The Convener of the Pan-Yoruba social-cultural group, Yoruba Mandate Group (YMG), Akogun Banji Ojo has described as an insult to the Yorubas the call for the removal of the All Progressive Congress APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s name from the list of prominent Nigerians on whose names some Railway stations were recently renamed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
President Buhari had recently renamed some railway stations after some prominent Nigerians in recognition of their contributions to the development of the country. The Apapa railway station was however, renamed after Tinubu, Ebute-Metta Railway Station renamed after the late Mobalji Johnson, Agege Station was renamed after Babatunde Raji Fashola Ibadan station was renamed after, Obafemi Awolowo among others.
Workers and union in the Nigerian Railway Corporation NRC have however, agitated for the removal of Bola Tinubu from the list. Nigeria Union of Railwaymen NUR, in a statement signed by its Secretary General, Mr Segun Esan on Wednesday demanded that the Apapa Railway Station which was renamed after Tinubu be reversed to its original name Waziri Mohammed Railway Station.
In a statement signed by the Yoruba Mandate Group, Director of Media and Communication, Otunba Sayo Akintola in Ibadan on Friday, Akogun Banji Ojo described the call as ”uncharitable, provocative and totally in bad faith”. He alleged that the union was being used by some elements in the Northern part of the country to malign one of the Yoruba leaders, stressing that his Group would use every legitimate means to resist move which he said was politically motivated.
Emerging from the Worldwide Global video conferencing by the group, Banji Ojo disclosed that it was resolved that YMG would no longer stand akimbo and watch any individual or group of persons tarnish the image of Yoruba leaders, irrespective of party affiliation.
He said ”no one would be allowed to ridicule our traditional institutions like the Obas, including our past public office holders with unblemished records and go unpunished”, adding, ”enough is enough”
”Anybody who tries to disgrace Yoruba leaders will henceforth face the wrath of the group and our ancestors”, he warned. He however, added that this did not exclude any Yoruba sons and daughters who delight in dragging the reputation of Yoruba leaders in the mud for pecuniary gain. .
” You can’t see any Hausa man abuse any of his leaders on the pages of newspapers no matter the area of political difference”, noted Banji Ojo, stressing ”it’s high time we fostered unity amongst ourselves and stop attacking one another”
He however, commended President Buhari for the initiative to immortalize prominent Yoruba leaders while they are still alive rather than singing their praise after their demise. Admonishing the president to ignore those calling for the expunging of Tinubu’s name from the list, he pointed out that the president’s action would serve as an incentive for others to excel in their respective areas of human endeavour to earn such recognition in future.
Yoruba Mandate Group YMG is in the Southwest of Nigeria including Kogi and Kwara States with a large presence in over 40 countries around the world.