..but the struggle must not be violent
Self-determination is a legitimate course ― Yoruba Assembly

By Adeola Badru, Ibadan

The conglomerate of Yoruba groups, Yoruba Assembly, yesterday, sought unity in the call for self-determination agenda while suing for peace among the Yoruba ethnic groups.

The call was made during the 135th anniversary of the “Kiriji” also known as the “Ekiti-Parapo” war, themed: “Celebration of Unity,” which was held at the House of Chiefs, Secretariat, Ibadan.

Speaking at the event, convener of the event, the Chairman of Afenifere Renewal Group, Comrade Olawale Osun said, that the obligation of the Yoruba Assembly is to educate the southwestern part of Nigeria to stand up to the inactivities and the inactions preventing the development of the southwestern part of the country.

He noted that the assembly felt that Yoruba ethnic groups should be reminded of the need to be peaceful and remain united, which was the pledge of the Kiriji peace treaty signed in 1886.

His words: “Well as you can see, we said this is the celebration of Yoruba unity. This day 135 years ago, our forefathers signed the 1886 peace treaty and with the pledge that Yoruba people would henceforth from that day live in unity, live in peace and today we felt that we should remind ourselves of that pledge and that is why we convened today.”

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“This is not a talk show because we have been collaborating with one another before today, we have been sending all the messages to all Yoruba people that it is time to come together to confront our problems together, to confront the enemies within together, to confront our developmental problems together, and to face the need of our people and this can only be undertaken by people we elected into office.”

“So to remind those we elected into office that they owe us an obligation whether they are lawmakers or executives, that they owe the Yoruba people an obligation, it is our duty to call them to question.”

“Henceforth we have decided to continue to do so, to educate our people to stand up to the inactions because as we can see from the unity issue that there are so many steps to take, so many that can even be taken administratively even if the Nigeria state is refusing to restructure.”

“That we can continue to take these issues one by one and demolish them. We will continue to remind ourselves on this.”

“When people say we talk too much unless we are ready and prepare to take up arms now, we have to keep talking to withered away from the hold that those in government have on us, that hold has to be released at the national level because federating unit are being cheated as a surrogate which we are not so we have to continue to work until their hold is released.”

“Unity starts at home, if we are not united at home how can we preach unity at the national level. If your family is not united, can you have a united neighbourhood, you must start from home, let us start from here first,” he said.

In his own submission, the Chairman of Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (NINAS), Prof. Banji Akintoye called for a regional referendum to be conducted and further advised the southwestern part of Nigeria to dwell on unity in order to achieve the self-determination agenda.

Represented by Dr. Kunle Hamzat, Prof. Akintoye, said the position of NINAS is for a credible regional referendum to be conducted.

“The position of MINAS under the chairmanship of Emeritus Professor Banji Akintoye is very unambiguous. We want a credible regional referendum to be conducted.”

“People are talking about restructuring, you can only restructure a structure. The question to ask is, is there any structure to restructure? Of course, even when you want to restructure, that means you want Nigeria to be reinvented.”

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Nigeria is re-inventable. It has to be renegotiated and that’s the reason people at the centre are shying away from renegotiation. Let’s come to the round table to renegotiate this contraption called Nigeria.

“In the presentation of Pa Akintoye, he said all of us are slaves in this contraption called Nigeria. Don’t forget I was a Fulani kidnapped victim, two people were slaughtered in my presence and we feel we are not safe.”

“There’s need for us to really engage the government and we will continue to do so not only because it is right, but it is also legitimate and we are deploying non-violent means towards achieving that.”

“We sympathize with the sentiment of IPOB within the context of self-determination but we are diametrically opposed to the violent method being deployed towards achieving that goal.”

In his remark, the Director-General of the Developmental Agenda for Western Nigeria(DAWN), Mr. Seye Oyeleye admonished the youths to ensure they collect their Permanent Voters Card in order to actively engage in the coming election and ensure they are not used by the politicians as political thugs.

“We are moving towards an electioneering period, that’s 2023, so again, I want to admonish our people to go and collect their PVCs and be actively engaged in that process and during the election to ensure that they are not used as political thugs and also not go about collecting money before that vote.”

“Because the moment you collect money and vote, you no longer hold that representative accountable, the social contract is broken the moment you collect money.”

“Your duty is to look out for that leader that you think can advance your course as a person and as a society. The moment you can identify that leader, then you vote. You can’t sit at home without voting and then complain that leadership is bad.”

“If we have bad leadership and you didn’t vote, that means you’re complicit, you enthroned that bad leadership. So I’m again going to use this medium to tell our young ones particularly those between the ages of 18 and 30, and there are a lot of them.”

“Go and collect your PVCs and be an active participant next year. Interrogate those who will come to you, ensure that you put the right people there,” Oyeleye stressed.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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