The Secretary-General of the Yoruba Council of Elders, Kunle Olajide, has said Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, does not represent the Yoruba people in his call for secession.
Igboho recently declared that the South-West was no longer part of Nigeria, alleging marginalisation of the region and the poor situation of things in the country.
But speaking with TheCable, Olajide said Nigeria would be stronger if it remained as a unit, noting that the Yoruba people had invested so much in Nigeria’s formation and unity that it cannot consider secession.
He said: “It is his (Igboho’s) personal desire but the present circumstances in our nation do not favour and will not make it achievable, and the fact that Yorubas have invested so much in the unity of this country and the making of Nigeria. The tribe cannot choose to opt out without any adequate plans.
“I am not aware that the Yoruba nation or citizenship has given a mandate to anybody to desire their extinction from this country. So it is not a decision that can be taken by an individual or a group of individuals.”
At a meeting of all Yoruba groups held at the Western House, Parliament Buildings, Secretariat in Ibadan on Thursday, the leaders painted a grim picture of atrocities of Fulani herders in the South-West.
Similarly, some notable Yoruba leaders at the meeting suggested that June 12, 2021, should be chosen as a day to conduct a referendum among people in the South-West to decide whether to insist on restructuring or self-determination.
The meeting was themed: ‘The Paramountcy of Yoruba Unity in Tackling Insecurity Menace in Yorubaland.’
The meeting, convened by Victor Taiwo on behalf of Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, attracted several associations and groups from the South-West zone.
In his remarks, Akintoye restated that the issue of self-determination for the Yoruba nation was not negotiable.
The professor of History, who was represented by Hamzat, said: “The Yoruba nation has been admitted into the United Nations Development and Planning Organisation. Self-determination should not be misconstrued for separation. Our train for self-determination has left the station. Nothing can stop it.
“We must join hands together, we should form alliances. We are already in a promised land. We need to build consensus and mobilise our people for the struggle.”
In his opening address, the chairman of the event, Ambassador Yemi Farounbi, said: “In the past, they used to say Yoruba were lazy, but when they saw the exploits of Agbekoya, they knew that when Yoruba keep quiet, they are not fools.”
Also speaking, the Convener of the meeting, Taiwo, said: “Àsá is a small town in Yewaland of Ogun-State. A few weeks ago around 7.30 in the evening, there was a sudden invasion of the town by the Fulani bandits who summarily sacked the whole town with heavy gunshots.
"Those who could run for dear lives did so, and those who could not were either gunned down or slaughtered, after which they burnt their houses. Those who escaped are now refugees in the neighbouring town, falling into the Benin Republic, known as Egelu.
“Till today, they are unofficial refugees in the Benin Republic. I doubt if anybody would still be surprised at this movie-like story-line. This is the truth – right in our Ogun State here where we have a government-run by a governor. And yet we are helpless. This is a piece of the odious scenarios happening across Yorubaland today. Yes, it is that bad.”