By Dapo Akinrefon
LAST week, some Yoruba groups converged in a programme tagged: 2018 Yoruba April Declaration, which was held at the Banquet Hall, Jogor Events Centre, Ibadan.
They threatened to disrupt the forthcoming governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states and 2019 general elections if the country is not restructured to check the unnecessary attacks and incursion of herdsmen into farmlands in the region.
The groups include Agbekoya, Oodua People’s Congress, and Afenifere.
At the end of its summit, a communiqué was issued and jointly signed by the 109-year-old leader of Agbekoya farmers in Yorubaland, Pa Ayalu Olalere; a traditionalist, Ayoke Osunfunke and a community leader, Chief Raufu Oluokun.
They insisted that the Yoruba nation must be freed from what they described as oppression.
The communiqué reads:
”We give notice that unless our demands for a stronger and more virile nation are accepted; Yoruba will pull out of the 1914 Amalgamation treaty that gave birth to Nigeria. We reject the present constitution of the Federal Government until so amended to fulfil our expectations in Yorubaland. We demand, as a first step, the restructuring of the country to give us a region in Yorubaland before any election is conducted in Yorubaland. Immediate notice is served on Ekiti and Osun states.”
Agbekoya president denies position
Meanwhile, as the groups were basking in the euphoria of achieving a feat by its threat, President-General of Agbekoya Worldwide, Chief Kamoru Okiki Aremu has distanced himself and the group from the threat.
Speaking exclusively to Vanguard, he said those who represented the group were on their own.
Chief Aremu said: “I read in the newspapers where it was reported that we were one of the signatories to a communiqué that there will not be elections in Ekiti and Osun, there is nothing like that. Agbekoya is a registered association and I would not want anyone to use our name anyhow. I am the President-General of Agbekoya. There was nowhere we held a meeting with anyone. We did not hold any meeting with Afenifere or the OPC. We are a registered association, a responsible group and we would not want anyone to tarnish our image. We did not issue any threat to the Federal Government that there won’t be elections in Osun and Ekiti states if there is no restructuring. There is nothing like that.”
Before the Agbekoya talks, there must be a meeting of the National Executive Council. No single individual can decide for Agbekoya, we are not a political party. If the Yoruba wants to decide on restructuring, we will all sit down and discuss if there will be restructuring or not. We have not given anybody the mandate to speak for the Agbekoya.”