YWC rebrands to honour Awolowo, others
The Yoruba World Congress (YWC), yesterday, announced a change of its name to Ilana Omo Oodua, saying it took the decision to honour the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and other Yoruba leaders.
It said the decision to rename the organisation was taken after extensive consultation with traditional rulers, leaders of thought and opinion shapers of Yoruba origin within and outside the country.
YWC is the umbrella body of all Yoruba socio-cultural and self-determination groups within and outside Nigeria with its international headquarters in Lagos and National Headquarters in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The motion for a change of name was moved during a virtual congress held on Saturday, October 24, 2020 under the leadership of its President-General, Emeritus Professor Banji Akintoye and unanimously adopted by delegates of the 87 socio-cultural groups within Nigeria and 126 countries of the world.
In a statement issued by Akintoye and Chairman, Communiqué Drafting Committee, Professor Wale Adeniran, the YWC said the decision to change its name to Ilana Omo Oodua with Onala as salutation, was borne out of the desire to run the organisation in line with the philosophy of the late Awolowo-led Egbe Omo Oduduwa.
The YWC also said the change of name was necessary because several Yoruba traditional rulers and leaders had rejected an English name for an organisation whose aim is to sustain the struggle for the liberation of Yoruba people.
The statement also said the change of name was sacrosanct due to the confusion created by the YWC founded in 1999 and another established in 2007 by some Yoruba patriots, who are now laying claim to the Akintoye-led YWC.
It said the struggle for self-determination of Yoruba nation from Nigeria and economic freedom for the younger generation of Yoruba people would remain its core mandate.
“From the moment we founded the YWC in a meeting at Ibadan on October 11, 2019, we have faced pressure from increasing number of Yoruba patriots and significant leaders that we ought not to have chosen an English name for an organisation with which we intended to revive the Yoruba nation, and with which we vowed to guide the Yoruba nation to greater heights.