Yinka Odumakin, national publicity secretary of Afenifere, a Yoruba socio-cultural group, says the agitation for a sovereign Yoruba nation is gaining momentum because the people have lost confidence in Nigeria.
Asked in an interview with SaharaReporters whether the Yoruba want freedom like Biafra, Odumakin said: “Yes. You know Afenifere, Ohaneze Ndigbo, with the Southern and Middle Belt Forum, have been working together. Our main thrust has been true federalism. But we realised that those who are holding the stables of Nigeria do not quickly want to give freedom to the groups of people they have sealed.
“We have said if this continues as it is, then self-determination is our last resort. So, for us, self-determination is not our first resort. It is our last resort if we don’t get federalism.
“If we have federal arrangement today, and everybody can develop at their own pace, why should anybody have agitation for a break-up? We are better off as a united entity where we respect nationality. The reason why people are agitating for breaking up is because their rights are being denied.”
Odumakin’s assertion comes a few days after the president-general of the Yoruba World Congress, Prof. Banji Akintoye, said that the Yoruba ethnic group is in dire need of an independent country from Nigeria.
Akintoye said that over 55 million people of Yoruba descent would get their freedom without breaking the law of the country or shedding blood.
“We have been saying we will have the Yoruba nation. The Yoruba World Congress is committed to helping the Yoruba nation to secure its position in the comity of nations,” Akintoye.
“When we first started the process,” he continued. “We had a total of 45 organisations, but now, we can boast of a total of 107 different organisations.
“They do say that I don’t compromise. It is not every time. But once we say we will take a common stance; I don’t know how to betray. We will get the Yoruba nation free without violence. We will not break the laws of Nigeria. If there is anyone who wants to be violent, we will tell them, no.”