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Yoruba group protests alleged secession threat

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A socio-cultural group in the South-West, Yoruba Appraisal Forum, yesterday, in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, embarked on a peaceful protest against the agenda of some elders to lead the agitation for the secession of Yoruba nation from the rest of the country.

The group said it was against any move capable of drifting the Yoruba nation and the entire country into war zone, noting that “we should not promote any idea that would breed unhealthy rivalry among the federating units.”

The protesters, mostly youths, carried placards with different inscriptions, such as “Together we stand and love one another,” “Believe in one Nigeria” and ‘Together we stand, divided we fall,” among others.

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The aggrieved group, in a letter to Governor Seyi Makinde, dated September 1, 2020 titled, “Please, save Yorubaland from imminent doom” and signed by its National Co-ordinator, Adeshina Animashaun, said: “Your Excellency, a motley crew of discontents and zealots have lately increased the tempo of their unpatriotic activities masquerading as championing the cause of the Yoruba people of the South-West. Their activities, at best, qualify for nothing good.

“The Yoruba Appraisal Forum is by this statement giving a notice that we, as responsible Yoruba, will not fold our arms and watch a few disgruntled and self-serving individuals to turn our land into a war-torn zone like Somalia and Sudan. If it ever becomes imperative for Yorubaland to break away from the rest of Nigeria, it should be a collective decision of all Yoruba people within Nigeria and in the Diaspora.

“The recent activities of the Yoruba World Congress and its cohorts underscore the need for government and security agencies to be more informed about the decisive tendencies of these groups.”

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Their spokesman, Ojo Oloketuyi, said, “the idea of federating is rooted in the desire for the various units to stand in unity, work together and succeed together as one nation. The vision of the founding-fathers is lofty and should not be compromised. Those who are muting the idea of dividing this country are rooting for selfish interest. This cannot stand, as many of these people have sent their children abroad but they want us to stay back and fight. This cannot work.”

“We are here today to express our agitation because some people are canvassing for secession of Yoruba from Nigeria. We tried to find out whether our traditional rulers are privy to the idea but they said they are not in support. What is the use? Our leaders and representatives are not carried along. It is a selfish.

“We don’t want war and crisis. We want job creation; we want infrastructural provision. We are against those calling for dissolution.

While a member of the group, Abiodun Yussuf, said the youths were not ready to allow themselves to be used as tools for pressing home selfish agenda of some elements, Special Adviser to Governor Makinde on Security, Mr. Sunday Odukoya, said: “We have received your letter. We shall deliver your message to the governor. Now that you have expressed your reservations, we assure you that we shall address the matter.”

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