By Dapo Akinrefon
Leader of the Ilana Omo Oodua, Emeritus Professor Banji Akintoye, Monday, issued a red alert to the Yoruba people, saying that the attack on the people of Igangan, Ibarapa Zone in Oyo State by the alleged Fulani herdsmen is a declaration of war against the Yoruba people.
Akintoye, in a statement by his Communications Manager, Mr. Maxwell Adeleye, called on the Yoruba people to arm themselves with whatever they can lay their hands upon to defend their land against external aggression.
He said: “The worldwide leader of Ilana Omo Oodua, Emeritus Professor ‘Banji Akintoye, on behalf of all patriotic and concerned Yoruba people, and in consultation, and collaboration with hundreds of self determination groups at home and in the Diaspora, express uttermost shock and horror at the news of the barbarous killings and destruction by Fulani and other terrorists upon our people at Igangan, Ibarapa area of Oyo State.
While commiserating with our people in Igangan, we, hereby, issue a red alert to all Yoruba people at home and in the Diaspora.
“It must now be clear to all Yoruba people of all classes and economic circumstances that war has come in a big way to our homeland. This war has been coming relentlessly for five years, but some of our own people failed to understand the full intent and impact of it. Some have thought the answer is to do one constitutional or political thing to Nigeria and the war would go away. But we must now all know that such propositions concerning Nigeria are blatantly unrealistic.
“And indeed these endanger Yorubaland, the Yoruba people and the Yoruba civilization by diverting the attention of our people from the manifest reality of our time.
“We now call on all Yoruba people at home and abroad to focus on the danger of the moment in a manner that will be powerful enough to preserve our nation and civilization.
“First we call on our State Governors to push aside all the constitutional objections that have been constantly raised from certain quarters whenever our governors have taken measures to defend our people.
“We are particularly grateful to Governor Akeredolu of Ondo State and all other Governors who support him in the patriotic and manly statement that he has issued on the Igangan disaster.
“We repeat what we have said again and again that we will stand fully and powerfully behind our Governors in any measure that they may adopt to defend our people.
“We say to our state Governors your first constitutional duty is to ensure the security of life and property in our Yoruba states. In the face of that important task, constitutional and political finesse and obstructions are a danger to the lives and property of our people.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria has failed woefully to protect the Yoruba people, along with other indigenous peoples of the Nigerian South and the middle belt against these invading, marauding forces.
“In fact when we consider all the behavior of the Federal Government in the face of this danger to the indigenous peoples and citizens of Nigeria, we cannot avoid the conclusion that the federal government is a sponsor of the terror in our land.
“In the light of all the foregoing, we call on all our governors to stop letting objections by federal officials to obstruct the defense of our peoples.
“We call on all Yoruba people to rise as one to defeat this danger. We Yoruba have a proud history that we have never been conquered.
“Let us not succumb to conquest now. Let us thank the countless young people of our land who have been standing up against the invasion of our land.
“But let us now rise to do more than merely thanking them and rise to give them all the support they need to clear our land of all terrorists of all kinds.
“Let us show to the world that though we are a civilized and life respecting people, we are nevertheless a people supremely capable of defending our people and our homeland.
“The persistent Ilana Omo Oodua calls to arms of all Yoruba people on their farms, hamlets, villages, towns, cities and other communities must now be urgently activated with communal self defence systems, around their abodes and places of work.
“You must urgently install early warning alarms; human, manual, scientific or spiritual.
“We are Yoruba and we will prevail in this crisis. nd then we will go forth and manage our own sovereign Oduduwa nation to the admiration of all mankind- a land of security, opportunity and confident hope in prosperity for all our people and all peaceful and enterprising foreigners who come to our land.”