Groups Insists On Yoruba Self Determination 

2019: Yoruba forum insists on restructuring agendaYemisi Izuora

The Yoruba Self Determination Groups, have warned against orchestrated attempts to derail its well structured movement to Self Determination of the Yoruba race.

The group in a message during Nigeria’s 60th anniversary, noted that at 60, Nigeria is crawling and there are many ailments that threaten her survival and many afflictions that may end the lifespan unless a surgical operation is done to remove a festering tumor.

The group who are indigenous to ten states in Nigeria being Delta, (Itsekiri), Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Kwara, Kogi and Edo (Akoko) States, did not deny that Nigeria has made progress in many areas like communication, science, art, music and even industry but in a comparative sense, viewed from the prisms of her contemporaries like Singapore, China, India, Brazil, Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria has continued to record stunted growth.

“It is a country where people only celebrate their pasts. While the economy continues to nosedive into the abyss, life expectancy continues to diminish. Many Nigerians have lost hope in their own country. They do not believe in the country and are anxious to do everything to undermine and kill their own country. The leaders of the country also fail to show trust in the country aas demonstrated by the callous and cruel manners they milk and rape the country to stupor.” said the statement.

According to the group, Since 1960, the Yoruba people have continued to endure different forms of hardship and repression beginning from the political upheavals of 1962, through the civil war when many Yoruba soldiers were forced to fight a war that had no meaning to them, to the doted landscapes of military coups and the imposition of repressive regimes over Yoruba territories, to the annulment of the June 12 election won by a Yoruba man, M.K.O Abiola, the horrendous murders, maiming, rape of our women and the cultural genocide imposed by the various military regimes and their Yoruba collaborators , our people have been patient but resilient.

They disclosed that in the past few months, a new, fervent movement for Yoruba self determination has been reinvigorated and that the fire has always been there as it began in 1994.

“Today, the movement is spreading like wild fires across the world. Today, on  October 1, in six continents, various Yoruba groups of which we are involved will be holding rallies all calling for an independent Yoruba nation.  To us, this demand is a popular struggle and represents the aspirations of Yoruba people all over the world.”

“We say that this is a product of the spineless leadership that has characterized Nigeria since independence accentuated by the vicious attacks on Yoruba values and civilisations. We want to say clearly that these agitations are being fueled lately by certain unfortunate developments. There are primary and secondary causes of the present situation. The primary causes are political and economic exclusion; lack of electoral credibility with Yoruba people not able to choose their preferred leaders, corruption, nepotism, primitive acquisition of public wealth by public officials and disdain for human rights and the dignity of man.

The secondary factors are the invasion of Yorubaland by armed alien forces; the audacity by alien people invading and kidnapping, raping and maiming and killing of our Yoruba people; the mass migration of economic, cultural and extremist refugees to Yorubaland; the destruction of forest resources by armed Fulani invaders. Our people being forest dependent people have had their livelihood destroyed and vanquished by these armed invaders and worst still, what looks like the official conspiracy of the Federal Government.

Above all, clear signals indicate the prospect of a declaration of war on Yoruba territories, akin to the war Jihad that was once declared on Yorubaland by Fulani invaders. Recently, there have been warnings from local and international institutions, with credible intelligence suggesting the infiltration of our territories by armed groups with the intention to conquer our people and subjugate them. We cannot undermine these threats given the number of armed attacks on various Yoruba communities. This week, we still received fresh reports of attacks on innocent Yoruba farmers who are now prevented from going to their farms. Our food security and biodiversity are threatened.” the group observed.

They said that through, there has been SW official responses in terms of the setting up of outfits like Amotekun, this can only scratch  the surface since the fundamental problem of armed proliferation and violence, armed attacks being carried out by alien non-state actors in Yorubaland remain adding yet while the invaders are heavily armed, Amotekun operatives can only carry Dane weapons under the Nigerian constitution.

“We should recall that the former Minister of Interior, Dambazzau had said that there were about 350million illicit weapons in Nigeria. Nothing drastic has been done to step the tide. We fear the risk of these weapons being used to attack Yoruba people unless we take a resolute stand.”

Continuing they said, “As it is, we stand here before you to express our unflinching support for Yoruba self-determination.  We shall continue to raise the banner of self determination. There is no negotiation on this. This is our minimum demand.  The right of a people to self-determination is a fundamental principle in modern international law referred to as jus cogens rule). It binds together all members of the United Nations, (UN) of which Nigeria is included. It states that “people, based on respect for the principle of equal rights and fair equality of opportunity, have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no interference.”

The idea first came in 1860s, and has spread like a wild fire across the world. After World War I, the concept was fully supported by the main actors,  Vladimir Lenin and United States President Woodrow Wilson. 11 February 1918 Wilson stated: “National aspirations must be respected; people may now be dominated and governed only by their own consent. ‘Self-determination’ is not a mere phrase; it is an imperative principle of action. The question has been asked again and again: Do the Yoruba people want self determination? Our answer is YES. How do we know? There are 40 Pan Yoruba groups seated here, each representing millions of Yoruba people in the nine states where Yoruba are indigenous.

These groups have a long history beginning from 1994. The pioneers of Yoruba self determination groups are here seated in this room. The engine of Yoruba self determination groups are seated here. Our members are spread across all strata. We say without any iota of doubt, that the Yoruba people want self determination. We challenge the Nigerian State to a referendum to be supervised by the United Nations, (UN). We are convinced that 99 percent of Yoruba people will opt for Oduduwa Self determination. Again, ARTICLE 20 of the African Charter says that “All peoples shall have the right to existence. They shall have the unquestionable and inalienable right to self-determination. They shall freely determine their political status and shall pursue their economic and social development according to the policy they have freely chosen.” Either the Nigerian authority likes it nor not, these are International laws that bind Nigeria.”

They also called on police and all security operatives to respect the rights of Yoruba people to self-determination and that this right is an inalienable right, warning that any attempt to attack, kill or maim  advocates of self determination, will only strengthen and embolden in line with global best practices.

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