By Wilson Adekumola
The former deputy leader of the Yoruba Nation’s agitator, who left Nigeria in May 2022, Professor Wale Adeniran has returned to Nigeria from exile.
Adeniran, who alongside Professor Banji Akintoye; his wife and daughter, left Nigeria in May 2021 to the Republic of Benin, announced in a statement he personally signed and made available to journalists on Saturday, the formation of the Association of Progressive Professionals and Academics, a body, according to him, comprised of his former colleagues in the academics, medical science and business world.
He stated that he returned home to work with like-minds on how to make Yorubaland a land of prosperity and the shining light of Africa.
Adeniran revealed that APPA held its inaugural meeting during the week at OBAFEMI Awolowo University, Ile/Ife, Osun-State to reappraise the state of development in Yoruba Land and reached a consensus to support Tinubu administration in order to correct the anomalies of previous government against the Yoruba people.
Parts of the statement directed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu read, “I bring to you sincere and warm felicitations on your landmark electoral victory as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
“Your inauguration as President of Nigeria on Monday, May 29, 2023 was unprecedented, in the sense that, in the political history of Nigeria, you are the first Yoruba politician to attain the feat of becoming a duly elected political Head of Nigeria.”
“Mr. President, we salute your uncommon courage, bravery, tenacity , ingenuity and political sagacity in navigating the complex Nigerian political terrain. In the face of seemingly insurmountable odds you demonstrated an uncanny sense of humor.”
“We wish to recall that just as you played a pivotal role in the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) during the Abacha era in the struggle to ensure the restoration of democratic rule in Nigeria, and even going into exile, some of us have been in the forefront of the struggle for Yoruba self-determination in recent times when we felt that our people were confronted with an existential threat.”
“However, your victory at the polls in February 2023 has led us to feel that perhaps the Nigerian situation is not irredeemable, after all. Furthermore, the issues highlighted in your inauguration address as deserving of priority attention by your administration, namely, security, poverty, jobs, electricity, among others, have led us to believe that your administration will right the wrongs of the past and make Nigeria safe and habitable once again for all of us.”
“It is noteworthy and reassuring that you have identified security as top priority of your administration.”
“Therefore, we of APPA have resolved to repose confidence in you, Mr. President, to support and work with you to ensure that you make Nigeria a better place for us, for our children and future generations.”
“We are further emboldened to give you our unalloyed support when we recall your glittering record of achievements as Governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007.”
“In addition, you have always done what many had thought was undoable, and you have always made a way where many would think there was no way. Talk of the can-do spirit of one man!”
“At this Juncture, Mr. President, we feel compelled to call your attention to the parlous state of the education system in the country. A case in point is the extent to which our universities have been battered and made to fall into disrepute under the uncaring watch of previous administrations.”
“The entire university workforce , especially the academics are now thoroughly demoralized.”
“Considering the overriding importance of the university as the engine that drives innovations that fuel national development the current depressing situation of our universities must be redressed very urgently.”
“Facilities in our universities must be upgraded and expanded so that many more qualified candidates can be offered admission into these institutions.”
“There should be a massive injection of funds into the university system to boost the morale of staff and students so as to enable them to churn out innovative ideas that would propel technological development.”
“This will encourage Nigerian scholars in foreign countries to make their way back home and contribute their quota to national development. And, our youths will no longer be compelled to ‘japa’ in search of some illusionary greener pastures in alien climes.”
“The task before you, Mr. President, is enormous. It is in recognition of this that we, members of the Association of Progressive Professionals and Academics, hereby pledge our unflinching support for your administration and we wish you a resoundingly successful tenure as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”