Prominent Yoruba Diaspora group, Yoruba One Voice (YOV), said at the weekend that agitations for self determination will continue if the Federal Government didn’t address issues that have been threatening the foundation of Nigeria and also pitting the ethnic nationalities against one another.
YOV made this known at the fifth edition of its global conference held via zoom, where participants gathered from all the six continents.
The Yoruba diaspora group, while proffering solutions to the myriads of problems bedeviling Nigeria, also warned the Federal Government against clamping down on self determination agitators, insisting that it is the right of every ethnic nationality to seek justice,fair- play and good governance,as well as self determination, especially,when it becomes very necessary.
The Yoruba diaspora organisation also identified prolonged insecurity, bad economy, and loss of hope as recipe for seeking self autonomy by the various ethnic nationalities,
stating further that the present situation in the country is setting Nigeria up for an imminent break-up within two years.
In his remarks, Aare onakakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams, who is also the Grand Patron of the diaspora group, said the Yoruba quest for self autonomy or an independent nation should not be a crime, insisting that there are countries all over the world that sought their freedom peacefully.
He added that majority of Yoruba sons and daughters in the diaspora are seeking self determination because the experience back home is nothing but harrowing.
“If Nigeria were good, none of us would have sought the exit door from this country. We would have buried the cause of the struggle.
“But the struggle for a Yoruba nation became more prominent when it was obvious that Nigeria could not sustain the tempo of the ravaging unrest and economic downturn.
“When it was obvious that things have gone awrily. And the nation we always call ours has lost the battle to terrorists and bandits.
“And the country has eventually lost its soul. I think that is the reasons we are having agitations from the six geo- political zones.
The Yoruba generalissimo stated further that there are various options and approaches that are practically possible and realizable,
adding that history of the countries that had sought independence were enough to guide them in getting the demand.
“In seeking self determination, we are not ready to destroy the hard-earned glory and heritage of our forefathers.
“There are many options that are better than the present political arrangements.
“Like what happened between 1952 and 1959 in the Western region, when we had self government within Nigeria.
“Another option before the National Assembly that can only save Nigeria from imminent break-up within two years is regional autonomy for the six geo- political zones.
“However,if the two options mentioned above cannot sail through,every ethic nationality can seek self determination as the way out of this logjam.
“Without sounding immodest,it is obvious that majority of Yoruba, especially, those in the Diaspora are tired of this forced marriage .
“Perhaps,those that are against our calls for self determination are either not seeing what we see.
“Or they are not feeling the pain we feel because they are beneficiaries of the bad system that is ravaged by huge debt, increasing spate of insecurity, killings, kidnapping, raping and undemocratic culture of our leaders”
Meanwhile,Mr.Alex Oluwole Ajala, an elder statesman and historian from United Kingdom,who is one of the guest lecturers said the greatest mistake of the colonialist against Nigeria and Nigerians was the 1914 forced amalgamation, saying the composition of the various ethic nationalities in today’s Nigeria is the bane of the country.
“With the present situation in the country, people of Nigeria should not be called tribes but ethnic nationalities because that is the correct appellation for a multi ethnic country like Nigeria”.
Dr.Simon Wole Olatunji,who is the Chief Executive Officer of Usher Africa from United States of America,also spoke about the need for the Yoruba to be united,adding that the struggle for the liberation of Yoruba race is collective responsibility of all Yoruba sons and daughters.
“Let us form a strong alliance in the struggle to liberate our race.Let us stop the blame game.Stop blaming the leaders.All hands should be on deck toward achieving this noble ideals”.
Also Ms Bukky Taiwo, a Masters holder in Photography from United Kingdom, also urged all members of YOV to embark on aggressive
enlightenment at the grassroots on the advantages of having Yoruba nation.
She spoke about a special YouTube channel that highlights the advantage of a Yoruba nation.
“We should embark on aggressive awareness for the people at the grassroots.Both in the markets, schools and every available space. We need the traditional rulers too to promote this struggle because it is when people are aware of the reason and advantages of having our own nation that they would be willing to be part of the struggle.”
The zoom meeting had a large audience and participants,with the link shared in all global social media platforms across the world.
Those in attendance include Secretary General, Prince Adedokun Ademuluyi, Director of Programme Erelu Abike-Ade,Olori Adedipe, Alhaji Gani Wahab and Akingbayi Aare onakakanfo of Yoruba land, Chief Victor Mobolaji Adewale among others.