A Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere Renewal Group, ARG, has described the process of selecting government delegates to the National Conference as political, saying it does not reflect the wish of the people of the South-West.
The ARG said ethnic nationalities and groups should have been given the freedom to select their representatives to the conference, which would be inaugurated on Monday by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The group said not all those selected to present the Yoruba nation in the South-West at the conference for instance, had the pre-requisite experience.
The ARG and seven other Yoruba groups had in a joint statement thy issued in Lagos last week said the delegates from the South-West were not the best the zone could offer. They described the final list as a “gathering of the good, the bad, and the ugly”.
The groups were the ARG, the Oodua Foundation, Oodua Nationalist Coalition, the Agbekoya Reformed Society, Oodua Peoples’ Congress, the Atayese, Covenant Group and the Afenifere Youth Forum.
The groups said the final list was different from the position of Yoruba leaders, including royal fathers, that the zone should be represented by its “First 11”.
National Publicity Secretary, ARG, Mr. Kunle Famoriyo, said despite the irregularities in the selection of delegates, the position of the Yoruba on certain national issues had been constant.
He said, “The ‘First 11’ we are talking about are those individuals who have been canvassing and have been seriously involved in asking for a sovereign national conference, who will know what to say at the conference, not anybody chosen for personality sake or based on relationship with the government at the centre.
“We are the people who are supposed to sit down and select our representatives. It’s like it is being given to some people based on their relationship or connection, whereas there are people who are versed in advocating for the conference, who have been sidelined”.
According to Famoriyo, the Yoruba had an agenda at the conference, which must be promoted by all delegates from the South-West. “If they (delegates) don’t do that, let them not come back home”, he warned.