By DR. Franklyn Akinyosoye
I read somewhere an Article titled.. “Yoruba ronù” The writer tries to express my fear more vividly than I would have done. He warned Yorubas of the impending doom. If they fail to positively change their perspectives. He informed the Yorubas that 70% of local Rice come from the North, and so on for fruits, cereals even spices.
After reading such I decided to add my voice.
You know I was thinking about this throughout last week. We just claim to have education and have the corporate businesses, if Nigeria should break up today, we will be in for in. Inflation will almost kill us before our economy becomes stable. Except if we separate in peace and continue to trade.
The Yoruba race is the most cosmopolitan, free, accomodating and liberal of the races in Nigeria.
We are the ones who want to partner with everyone and want to live in peace because we don’t like war. Even our movies now Igbos and Edos are taking over. Its so annoying how I see Igbo films not even a single outsider but our own even Ghanians.
The banks we own, anyone can be MD, see all the ones owned by Igbos, Zenith doesn’t hide it. We use to pride ourselves to dominate the banking industry, today Igbos have taking over, Fidelity, Access, Aenith, UBA.
But, what I am seeing if we are not careful, with all our pride of Oodua country and so on, may we not be the weeping child of the fragmentation if any. It might just be better to stop making noise and calling for Oodua and structure ourselves into mainstream completely and go back to correct our mistakes. Even education today, we are no longer first.
Back to farming
Why am saying so.
1. We are so liberal we marry from everywhere. Our women and our men.
2. Our children can’t even speak our language. Mine especially, culturally we have diluted. 90% Igbo marry Igbo, men and women. Ondos especially we marry everywhere and anywhere, but bad for coexistence but what about our culture? Our tradition, our ways and ethos? If we must all drift to our zones today, we will be the hardest hit.
3. We have left farming. We are so engrossed in education, white and blue collar jobs that we don’t even see agriculture as business let alone using it to feed.
4. Even the little farming we do we do mainly cash crops and not grains, cereals, tubers etc; majorly cocoa, palm oil, timber and rubber have died completely.
5. The government has relegated our cash crops as a focus and I see it as a deliberate act, I might be wrong though. Look at all the major interventions, they are related to staple food found in the north. I play a key role in that field so let me list them. Heavy intervention on rice, cotton, cassava, grains, shea butter, tomatoes, sesame etc
6. All our agro factories or processing plants in the southwest are dependent on north for raw materials.
7. Meat based Protein comes from north. Cattle rearing, goatery etc.
8. Our children go abroad to school and stay there, those that schooled here we still want to send them there to continue, their own go there and come back to get good employment in public service or go into politics etc.
9. 60% of all farm related government interventions, whether loans or assistance or guarantees both from government and international donors focus largely on North Eest and North East.
10. The way the North rush to access these loans, they go all out seeking the loans without apologies. They are so confident they will get it and they actually do. Even the interventions (both local and international) its as if it is do or die. Our brothers do not care, they go to commercial banks instead and pay interest as high as 30% while the northerners do 9% with these donors or government loans. Even with all the noise about these loans and interventions only a few Yorubas believe the loans and interventions exist. When they want to access the loan, our people will be speaking English, spend time arguing with processes and procedures, some will even refuse to pay service fees, claiming they can do the processing themselves. Some will tell you they dont trust the government and so cant take their loans.
We should be ready for what is to come, even the education the Igbos are beating us to it now. Scholarships in Lagos are gotten by other tribes because we are liberal. In the north their scholarship is theirs no outsider gets it. In PTDF 65% of the scholarship goes to ….. your guess is as good as mine, but the money comes from petroleum or crude.
We need to urgently go back to Agriculture. Farming is it for Nigeria and successive governments have been investing in it and only those who are enlightened are there to harness it. We must visit our educational standard again. We must ask why we are losing grip on banking and the corporate world, the international community organisations. We are losing our competitiveness and the grounds we are losing everywhere are swiftly picked up by others.
Our children who run abroad we must find a way to enlighten them about coming back to build here. We will wake up one day, we would have lost so much ground, we will be playing catch up in a country we once led in almost all categories.
I know this might be a little bit offensive to other tribes, but please bear with me, I am talking to my kindred.