…as YAF goes on peace advocacy visits
By Adesina Wahab
Prominent traditional rulers in the six states of the South-West geo-political zone have enjoined all Yoruba sons and daughters to embrace peace and eschew acts that can lead to the disintegration of Nigeria.
The traditional rulers, including the Olubadan of Ibadanland in Oyo State, Oba Saliu Adetunji; Soun of Ogbomosoland, Oyo State, Oba Jimoh Ajagungbade III; Olowo of Owo, Ondo State, Oba Ajibade Gbadegesin, Ogunoye III; Oluwo of Iwoland in Osun State, Oba AbdulRasheed Akanbi; Onisan of Isan-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Oba Gabriel Adetila; Olu of Moloko-Asipa, Igbore, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Oba Nureni Adesina; and the Elemure of Emure-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Oba Emmanuel Adebayo, stated this when a delegation of the Yoruba Appraisal Forum [YAF] led by its National Coordinator, Adeshina Animashaun, paid them peace advocacy and courtesy visits in their respective palaces last week.
According to them, violence will only end up worsening the already tense situation in the country.
The royal fathers advised Yoruba youths to support all efforts to ensure absolute peace in Nigeria and appealed to the individuals and groups agitating for a separate Yoruba nation to sheathe their swords and rather join hands with other patriots to work the development and growth of Nigeria.
They, however, enjoined all aggrieved Yoruba to register to vote in the 2023 general elections in order to right the perceived wrongs being suffered by the people of the region under the Nigerian Federation.
Olubadan said, “I’m happy over your visit to my palace. I can see the wisdom in what you’re doing. So many things are happening at this point in time. I want to assure you that the Yoruba are not sleeping or docile. My prayer is that Yorubaland will not experience any chaos or violence.
Before we are all Nigerians, we’re first and foremost Yoruba. We all know our different origins and sources. Nigeria today is divided into six geo-political zones and we’re in the South-West. We have South-East, South-South, North-Central, North-East and North-West.
But if we look very well today, out of all of them, it is the South-West that is most developed. Is it in the area of the economy, education, health, road infrastructure and so on? God has been very merciful to us (South-West). God has also blessed Yorubaland with prominent Pastors, Imams and traditional religionists.
All these eminent Yoruba sons and daughters are not resting on their oars at all. They hold meetings regularly – the royal fathers, the governors. There is this meeting called South-West Stakeholders Forum.
“We can’t address a crisis with another crisis. We mustn’t allow the situation to degenerate. If some people are planning to cause chaos, we mustn’t allow them to spoil things. We’ll appeal to them with reasons that those bent on destroying the country should be avoided so that they won’t drag you and me as well as all Yoruba into their mischief. Please, remain patient. It shall be well with us all.”
Speaking in the same vein, Soun of Ogbomosoland, Oba Ajagungbade III, warned those agitating for a separate Yoruba Nation to perish the thought, saying the Yoruba race has nothing to benefit from seceding from a united Nigeria.
Oba Oyewunmi enjoined Yoruba youths to rather prepare to register to vote and participate massively in the 2023 general elections.
The monarch said, “Which ethnic group in Nigeria is the largest? You’re talking about 2023 elections, I think the majority will always carry the vote. This you should not forget. This is one area you should work on.
“When I was in Jos, the then Ooni Adesoji Aderemi had a company in Jos and whenever he came around, we’ll all meet him at Hill Station. If there was no cooperation would he have his company there? I’m not in support of any ethnic group seceding from Nigeria. I’ll advise you to pursue programmes that will bring peace to all Nigerians. You, youths should come together and take up this challenge.”
On his part, the Olowo of Owo, Oba Ajibade Gbadegesin Ogunoye III, stated that there was no basis for the current agitations by some persons for the secession of Yorubaland from the rest of the country.
Oba Ogunoye, however, advocated for a return of the country to true Federalism, saying the constitution of Nigeria by different ethnic groups necessitated the adoption of true Federalism at independence.
“If we can return to true Federalism, everything will be fine for Nigeria. For now, there is no basis for agitations for secession. Before independence, the realisation of the fact that we are of different ethnic nationalities necessitated the adoption of true Federalism. May God help us. Yorubaland won’t disintegrate or be destroyed,” he told the YAF delegation at his palace in Owo, Ondo State.
The Oluwo of Iwoland in Osun State, Oba Akanbi, during the visit to his palace by YAF, expressed his opposition to any plan by the Yoruba to break away from the rest of Nigeria.
Oba Akanbi, who was represented by the Aro of Iwo, Chief Ola IyanuOluwa, who received the YAF delegation at the Oluwo’s palace in Iwo, warned those agitating for a separate Yoruba nation not instigate crisis in Yorubaland.
While also receiving the YAF team at his palace, the Onisan of Isan-Ekiti, Oba Adetila, warned that it’s impossible for Yorubaland to secede from Nigeria.
Oba Adetila, who also praised YAF for embarking on such a peace advocacy programme, stressed that rather than going to war or instigating violence, the right things must be done by all to achieve unity and ensure peace.
The Elemure of Emure-Ekiti, Oba Adebayo, warned Yoruba youths not to allow themselves to be used by politicians to foment trouble under the guise of agitating for Yoruba nation.
According to Oba Adebayo, “Nobody should be thinking of fighting any war. Whoever wants to fight war should withdraw all his children in America and UK back home to fight. How many of our politicians’ children are part of all these troubles? They should bring their own children back home and make them the captains of the battalions, which they won’t be ready to do.”
Also while welcoming the YAF delegation to his palace in Abeokuta, Ogun State, the Olu of Moloku-Asipa, Igbore, Abeokuta, Oba Adesina, said that the Alake and Paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, had always insisted on peaceful co-existence throughout his domain and Nigeria at large.
Oba Adesina expressed opposition to acts that can result in any threat to peace in Yorubaland and Nigeria, warning that in the event of any violence or war, the weak and vulnerable have always been the victims and the worst-hit.