The National Executive Council of Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), on Thursday, elected Justice Ademola Bakre (rtd) as its new president.
The YCE disclosed in a communique read by Bakre and Dr Kunle Olajide, the council’s Secretary-General respectively after the council’s meeting held at its National Secretariat in Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that Bakre after his election became the fourth president of the foremost Yoruba council.
The council expressed appreciation to all who contacted the council during the unconstitutional suspension of Olajide as Secretary-General, describing the period as a ‘storm in the tea cup’.
According to the Communique, the meeting paid glowing tributes to the memory of the third and immediate Past President of the Council, Chief Idowu Sofola, (SAN).
“It thereafter unanimously appointed, in the tradition of the Council, Justice Ademola Bakre (rtd) as the fourth President of the Council.
“This is after due consideration of his experience in public administration, judiciary and his fatherly role in the council.”
“The meeting noted the efforts of Col. Samuel Agbede, who oversee the council’s affairs since 2018 as interim president.
“The Council appeals to all aggrieved elders to bury the hatchet and come together in the interest of the Yoruba Nation and Nigeria.”
The YCE called on Presidentt Muhammadu Buhari to revisit the 2014 National Conference report and the El-Rufai Committee report on devolution of powers.
According to the council, it commends Mr President for suspending RUGA initiatives. We are advising him to revisit the 2014 National Conference reports and the El-Rufai Committee report on devolution of powers without delay.
“We hope to see possible relevant bills aimed at commencing the process and forwarded to the National Assembly,” it said.
The council noted the palpable tension in the country arising from the frightening state of insecurity, which has now gravitated from North East and gradually enveloping the six zones of the country.
The YCE lamented the tragic stories of kidnapping for ransom, murder, herdsmen, farmers clashes, which now adorn the media virtually everyday.
“YCE acknowledges that grazing routes of the pre-independence era and the first Republic have been wiped off and in most cases taken over by Housing Estates.
“Nomadic grazing is therefore no longer feasible because the cattle would destroy farmland and impoverish our people, who are predominantly farmers. Some of the herders have been known to kill, abduct and rape our women.
“Therefore, YCE calls on the state legislators in the Yoruba states; Kwara and Kogi inclusive as a matter of urgency to enact laws outlawing nomadic grazing in the Yoruba states.”
On the recent murder of Mrs Funke Olakunrin, the daughter of Afenifere leader, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, YCE urged Yoruba states to deploy technology in monitoring their forests and flush out criminals masquerading as herdsmen.
NAN reports that while the Council were meeting, about four vehicles of policemen were stationed within and around its Secretatiat to forestall breakdown of law and order.
However, Col. Agbede, interim president, described the decision to appoint a new president for the council as a charade and mother of all jokes.
According to him, they have no credibility and the purportedly elected person is from Ogun State, the same state where the late President, Chief Idowu Sofola (SAN) hailed from.
“That is injustice and it cannot stand. They are not serious people. The purportedly elected president had initially conceded the position to me.
“Both the said new president and Prof. Oluwasanmi have surreptituously been disturbing the council.
“The Secretary that convened the meeting has been suspended and lacked the legal backing to call the meeting.”
He said that a secretary cannot call a meeting without the permission of the president, adding that whatever might have been done remains illegal, null and void and of no effect.
He said that a proper National Executive Council meeting will hold next week during which proper reaction to the theatre of absurd will be made.
NAN reports that the council held its Thursday meeting under tight security to forestall possible breakdown of law and order.