Yoruba elders under the aegis of Yoruba Unity Forum (YUF) while addressing a world press conference in Ibadan on Wednesday accused President Goodluck Jonathan of favoring other sections of the country to the detriment of the South-West geo-political zone in the appointment of top government officials.
At the conference were Bishop Bolanle Gbonigi, Senator Bode Olajumoke, Senator Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele, Senator Mojisoluwa Akinfenwa, Senator Femi Okurounmu, Tokunbo Ajasin, Chief Olu Falae, and Chief Biola Ogundokun, among others.
The elders decried the sack of Yoruba sons and daughters in federal agencies such as the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and their replacement with 107 staffers from the South-East region. They alleged that the Jonathan administration was set to implement a “Yoruba ethnic cleansing”.
They added that the Yoruba do not deserve the humiliation it is getting from President Jonathan who was massively voted for in the region in 2011.
In the statement read by Chief Falae, the YUF alleged the Yorubas were sidetracked in the appointment and control of the apex political offices.
He listed the topmost positions in the country as that of the President, Vice-President, Senate President, Speaker, House of Representatives, Chief Justice of the Federation, Deputy Senate President, Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, acting President, Court of Appeal, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief of Staff to the President, Office of the National Security Adviser, and Head of Service of the Federation.
Falae said none of these offices was being occupied by a Yoruba person.
The elders also made reference to the sacking of eight general managers of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, six of whom were Yoruba, by the Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella Oduah, in October 2012,
The forum stated, “All attempts to meet the President and discuss the issue at a roundtable were fruitless as he made several unfulfilled promises to address the issue to date.
“In the days of the late President Umar Yar’Adua administration when he was incapacitated by illness and there was reluctance to make Jonathan acting President, it was predominantly Yoruba activists who led the march on the National Assembly to force our lawmakers to pronounce Jonathan acting President.
“When he chose to run for the presidency, he got the enthusiastic endorsement of many Yoruba progressives, especially the leadership of Yoruba Unity Forum.
“When Jonathan made a gaffe at a campaign rally in Ibadan, referring to some South-West governors as rascals, he sent a placatory delegation to Ikenne and the Yoruba leadership rose to his defence in a non-partisan manner.”
The YUF, which said it had earlier met with the president on the issues without any results, charged him to rise to the demands of his office and rule as the president of all Nigerians, including the Yoruba people.