By Lukman Olabiyi
Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Obadiah Mailafia, has warned the Nigerian authorities not to push Yoruba to the wall with the ways and manners the issues of insecurity are being handled in the South West.
Mailafia gave the warning and also sought help of international communities, while speaking as one of the panelists at a conference organised by Yoruba in the Diaspora, under the aegis of Yoruba One Voice (YOV).
The conference, which held at National Press Club, Washington DC, on Thursday night, was aired globally via zoom.
The former CBN boss, in dissecting current security situation in the country, stated that there was a pre-planned genocide going on, but noted that the country would overcome its challenges.
Mailafia said Yoruba are a blessed race with strong conviction and ethos of Omoluabi, adding that Yoruba have the capacity to achieve whatever they want to achieve in the most peaceful manner.
He said: “Yoruba are accommodating people and believe in respect; they respect all authorities, they respect elders. The idea of ‘Omoluabi’ (virtues) is essence of Yoruba culture and decorum. So, Yoruba are not stupid people; when you push them to the wall, they will sooner or later react.
“Let me also say, there is strong bond between the Middle Belt and Yoruba and the South. I come from Southern Kaduna, where there is great Nok civilization, which is very striking because scientists found out that artifacts of Nok civilization are similar to ancient Egypt and Ile-Ife. So, there is a bond of connection there; when Ifa priests want to go very deep in their incarnation, they use a strange language, which is Nupe. Let us build on that. I believe that the destiny of Middle Belt is linked to the destiny of Yoruba and South-South. Greater thing are going to happen, don’t let us give up”.
In his welcome address, the Chairman of the YOV’s Foreign Affairs Department and Organiser of the conference, Debo Adekoya condemned the current state of insecurity in Yoruba land, and noted that his people were tired and ready to go their separate way.
He said: “Our people back home are being attacked and killed by Fulani herdsmen, supported by the Federal Government of Nigeria.”
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.
Niger Delta activist, Anniko Briggs, also expressed sadness over current situation in the country and pleaded with international communities to come to their rescue.