Participants at the Yoruba summit organised by the Yoruba Patriots Movement have called for unity among the people with a demand that forests in the South-West should not be turned into grazing zones in order to ensure improved security in the region.
The participants drawn from the six states of the South-West and representatives of Yoruba communities in Kwara, Kogi, Edo and Delta states said in a communiqué issued at the end of the summit held in Ibadan on Thursday, that they were in support of the steps taken by Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, to rid the forest reserves in his state of criminals.
The communiqué was signed by the National Coordinator of Yoruba Patriots Movement, Mr Oladosu Oladipo; Chief Tunde Balogun, Adebayo Adeboye, Senator Soji Akanbi, Rotimi Paseda and Mr Taiwo Akeju, among others.
Participants, who spoke at the summit, emphasized the need for a new constitution that would usher in a restructured federalism which they said was needed for even development of the country.
The communiqué read in part, “Summit reiterated the position of Ondo State Government that forests across the South-West should not be turned into grazing zones. Summit encourages groups or individuals interested in cattle business to undergo legitimate processes of acquiring lands for ranching to be operated under relevant laws and regulations as may be deemed necessary by the respective states.
“The summit therefore resolved to work in collaboration with stakeholders across political camps for the realisation of the objective of supporting ambition of politicians from the South-West to offer genuine leadership to Nigerians at the federal level.
“The summit resolved to support the presidential ambition of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“The summit demanded a new constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to reflect the demands for a restructured federalism which guarantees accountable governance, security and welfare of the generality of the people as well as to enhance accelerated development across Nigeria.
“The summit observed that in spite of threats and insidious signals constituted by obvious imbalances in the current federal system, there has been conscious attempts at denying the reality; and by so doing frustrate demands for restructuring as panacea for rescuing Nigerian project from precipice.”
Osun State Governor, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, whose speech was read by the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Dr Adebisi Obawale, said, “It is important we reflect and share ideas on how to further mainstream the call for true fiscal federalism and what we must do to build a Nigeria that is founded on equity, fairness and justice.