Yoruba Nation agitation: YCE, IOO disagree over S-West govs’ position
THE Yoruba Council of Elders, YCE, and the apex body of Yoruba self-determination struggle, Ilana Omo Oduduwa, IOO, Worldwide, yesterday, expressed divergent views over the position of the South-West Governors’ Forum on Yoruba Nation agitation.
While the IOO lampooned the governors for being paranoid over the popularity of the Yoruba Nation agitation, the YCE promised to support a united Nigeria, but warned that nature will speak for itself if the situation in the country remains unabated.
It will be recalled that the Yoruba rights activist, Sunday Adeyemo, fondly called Sunday Igboho, held a rally in Akure, Ondo State, last weekend, claiming that they have the support of the state governor for the rally.
But Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, however, disowned Yoruba Nation agitators, declaring that the agitators are on their own.
Akeredolu, who is chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum, said that he would never support the “secessionist agenda and or balkanization of the nation.”
But reacting to the Ondo governor’s remarks, the leader of Ilana of Omo Oodua, Dr Adewale Adeniran, in a statement, said the South West governors are “paranoid seeing the popularity of the agitation for Yoruba/Oduduwa Nation among the Yoruba populace at home and abroad.”
Adeniran said: “Those who are familiar with Arakunrin Akeredolu say the use of uncouth language is his stock in trade especially when he is inebriated. He even went as far as inciting the Police, whose welfare their Governments have always neglected, against peaceful agitators, labelling the activities of Yoruba freedom fighters as treasonable. It appears Akeredolu and his fellow Yoruba Governors are beginning to get paranoid seeing the popularity of the agitation for Yoruba/Oduduwa Nation among the Yoruba populace at home and abroad.”
The statement reads in part: “It is extremely laughable that in Akeredolu’s verbiage under reference, he stated, on behalf of himself and his colleagues, that the opportunity for presidency to come to the South, especially the Southwest, is around the corner.
“One is inclined to ask Akeredolu if the presidency has not come to the Southwest not long ago. Of what benefit was it to the Yoruba people? Are the Yoruba Governors unaware of the fact that the 1999 Nigerian Constitution is heavily skewed against the South, and in favour of the North? What seems obvious from the pro-Nigeria pronouncements of the Yoruba Governors is the fact that they are motivated by base considerations such as lust for office as Senator, Minister as well as blind greed and excessive love of filthy lucre from the centralized national treasury in Abuja, all at the expense of the security and wellbeing of the Yoruba people who elected them into office. They do not care about the pitiable plight of the Yoruba people, the marginalization, humiliation, and brutalization the Yoruba people have been subjected to since 1960 and which have grown worse in the past seven to eight years.”
“Therefore, Akeredolu and his musketeers’ anger and sabre rattling against Yoruba/Oduduwa nationalists is misdirected. Since they appear to be smarting for a fight they should head to the forests in Yorubaland where Fulani terrorists have set up shop for some time now. Because Yoruba Nation agitators are not armed, we will not be able to accompany them to the forests. They can be sure that we shall forever hail them as patriots whether they return or not.
“Therefore, it is foolhardy or outrightly foolish for any Governor, whether arakunrin or arabinrin to engage in the delusion of stopping or standing in the way of those of us agitating for the creation of a sovereign Yoruba Nation, a nation of about 60 million people with the highest literacy rate in Black Africa.
“We, who are agitating for a sovereign Yoruba Nation separate from Nigeria, know what it takes to birth our new country. We have embarked on it and there is no looking back. “Nothing, not even a mighty mountain, will stand in the Yoruba nation’s way; it will become a level plain before us”, he stated.
But the YCE, which spoke through its General Secretary, Oladipo Oyewole said the elders will support a united Nigeria but warned that nature will speak for itself if the situation in the country remains unabated.
Oyewole said: “The position of YCE is for a consolidated united Nigeria but if the situation we are in continues unabated, nature will speak for itself. As I speak with you, for all political reasons, we believe in a united Nigeria for the good of all. We are not supporting Afenifere because Afenifere, as far as we are concerned is a political group. We are non-political.”