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Agitation for Yoruba Nation deepens with Ado-Ekiti rally

Different groups demanding for a sovereign Yoruba nation on Saturday, June 5 converged in Ado- Ekiti, capital city of Ekiti State, to canvas freedom for people of the region. The groups were led by the Yoruba activist Sunday Igboho in the course of the agitation. There was a mammoth crowd at Fajuyi Park where the agitators converged waiting for the arrival of Igboho.

To demonstrate their serious commitment and determination towards realising their agitation, Igboho’s supporters endured for over five hours before he finally arrived amidst a long convoy into the state through Ado-Iyin road at dusk. Hopes of the participants rose speedily at the late arrival of the Yoruba activist amidst heavy security and cheering crowd who had been enthusiastically waiting for him.

Despite the large crowd, the rally was peaceful as there was a heavy security presence on ground for protection of lives and property and to forestall lawlessness. The rally became even more interesting when Igbo and Itshekiri people also joined their Yoruba counterparts in the advocacy.

Igboho was blunt while speaking at the rally, emphatically declaring that there will not be any election in the Southwest in 2023; he stated that the Yoruba race was already weary of the Fulani alleged feudal and political dominance of the country.

In spite of the fact that Igboho came late, he did not arrive until around 5.02 pm, he was still received by a large crowd of supporters and enthusiasts, who hailed the Yoruba agitator for his role in trying to liberate the race. Addressing the supporters Igboho, said the government has failed in their duties, adding that Yoruba will never be slaves again to any other race, saying the only way to actualise this is by having an independent country and regain freedom from oppression.

Describing the present Nigeria structure as a ‘contraption’, Igboho added that time was already ripe for the race to wake up from its deep and long slumber and fight for its own emancipation. He said: “I am sorry for coming late and I want to really apologise for this. I went to a meeting with some Yoruba leaders and that was the reason why I came late.

“Today, we are here to sensitise our people that we can no longer endure the sufferings being meted out to us by Fulani feudal lords. We are no longer slaves under them. “The South has oil and water and other natural resources, but Fulani are the ones enjoying them. Most of our university graduates are Okada riders being what our politicians who tell lies recklessly have made us to be.

“The Yoruba are the most educated race in Nigeria, but are these graduates getting jobs, no! Rather, our politicians would be buying motorbikes for them for Okada riding. This was wrong and would have to stop. Can they allow their children to ride Okada? “Today, they have shared everything that belongs to Nigeria among them. The President is a Fulani man, the Inspector General of Police, Director General of the Department of State Services, the Chief of Army Staff, Chairmen of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agencies and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Comptrollers General of Immigration and Customs are all Fulanis. “They said they gave us the Vice President, who is a mere spare tyre. “Let me say this emphatically, we won’t vote in the Southwest in 2023.

We need a government of our own. The Fulanis are kidnapping us and collecting ransoms, killing and raping us and our leaders were watching because of politics. This is no longer tolerable “The next line of action now is that we are entering the bush to chase away these Fulani herders. We don’t want them on our lands again. We will pursue them just like I have been saying.” Buttressing Igboho’s assertion, some of the agitators who spoke with our Correspondent at the rally said: “The time was right for Yoruba Nation at this time. Yoruba Nation will be more developed considering all the natural endowment in the region when it’s under our control “The Fulani have been controlling all these lucrative resources. No going back again. Yoruba Nation is the answer.”

An aspirant during Ekiti 2018 gubernatorial election and the spokesperson of the Yoruba Council of Elders in the state, Dr Adebayo Orire said the elders supported the constitutional right of Yoruba Nation. He said: “Things have fallen apart in the country, laws are not being obeyed, nothing is functional, and everything is in disarray. Most of the companies in the South West are being controlled by Fulanis.”

He insisted that now is the time to nip inequality in the bud. In another statement signed by Media Communications Secretary, Ilana Omo Oodua, Maxwell Adeleye, Igboho added further: “Just like we have said severally, there’s nothing to restructure anymore in Nigeria. The Coup d’état of 1966 and how a few bourgeoisies rewrote the federal system of Nigeria to suit their interest is enough reason not to think about restructuring or a revert to the 1963 Constitution.

If reverted, the powerful people holding Nigeria by the jugular will need just executive invasion to turn everything into their abyss of interest just like they did to the Republican constitution of 1963. “Also, the on-going review of the constitution of 1999 is an academic exercise and a complete waste of time. It is just a usual way of providing food for the boys.

It is a disaster that must never be allowed to happen. We at Ilana Omo Oodua, supported by well-meaning Yoruba people within and beyond the shores of Nigeria will continue to mobilise and educate our people on the dangers associated with our continuous stay in Nigeria.

“Yoruba land is the hidden wealth of Africa. We own the land from the Atlantic Ocean up till Jebba…we own Lokoja. We have oil, land for agriculture, sea ports…we have the largest deposit of bitumen in Africa. We have the largest deposit of limestone in Africa. We used to be the second largest producer of cocoa in Africa before the current system focused only on oil. “We are ready and our people are ready. The rally today is to sensitise the good people of Ekiti state to start preaching the gospel in all the nooks and crannies of Ekiti state.

We shall succeed and triumph against all odds; we shall rescue our land from the bane of under-development. “Our continuous stay in Nigeria is slowing down our progress. We were progressing and excelling well in all ramifications before the coup of 1966 which has dragged us 60 years backward. The only panacea is for the Yoruba people to have their independence from Nigeria and that shall be achieved peacefully and logically without violence.”

The participants, who danced to anti- Nigerian songs being supplied to add spice to the rally, rejected Nigeria in totality and flaunted various derisive placards and handbills, espousing actualisation of a Yoruba Nation Incidentally, while waiting for Igboho’s arrival another rally had earlier been staged by different groups, led by Yoruba Nation and Ilana Omo Oodua, championed by Prof Banji Akintoye, That rally commenced around 11:00 am with a large crowd reaching Fajuyi Park via Okesa, Ijigbo and Old Garage area of Ado Ekiti, where they paid homage to the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti Oba Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe. The peaceful and orderly rally was guarded by the operatives of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Amotekun Corps, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and the police. As they marched and sang the anthem of the proposed Yoruba Nation, the Igbo and Itsekiri traders plying their trades along the procession routes trooped out enthusiastically in solidarity and hailed the participants.

The crowd created a serious traffic logjam, thereby causing motorists to have a hectic day in navigating out of the area. The Coordinator of the Coalition in Ekiti, Chief Jacob Orisamika, said it is high time Yoruba severed ties with Nigeria, rather than being enslaved by other nationalities as being witnessed. The agitators also decried the state of insecurity in Nigeria and high level of corruption. One of the agitators and member of Oodua Action Movement, Olusola Oyemakinde, said: “We are here in support of our agitation for Oodua nation. Every one of us can see the state of Nigeria whereby there is no justice, lop-sidedness and insecurity are the order of the day.

“The government of Nigeria has failed in its responsibility of securing lives. We cannot continue this way. Yoruba nation must actualize.” But the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola has called on the leaders and supporters of the agitation to tread softly and consider the consequences of war. Aregbesola spoke in Ilesha, Osun State on the same day of the Ado Ekiti rally, at the occasion of his 64th birthday celebration. He urged the agitators to consider women, children, old people and all vulnerable in the course of the process. He said unity in Nigeria would go a long way in preventing African countries from enslavement, adding that secession must not occur in the country. “Anything that threatens and creates a problem for Nigeria may cause backwardness for our country for 50 years,” he added.

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