The Congress of the pan Yoruba socio-cultural and political organization, Coalition of Oodua Self-determination Group (COSEG), met on Friday, February 28, 2020 to review the activities of the group in the past 14 years.
At the end of it’s deliberation, the Congress dissolved the 14 years old Caretaker Committee under the leadership of Comrade Dayo Ogunlana and set up a 3-Man Steering Committee.
The Steering Committee that has the former General Secretary, Comrade Razaq Olokoba as the Covener also has Comrades Akin Busanyin and Wale Balogun as Secretary and Political Secretary respectively.
The mandate given to them, according to a statement jointly signed by the trio, included but not limited to refocusing the group to achieve it’s primary objectives which include regional autonomy.
The lengthy statement reads this:
“The Yoruba nation was forcefully merged with other ethnic nationality groups to form the Southern Protectorate in 1906 same way our consent was not sought for in the 1914 amalgamation the British Northern Protectorate to become what is now known as the Nigeria.
“Our forebears fought the contraption till flag independence was achieved in 1960. The British colonialists ensured that power was entrusted to the conservative feudal North in order to sustain their stranglehold on the neocolonial state.
“Ethnicity, tribalism, religious cleavages, inept leadership, greed, lack of vision and other primordial considerations were consciously planted among us to make sure the attainment of nationhood remain a mirage. It was against this background that a 3 year civil war was fought while the military usurped political power to serve hegemonic interest of the political North and their Commssioned agents in the South, The resolve of the Nigerian downtrodden to regenerate Nigeria anew was aborted when General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida annulled the fairest, freest and most credible election in Nigeria history unarguably won by Chief MKO Abiola, a Yoruba.
“Our people resisted the criminal annulment of the June 12, 1993 elections from different fronts. It was in this process that the first Yoruba self-determination group, the Oodua Youth Movement (OYM) came into being. And to truncate the quest for our self-determination, the ruling class of Nigeria dangled a carrot by conceding the 1998 presidential elections to Yoruba candidates.
“But the move was a palliative too little and too late as other groups heard the clarion call of the OYM, thus the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) and Oodua Liberation Movement (OLM) emerged, while Yoruba Revolutionary Movement (YOREM), Federation of Yoruba Consciousness and Consciousness (FYCC) and later Oodua Republic Front (ORF) came into being as splinter groups of the factionalised OPC then enmeshed in fratricidal warfare and violence.
“To stop the orgy of violence, Yoruba self-determination group formed an alliance named Coalition of Oodua Self-Determination Groups (COSEG), to redirect the self-determination agenda, to serve as a clearing house to resolve possible conflicts that may arise, and for collaborations on programmes to achieve their strategic goal, which is social emancipation and regional autonomy for the Yoruba within or outside a reconstituted federal union.
“Late Comrade Rotimi Obadofin and Comrade Wale Balogun emerged as National Coordinator and General Secretary respectively among others to form a collegiate leadership. The need to rejig the leadership structure led to Wale Balogun mandate as Secretary General of the coalition.
“It should be noted that Wale Balogun and his organisation YOREM left the COSEG due to some irreconcilable disagreement over matters of strategy. It should also be noted that one of the guiding principles of the coalition was and still is that members can only be sanctioned by their organisation with strong directive from the collegiate leadership to do so. The exit of YOREM as a result of the above brought a change in the leadership.
“This development led to the birth of Dayo Ogunlana-led Caretaker Committee, with a 3 month mandate in 2006 to restructure the coalition, a simple one point task he has failed to do 14years after. This is a typical characteristic of love for leadership without correspondent responsibilities before sliding to become a despot.
“Lack of harmonised positions on developments within the Yoruba nation with the leadership speaking in discordant tunes led to conflict, which could be attributed to the transmuted caretaker committee leadership’s failure to hold periodic meetings in line with the tradition of COSEG from inception.
“The interventions by founding leaders of COSEG and some Yoruba leaders proved abortive as Dayo Ogunlana demobilised attendance of meetings by his own followers to resolve the crises. Rather, he stuck to his unprincipled position that the Caretaker General secretary- Razak Olokooba and other prominent leaders of the coalition remained suspended for being firm on a long demand for restructuring as the original task of the Caretaker Committee.
“We wish to reiterate here that members of the coalition can only be sanctioned by the organisation such members belong to, via a recommendation or directive from the coalition collegiate leadership.
“Cognisance of the crossroad Nigeria found herself at present, it is more than imperative to move the coalition forward, a vote of no confidence was passed on the sit-tight caretaker committee led by Dayo Ogunlana, and was dissolved. The member organisations of the coalition now put in place a 3 member steering committee with Rasak Olokooba as the Convener.
“It should be noted that Wale Balogun led YOREM was part of the process to resolve the crises orchestrated by Dayo Ogunlana in his unjust, alien and purported unilateral suspension of Razak Olookoba. YOREM voluntarily left COSEG and now returned to the fold after the issues that led to its departure has been resolved.
“It is more fundamental to note that the group has decided to play her historical role within the COSEG family at a time, insecurity of lives and property, armed banditry, kidnapping and herdsmen terrorism is the lot of the Yoruba people within Nigeria pseudo federal union.
“Having gone this far to clarify, THE PUBLIC should THEREFORE NOTE THAT DAYO OGUNLANA is no longer The Chairman Of COSEG not representing the Interest of COSEG. The dissolution of his 14 year caretaker committee stands. Whoever deals him does so at his own risk. We give everybody our assurance that we will never dignify him or any of his political siblings again in any way with a response no matter the blackmail. He has been a very big distraction. We stay committed to this path in the pursuit of a genuine struggle for Yoruba people.
“We remain committed to the social emancipation and regional autonomy of the Yoruba nation.
FATHER LAND,” the statement concluded.