By Adesina Wahab
A group, the Yoruba Appraisal Forum (YAF), has enjoined South-West and Nigerian youths to avoid breaching the existing peace in the region or work for people and groups who want to destabilise the country under the guise of seeking regional independence.
YAF said Yoruba and Nigerian youths should exercise great caution and vigilance to avoid aiding unknowingly or being used surreptitiously to destabilise the country by unpatriotic groups and individuals.
YAF stated this in a statement by its National Coordinator, Adeshina Animashaun, on Monday.
The Forum advised Yoruba and Nigerian youths to maintain peace and eschew violence, urging the people of the South-West and Nigerians not to be deceived by those claiming to be fighting their cause.
It also appealed to the government, the various security agencies and other major stakeholders in Yorubaland and the country to rise to the challenge and ensure no individual or group violates the peace or instigate violence in the South-West.
The Forum, therefore, advised the Federal Government and the governors of the six South-West states to ensure the deployment of an adequate number of security agents throughout the region and Yorubaland as well as the entire country to tighten security and forestall any plan by any group or individuals to instigate violence and cause chaos and destruction in the area.
YAF’s statement added, “We are a law-abiding and patriotic organisation whose major objective is the unity of all Nigerians under a very peaceful and progressive atmosphere. We cannot fold our arms and watch a few criminals in the name of secession to unleash terror in the South West. We must collectively strive to ensure peace in our South-West homestead and our dear country as a whole.
“Our fight for peace is a fight by all against these enemies of the state and should not be left for government alone. We must all be vigilant and report suspicious movements to the nearest security agency within our areas.”
YAF further enjoined parents to warn their children of the consequences of getting involved in crimes and treasonable offences.
The Forum added that security agencies should not relent in beefing up security across the South-West and the rest of the country to avert anarchy and restore peace and security.
“We will continue to take steps to ensure no individuals or groups pretending to be expressing grievances against the government further destroy the economic and social well-being of our people.
“Our honest advice to any person or groups that may want to allow themselves to be used by the enemies of peace in the South-West and the rest of Nigeria is that they should turn new leaves, embrace and continue to work for the well-being of our kinsmen and all other citizens of Nigeria.”
YAF also decried last Friday’s ban on and the stoppage of its peace rally/sensitisation Motorcade by the police in Lagos.
The Forum expressed regret that the police in the state could not distinguish between it and other groups claiming to be championing Yoruba self-determination and independence with the disguised objective of destabilising the country.
Last Thursday, Lagos Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, CSP Muyiwa Adejobi, had in a statement warned that the police would deal with YAF members should the group go ahead with last Friday’s scheduled Peace Rally/Sensitisation Motorcade planned to hold at the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park, Ojota.