunji; Alaafin of Oyo Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi; Onimeko of Imeko Oba Benjamin Alabi and Aare Ona Kankanfo of Yorubaland Gani Adams; Yinka Odumakin.
Also there were Oyo State Deputy Governor Rauf Olaniyan; Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosumu and a Yoruba Imam in Ilorin, Sheik Abdulraheem Aduranigba.
Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosumu, one of the daughters of the late sage, expressed happiness at the turnout of traditional rulers and important personalities at the event.
She, however, expressed reservation at absence of the Southwest governors, who according to her, were all invited.
Mrs. Awolowo-Dosumu said that only Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde sent his deputy to represent him.
She said: “We call this gathering in the name of our father, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. I am so delighted to see the Alaafin of Oyo here. Awolowo was the premier of the western region which covers eight states of the present government.
“It is disheartening that only one state governor sent a representative. I don’t know whether the governors do not like Chief Awolowo.
“I encourage Yoruba elders to be visionary and not forsake their visions. Awolowo never forsook his vision for the Yoruba race, and that’s why we’re all benefitting from it.”
The guest speaker at the event, Prof Banji Akintoye encouraged young Yoruba people to emulate the late Chief Awolowo and continue with his legacies.
He stirred up the consciences of Yoruba people to reject being dominated by people from other regions in Nigeria.
Akintoye said: “We thank Alaroye for this. This is a wakeup call to the Yoruba race, so that our nation the Yoruba nation will not be brought down by anybody.
“It is enough that we have been submerged in Nigeria as a county, nevertheless, we should not allow the submergence to destroy us.
“There is an intention by a small group of people to reduce the Yoruba race.
“It is a deliberate attempt by the few people to destroy the people of Nigeria. The Yoruba people must not permit.
“We must continue with our culture of hospitality, but, if anybody or any group threatens our land, we have the strength and power to expunge them from our land, and we will.”
Alaroye publisher Adedayo Alao told reporters that the event was organised to give the Yoruba people the opportunity to bear their mind to their leaders.
“The security situation is getting worse by the day. Truly, things are happening. The public was not invited to the security summit that held on Tuesday. It’s not fair and not in the interest of the Yoruba people. If our people are harsh now, it is because we have been neglected.”