The Yoruba- speaking nation of Nigeria has been accepted as the 45th member of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO), according to foremost historian, Professor Banji Akintoye.
Professor Banji Akintoye on Tuesday announced that the
the latest development represented a very important step in the collective quest of well-meaning Yoruba people to achieve the goal of dignity and self-determination.
UNPO, formed on 11 February, 1991 in The Hague, Netherlands, is an international membership-based organisation established to empower the voices of unrepresented and marginalised peoples worldwide and to protect their fundamental human rights, with members comprising indigenous peoples, minorities, unrecognised peoples or peoples of occupied territories.
Akintoye, who is the Yoruba Leader and President-General of Yoruba World Congress (YWC), revealed this in an electronic statement made available to newsmen, disclosing further that the Yoruba-speaking nation membership of the international body was contained in a letter addressed to him through the YWC Coordinator for Europe by her Secretary-General, Ralph Bunche.
The YWC President-General, while expressing joy at the development, said the membership offered the Yoruba nation a voice on the international stage via the machinery of the international body which maintains a permanent presence before the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) and the United States of America.
According to him, also with the latest development, the Yoruba nation, just like the Catalonian people of Spain, can put forth their organs of representation such as a people’s parliament and an indigenous people’s government “with a flag as our symbol.”
Akintoye, who is a Second Republic senator, further disclosed that the membership of UNPO affords the Yoruba nation an opportunity to participate in advocacy training, worldwide cultural festivals, election monitoring/observation, and sports activities, among the unrepresented nations.
Akintoye recalled that some formerly unrecognised nations who were members of UNPO but were now independent nations and members of the United Nations, include Armenia, East Timor, Estonia, Latvia, Georgia and Palau, stressing that the international body, like many others, had the capacity to help Yoruba nation achieve its goals within the Nigerian Federation.
“Some former members, such as Armenia, East Timor, Estonia, Latvia, Georgia and Palau have gained full independence and have joined the United Nations (UN) as full members.
“The peoples represented within the UNPO membership are all united by one shared condition: they are denied their equitable level of representation and voice in the institutions of the countries to which they currently belong and in international governance.
“As a consequence, their opportunity to participate on the national or international stage is limited and unfair, and they struggle against difficulties in their effort to realise their rights to civil and political participation and to control their own economic, social and cultural development.
“In many cases, they live under pressure of the worst forms of violence and repression, such as is being perpetrated by armed Fulani herdsmen and Fulani militias, as well as by terrorist Boko Haram, against many peoples of Nigeria, including our Yoruba nation; which violence and repression are being adroitly and surreptitiously supported by the government of Nigeria. In some cases, members of UNPO need serious help because they live in countries and under governments that actively resist their progress and destroy their achievements, as our Yoruba nation lives in Nigeria.
“The UNPO is able to address issues that often remain hidden because UNPO has the freedom to raise issues that others cannot raise due to political or funding constraints. Today, UNPO has more than 40 member-nations,” YWC President-General further recalled.
OONI LAUDS AREGBESOLA @ 63, CALLS HIM AN EPITOME OF LOYALTY
Arole Oduduwa & Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II has described the Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola as a great icon of public service and epitome of loyalty that must always found worthy of celebrations.
Ooni Ogunwusi who doubles as the permanent chairman of Osun state council of Obas and Co-chairman of National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria(NCTRN) spoke in a press statement released by his Director of Media & Public Affairs, Comrade Moses Olafare congratulating Ogbeni Aregbesola on his 63rd birthday.
“Congratulations from The Arole Oodua Olofin Adimula, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi to the Minister of Interior, Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Ogbeni Adesoji Rauf Aregbesola on his 63rd Birthday Anniversary.
The statement reads; “Ogbeni Aregbesola as a comrade, you started with student’s right activism over four decades ago. As a proponent of democratic rule, you in the 90s participated in the several pro-June 12 struggles which led to the enthronement of civil rule in 1999.
“You have since 1999 lived for the people through your sterling public service performances, first as Commissioner For Works and Infrastructure in Lagos state from 1999 to 2006, followed by your emergence as Governor of the state Osun from 2010 to 2018 and your current position as Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in charge of Interior through which you oversee very sensitive sections of Nigeria’s internal security like Immigration, Civil Defense, Fire service, Correctional service among other responsibilities.
“RAUF, you are indeed a great descendant of Oduduwa and a Nigerian patriot with incorruptible Pan Africanism for which you are always worthy to be celebrated. You are an Omoluwabi per excellence, a down-to-earth grassroot politician with incredibly huge followership, a great promoter of our cultural values and heritage, an icon of people oriented public service and an epitome of loyalty.”
Ooni, the foremost African monarch and Yoruba’s Natural leader prayed for good heath and longevity for Aregbesola who is the immediate past of the state of Osun.
“My dear Ogbeni, may the Almighty Olodumare keep upholding your entire household as you gloriously clock 63 today.
“We also pray the rest of your journey on this earth shall be characterized by sound health, meaningful long life and immeasurable prosperity.
Igba odun odun kan
Afon a gbo ko to wo
Happy 63rd Birthday!!!” Ooni prayed.
EID-EL FITRI: OONI CONGRATULATES MUSLIMS, SAYS THERE IS ALWAYS A REASON TO CELEBRATE
The Arole Oduduwa & Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II has congratulated Muslims in Nigeria and across the world especially those of Yoruba origin as the holy month of Ramadan comes to an end with the annual Eid-el Fitri celebration.
In a statement by his Director of Media and Public Affairs, Comrade Moses Olafare, the Ooni who is the Co-Chairman, National Council of Traditional Rulers explained that there are reasons to celebrate and thank the Almighty Allah for His goodness and mercies in every situations.
“Celebration here is not the conventional merriment of social gathering as we all know that there is an order against that especially in this situation we are all face with globally. The Ooni says we should celebrate in our various homes with our families by remembering Allah and why we should not give up in our hope of a better tomorrow.
“God in His infinite mercy shall accept our fasting and prayers including those we said against the rampaging coronavirus and other enemies of humanity. We’ve been through a lot together and we can’t but be grateful to God for keeping us.
“Although it is regrettable to realize that we cannot gather like before especially for the annual congregational prayers but we must make the best out of what we have while we hope and pray to be part of the brighter future.” The Ooni said.
In the same vein, the Natural leader of the Oduduwa race worldwide urged Nigerians to keep supporting the government in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic by observing the laid down precautionary measures including maintenance of social distancing, personal hygiene, regular hand washing and others.
African Guarantee Fund Announces Response to Economic Impact of COVID-19
African Guarantee Fund for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (AGF), has today announced its COVID-19 response aimed at reducing the uncertainties facing financial institutions in Africa as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic. AGF’s COVID-19 response is built on the imperative need for commercial solutions over and above the regulatory efforts already provided by the various central banks and governments in the continent.
African Guarantee Fund’s response sets the platform for economic stabilization, followed by an economic revival through AGF’s newly developed COVID-19 Guarantee Facility that will, firstly, provide more comfort to financial institutions to restructure facilities that become non-performing because of COVID-19 and, secondly, provide commercial stimulus to the financial sector with the aim of mitigating the deterioration of SMEs’ perceived risk.
Commenting on the announcement, AGF CEO, Mr. Felix Bikpo said, “The consequences of COVID-19 pandemic will continue to have escalating negative effects on SMEs in Africa both on the supply and demand sides. Consequently, we must assume that there follows a deterioration of these SMEs’ creditworthiness. This is likely to increase the cost of credit for the financial sector which will surely increase their reluctance to finance the SME sector if there is no external stimulus. It is because of this that we must develop a commercial response in addition to the regulatory responses given by the different central banks and governments in the continent. Therefore, in line with our mandate we have launched the COVID-19 Guarantee Facility.”
AGF will also continue to use its technical assistance support to increase the capacity of financial institutions in their risk assessment of SMEs during the crisis period. This will allow analyzing the impact of the pandemic on the financial institutions, so as to forge the best possible responses to adapt effectively.
The African Guarantee Fund recently received a third time AA- Rating by Fitch, which was first assigned in November 2017, a first for a guarantee fund in Africa.
“This exceptional rating is a sign of confidence and trust in AGF’s operational excellence, particularly now that financial institutions are in need of cushioning to continue lending to SMEs, who hold the key to the economic recovery of their respective countries,” concluded AGF CEO, Mr. Felix Bikpo.
Since inception, AGF has boosted SME lending in Africa by issuing guarantees to financial institutions thereby unlocking loans worth USD 2.5 Billion.
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