Yoruba leaders urge unity to achieve self-determination without bloodletting
Yoruba leaders, under various organisations and groups, yesterday, called for unity to achieve self-determination and restructuring without bloodletting.
The leaders include Wale Oshun of Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), Ambassador Yemi Farounbi of Yoruba self-determination groups, Baale Ekotedo Taiye Ayorinde of Yoruba World Assembly (YWA), the Secretary-General of Yoruba K’oya, Kola Onodipe, Mr. Seye Oyeleye of the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, leaders of O’odua People’s Congress (OPC) and a host of others.
The leaders made the call during the 135th anniversary of Kiriji Peace Treaty, also known as Ekiti-Parapo War, held at the House of Chiefs, State Secretariat, Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
The event was organised by YWA. Chairman of ARG said the obligation of the YWA was to educate the Yoruba to stand up and rise to the occasion in tackling issues hampering the development of the region.
In his address, Chairman of Nationalities Alliance for Self-determination (NINAS), Prof. Banji Akintoye, who was represented by Dr. Tunde Hamzat, called for regional referendum. He, therefore, urged the Yoruba to dwell on unity to achieve the much-desired self-determination agenda.
Akintoye, who emphasised that the struggle for self-determination or restructuring remained legitimate but must be achieved devoid of bloodshed, described the 1999 Constitution as “fraudulent,” which cannot take the unity of Nigeria to the Promise Land.
“You can only restructure a structure. When you want to restructure, you want Nigeria to be re-invented. Nigeria is re-invented but it has to be renegotiated,” Akintoye said.
He urged the Federal Government to summon the regional leaders in the country to a roundtable to renegotiate the structure of the country.
In a remark, DAWN Commission DG, Oyeleye, urged the youths to collect their Permanent Voter Cards to enable them actively participate in the general election.
He maintained that the commission was in support of genuine restructuring as advocated by some.
The Secretary-General, ARG, Ayo Afolabi, said that the Yoruba had resolved to chart a new course to avoid being slaves to other zones in Nigeria.