From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Some Yoruba self-determination groups under the aegis of Assembly of all Yoruba Groups Worldwide, yesterday, met in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, and set June 12 as day of referendum for Yoruba on self-determination.
The groups met at Western Hall, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, over the security and prosperity of Yoruba under the theme “The paramountcy of Yoruba unity in tackling the insecurity menace in Yorubaland.”
Leaders at the meeting, included former Nigerian Ambassador to the Philippines, Dr. Yemi Farounbi; President, Yoruba World Assembly, Elder Taiye Ayorinde; Convener of Yoruba Koya, Otunba Deji Osibogun and leader of Agbekoya Solidarity Movement of Nigeria, Abdul-Azeez Olamilekan Akekaka.
Also in attendance were Soludero Hunters, Oodua Redemption Alliance, Yoruba Leadership and Peace Initiative, Arole Oodua, Eku Oodua, Bisokan Oodua, and Yoruba Interest Group.
In a communique issued at the end of the meeting and read by Otunba Deji Osibogun, they groups resolved that Yoruba self-determination was non-negotiable.
They appraised various threats to safety of life and property in Yorubaland and concluded that all Yoruba sons and daughters must unite and ensure protection of their land.
The meeting also enjoined federal lawmakers from Yorubaland to move a motion on insecurity in Yorubaland within the next 90 days, which would elapse on June 25. Femi Falana (SAN), who addressed participants via telephone call, reiterated his call for restructuring of the country. He also enjoined the people to put all hands on deck for the development of Yoruba nation.
He also advised that the Yoruba nation embrace ranching as it was during the time of the late Premier of the defunct Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, in order to curb herders and farmers’ clashes.
He said Yoruba must be ready to make their region a place for everyone to live and work, but should protect themselves against perpetrators of evil and killer Fulani herdsmen.
President of Ilana Omo Yoruba, Prof. Banji Akintoye, who spoke through Dr. Tunde Hamzat, explained that the call for Yoruba self-determination should not be misunderstood for secession, adding that Yoruba nation would not be achieved through violence.
Ambassador Farounbi, in his address,stressed the need for unity among the Yoruba and called on them to defend themselves against threats to their lives.