From ‘Yanju Uwala
Yoruba Nation campaigners may have to rethink strategies or jettison the agitation as prominent traditional rulers in the zone have said an emphatic no to secession.
The leader of the group, Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho, currently in a Beninese jail, and the 84-year old founder, Prof. Banji Akintoye, who has fled the country get their Obas wrong while the group stormed the Southwest with their Oodua Nation rally months ago.
Now, these same traditional rulers who watched them and probably hosted Igboho and his groups, are now warning against secession or any kind of agitation to break Yoruba away from Nigeria.
Nine of those southwest traditional rulers just told an anti-secession group, the Yoruba Appraisal Forum (YAF), secession is a no.
Among the Obas are; Olubadan of Ibadanland in Oyo State, Oba Saliu Adetunji; Soun of Ogbomosoland, Oyo State, Oba Jimoh Oyewunmi Ajagungbade III; Olowo of Owo, Ondo State, Oba Ajibade Gbadegesin, Ogunoye III; Oluwo of Iwoland in Osun State, Oba AbdulRasheed Adewale Akanbi; Onisan of Isan-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Oba Gabriel Adejuwon Adetila; Olu of Moloko-Asipa, Igbore, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Oba Nureni Nasiru Adesina; and the Elemure of Emure-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Oba Emmanuel Adebowale Adebayo—they all told the group’s National Coordinator, Adeshina Animashaun, Yoruba wants peace. Not war.
In a statement, YAF quoted the royal fathers as saying the Yoruba race would gain nothing but only lose out in any violent confrontation with the Federal Government and the rest of the country.
The Olubadan said: “I’m happy over your visit to my palace. I can see the wisdom in what you’re doing. So many things are happening at this point in time. I want to assure you that the Yoruba are not sleeping or docile. My prayer is that Yorubaland will not experience any chaos or violence. Before we are all Nigerians, we’re first and foremost Yoruba.
Oba Oyewunmi warned those agitating for a separate Yoruba Nation to perish the thought.
“Which ethnic group in Nigeria is the largest? You’re talking about 2023 elections. I think the majority will always carry the vote. This you should not forget. This is one area you should work on,” he said.
“Talking about agitations for secession, where will the Yoruba go to? God created us all to live together. I remember when we had three regions, we had been cooperating and doing things together and there was no problem. When you were all voting then, nobody talked about secession, why should we now be talking about division. If we secede, where do we want to go now?”
The Olowo of Owo, Oba Ajibade Gbadegesin Ogunoye III, said there is no basis for the agitation for the secession of Yorubaland from the rest of the country.
“If we can return to true Federalism, everything will be fine for Nigeria. For now, there is no basis for agitations for secession. Before independence, the realisation of the fact that we are of different ethnic nationalities necessitated the adoption of true Federalism. May God help us. Yorubaland won’t disintegrate or be destroyed,” the Olowo told the YAF delegation at his palace in Owo, Ondo State.
The Oluwo of Iwoland in Osun State, Oba AbdulRasheed Adewale Akanbi, during the visit to his palace by YAF, expressed his opposition to any plan by the Yoruba to break away from the rest of Nigeria.
Oba Akanbi, represented by the Aro of Iwo, Chief Ola Iyanu Oluwa, said war is never predictable.
“Although we’re not happy, we’re not satisfied with the way things are in Nigeria, we’ve been hearing people talking about secession, Yoruba Nation and all that. We’re praying that God should help rearrange Nigeria. We know the result will be a positive one so long as we all have good intention to make Nigeria better. So, all the actions you’re taking are satisfactory to us and may God grant you success,” he said.
While also receiving the YAF team at his palace in Isa-Ekiti in Ekiti State, the Onisan of Isan-Ekiti, Oba Gabriel Ayodele Adejuwon Adetila, Ilufemiloye I, said it was impossible for Yorubaland to secede from Nigeria.
Oba Adetila said: “We must follow the right path to ensure unity and peace. What has been militating against unity in Yorubaland is personal interests of the individuals. Everybody is fighting and struggling to achieve his political aim. If we are talking about Oodua Nation, it’s a good thing but it can still exist within a united Nigeria.”
The Elemure of Emure-Ekiti, Oba Emmanuel Adebowale Adebayo, who also hosted the YAF delegation in his palace in Emure-Ekiti, Ekiti State, warned Yoruba youths not to allow themselves to be used by politicians to foment trouble under the guise of agitating for Yoruba nation.
“Nobody should be thinking of fighting any war. Whoever wants to fight war should withdraw all his children in America and UK back home to fight,” Oba Adebayo said.
While welcoming the YAF delegation to his palace in Abeokuta, Ogun State, the Olu of Moloku-Asipa, Igbore, Abeokuta, Oba Nureni Nasiru Adesina, said the Alake and Paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, has always insisted on peaceful co-existence throughout his domain and Nigeria at large.
For the agitators already in the clasp of the federal government, there’s not much going fr them.
All the efforts of Ooni of Ife, Oba Eniitan Ogunwusi, the Afenifere, through the agency of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, have yielded no fruit as Igboho, remains in jail, and might eventually be returned to Nigeria.