By Eric Elezuo
The Yoruba World Congress (YWC), an umbrella body of Yoruba indigenes both at home and in the Diaspora, has successfully held meetings in all the local government areas of Yoruba origin in Nigeria.
The meetings, Which held simultaneously across over 200 local government areas of Yoruba speaking states including areas in Kwara, Kogi, Edo and Delta states, took place on Saturday under the leadership of Emeritus Prof Banji Akintoye, and supported by eminent Yoruba leaders such as Dr Amos Akingba and Chief Tola Adeniyi, among others who form part of the administrative arm. It was the first of its kind.
The Secretary-General of the body, Prof Anthony Kila, had earlier confirmed the meeting, noting that it would open a new page in the annals of history as the group, led by Prof Akintoye will be the first association in the world to hold meetings in all local government areas of Yoruba land at the same time on the same day aside churches and mosques.
The YWC Secretariat in Ibadan was also unveiled on the day as a highpoint of events. Recall that in June, the body initiated the YWC Global Library Project to preserve and promote Yoruba culture with Prof. Omofolabo Ajayi-Soyinka as head.
In his address at one of the centres of the meeting, Prof. Kila acknowledged the historic impact the initiative has made while expressing appreciations to as many that facilitated the realisation of the project including “various groups, individuals and state coordinators that make up the YWC that answered the call to serve and unite our people”.
The meetings Which were planned since March, according to Prof Kila and adhered strictly to the rules of social distancing as stipulated by the NCDC, did not make any nominations as it was basically held for the members to know one another.
Kila further observed that the group is creating a new dawn in Yoruba land aimed at harnessing a crop of leaders totally sold out to the progress of the land and its people
“It is a new dawn in Yoruba land and the Yoruba World Congress is putting together a crop of tomorrow leaders that are willing to give their time, ideas space and money to help Yoruba people. We thank you all and congratulate you for being part of such people,” he said.
While stating that YWC aims to promote, defend and achieve the collective growth and developmental aspirations and interests, prosperity, security, wellbeing, welfare and sustenance of Yoruba People and culture, Kila reiterated that establishing the group’s presence in the LGAs is with full “understanding and respect for local sensibilities as well as diversity of our groups”.
He added: “We want those that live in our community to meet themselves, know themselves, discuss what matters to them and later decide who will lead them by looking at who is most willing and capable.”
The Yoruba World Congress, with international Secretariat in Lagos, comprises Yoruba people and groups across the world, and aims to promote, defend and achieve the collective growth and developmental aspirations and interests, prosperity, security, wellbeing, welfare and sustenance of Yoruba People and culture.