By Dapo Akinrefon, LAGOS
YORUBA in the Diaspora, under the aegis of Yoruba One Voice, YOV, yesterday, renewed its call for the liberation of the Yoruba race, saying it is tired of the killings and destruction in the region.
Speaking at a conference held at a National Press Club, Washington DC, which aired globally via zoom, the group expressed worry over the state of insecurity in Nigeria, saying the call for the Yoruba Nation became imperative as the race could no longer tolerate killer herdsmen in the South West.
The zoom meeting was attended by the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams; former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Obadiah Mailafia; Niger Delta activist, Anniko Briggs; Publicity Secretary, Yoruba Summit Group, Mogaji Gboyega Adejumo; a political analyst, Akogun Gani Balogun, and others.
Chairman of the YOV’s Foreign Affairs Department and organizer of the conference, Debo Adekoya, said: “Our people back home are being attacked and killed by Fulani herdsmen, supported by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“Killer herdsmen run amok in our land daily, with cases of extra-judicial killings already reaching an alarming crescendo.
“I am sure you must have seen videos shared on social networks of Yoruba men, women and children hacked by these heartless Fulani killers in our land. The palace of a traditional ruler was razed, and business premises vandalized.
“The latest was the attack on chief Sunday Igboho’s resident where eight people were killed with wanton destruction to his property.
“Fulani leaders openly talk about their affinity to Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja, boasting that any attempt to chase them away from Yorubaland will lead to more killings.”
He, however, insisted that the Yoruba are tired of the country Nigeria.
Adekoya said: “Our agitation today is not new, and it is supported by millions of Yoruba all over the world.
“This political, economic, social, and cultural perturbation has been on since 1960 when Nigeria got its independence from Britain.
“To subjugate the Yoruba people in the First Republic, the first modern Yoruba leader in the person of Chief Obafemi Awolowo was jailed by the Hausa/Fulani oligarchy, on trumped-up charges of treason.
“Till he died on May 9, 1987, Awolowo was never allowed to replicate what he did as Premier of the defunct Western Region, at the national level.
“On June 12, 1993, history was made as a leading Yoruba light, Chief Moshood Abiola, won the presidential election across the country on the platform of the defunct Social Democratic Party, SDP.
“He even defeated his challenger, Alhaji Bashir Tofa, who contested on the platform of the National Republican Convention, NRC, in his hometown of Kano in Northern Nigeria.
“You all know what happened eventually. The election was annulled by the Hausa/Fulani oligarchy and Abiola was arrested,
“He was eventually killed on July 7, 1998. The agitation for the actualization of the June 12 mandate led to the killing of thousands of Yoruba across the Western states.
“Even today, scores of Yoruba are being kidnapped, raped, or killed by Fulani herdsmen, surreptitiously armed by the Fulani-led Federal Government, just to put our people under yoke and take over our land.
“However, in Nigeria, the more than 60 million Yoruba who are highly industrious, intelligent and doing exploits all over the world are being subjugated by the Fulani Oligarchy.
“What we are seeking is simple: we want to direct our own affairs without interference because we have sufficient means for a comfortable livelihood and statehood.”
Yoruba tired of senseless killings — Gani Adams
In his remarks, the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, who is also the Grand Patron of the group, said the call for the liberation of the Yoruba race is the legitimate rights of the people, saying events in the southwest showed that the time is up for the Yoruba to exit the country.
Aare Adams said: “From all indications, there is no denying the fact that Yoruba are tired of these senseless killings, thereby seeking self-determination most peacefully.”
Also speaking, former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Obadiah Mailafia, said the Yoruba are a blessed race with strong conviction and ethos of Omoluabi, adding that the Yoruba can achieve whatever they want to achieve most peacefully.
On his part, General Secretary of YOV, Dr. Sina Okanlomo said: “Since Nigeria has taken the 1963 constitution from the Yoruba, it is reasonable for us to exit from Nigeria.”
Mogaji Adejumo said there is no better option for the Yoruba nation other than the agitation for the Yoruba nation.
Meanwhile, Niger Delta activist, Anniko Briggs, said she would be happy if there would be an organization like the YOV in the Niger Delta that would be saddled with the responsibility of agitating for the liberation of the people of the Niger Delta.