Sep 30, 2020. By Akinwunmi King
LAGOS – As Nigeria celebrates her 60 years of gaining Independence from the colonial masters tomorrow, Thursday, October 1, 2020, a Diaspora Yoruba coalition, Yoruba One Voice (YOV), will stage a global rally for the actualisation of Oodua Republic.
According to the organisers of the rally, the self-determination rally tagged: “Oodua Republic” sensitisation campaign was designed to draw the attention of the world to the situation and happenings in Nigeria, as they stressed that the rally would be conducted in line with the global template for the fulfillment of its desire as well the liberation of the Yoruba people in Nigeria.
In a statement issued last week by YOV’s Director of Communications, Mr. Zacheaus Somorin, the group said all arrangements have been concluded to ensure a peaceful rally. The YOV, which is the umbrella body of over 300 groups of Yoruba descendants in the world, has presence in 176 countries.
“The rally is to sensitise the world on the need to liberate the Yoruba race from the shackles of bondage. We have made our position known to our people in Nigeria.
“The reason for seeking self-determination as the best means and alternative is to save the country from impending implosion.
“Nigeria has failed. The country is failing by the day. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Prof. Wole Soyinka and others have pointed to that, even as the Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Adams, has raised the alarm severally that the country is drifting.
“Similarly, the revered former Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, John Onaiyekan, now Archbishop Emeritus, didn’t mince words recently in an interview where he said Nigeria can break up even before 2023, if we continue to be irresponsible and reckless,” Somorin said in the statement.
While decrying the government policies, living conditions and quality of life in Nigeria, he cited insecurity, election rigging, corruption, nepotism, misgovernance, adding that leaders were not doing enough to solve recurring problems.
The spokesman insisted that it was high time citizens rise against political enslavement “by a section of the country”.
“This ‘forced marriage’ has not been working. Nigeria will be 60 on October 1 and do not have much to show. We need to change the narratives; we need to fight against lawlessness and the huge misappropriation of national fortune.
“In Nigeria today, life is of no value. There is raging insecurity, electoral rigging, corruption, nepotism and cruel misgovernance. Nigerians at home are mostly affected. There is a need for us to rise against political enslavement by a section of the country,” he added.
Somorin, however, urged Yoruba sons and daughters in Nigeria to brace up to the reality of the situation on ground, stressing that the coming event will surely change the narratives of the country.
“The feedback we are getting from the Diaspora indicates that Yoruba in Nigeria is ready for the rally and the campaign for the actualisation of Oodua Republic.
“The spirit of Yoruba race is high and we are monitoring unfolding events and I am sure we shall achieve the best for our race,” he affirmed.
Larger percentage of leaders in the region is backing the clamour for a Yoruba Republic. A former Secretary of Afenifere in Kwara State, Chief Wole Oke, in a recent interview expressed that the Yoruba deserve an independent country.
According to Oke, “We have abundant resources that can sustain us as a country. The Yoruba in this country deserve to have their country. There are so many countries across the world today that are not even up to half of our population and are doing well. I don’t have any doubt in my mind about our survival as a Yoruba nation.
“Today, the imperativeness of our exit from Nigeria is obvious, especially considering that the Fulani have taken over Nigeria. There is no other time for Yoruba to pull out of Nigeria but now,” Oke said.
Also, the Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, said, “The self-determination mood is growing stronger daily. What can stop it is to restructure Nigeria into a proper federation immediately.”
In a recent interview, President of Yoruba World Congress, Prof. Banji Akintoye declared that the agitation for self-determination is a legitimate struggle, and not an act of treasonable felony as the federal government wants Nigerians to believe.
As such, he vowed that there would be no going back on the renewed push for an Oduduwa Republic for the Yoruba nation, even as he advised against using force or taking any action that may cause harm to those calling for Nigeria’s breakup.
According to Akintoye, “Those saying that the agitation is a fluke should wait until October 1st to know whether it is real or not. But I want to declare here that nobody should harbour any doubt about the determination of Yoruba for self-determination. There is no going back, and come October 1st, we are going to make a formal declaration about it, and nobody including the federal government can stop us.
“The whole world is already aware of our mission, and there is nothing the federal government can do about it because what we are doing is not in any way illegal. It is within our legitimate right to determine whether we want to stay or not in the union called Nigeria. There is no way we can be held against our will if our people have already made up their mind to leave Nigeria. Nigeria is living on borrowed time, and it is just a matter of time before we all go our separate ways. There is no going back; Oduduwa Republic has come to stay. It has become a reality.”
The South Westerners are, however, waiting to see if the YOV will carry out its planned rally successfully, as there are fears that the government may use the instrumentality of the state to thwart the proposed rally.
Though the coalition on Monday, alleged a ploy by a popular unnamed politician based in Lagos to disrupt the peaceful protest.
The Coalition in a statement made available to newsmen on Monday and signed by its Communications Director,
Somorin, alleged that the politician plans to sponsor some miscreants to disrupt the peaceful protest.
The group claimed that it got information from its sources that each of the 500 hoodlums would be given N5, 000 each to carry out the task.
“As a coalition, we are using this medium to advise the sponsor of this malevolent act to desist from such as any action that will derail the liberation of Yoruba nations would not be taken lightly.
“Ideologically, YOV is no longer interested in a country that is seeking loan to develop another country – Niger Republic to be specific; with a rail network; we are not interested in a country that finds it palpably impossible to provide adequate security, electricity, quality road, food security, job security, affordable housing scheme, quality education, good public health sector. Nigeria is a country that doesn’t believe in the rule of law, hence fated to have a negative image – globally.
“The Nigerian State is preponderant of nepotism, with a centrally minded and clannish leader. This is evident in the Katsina State’s situation – there are 22 federal projects actively going on there; including refineries,” the statement read in part.
The group pointed out that, “No one needs to be told that the Katsina refinery is to serve the interests of Chad and Niger Republic. No single major project is going on in the state of his vice, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
“As we prepare for the October 1st rally, we appreciate the efforts of all the affiliate groups and organisations for a planned peaceful demonstration in all the six continents and 176 countries.
While referring to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s admittance that Nigeria could be heading for a national break up if urgent action is not taken, collectively, to mend and address the identified cracks that could fasten the unfortunate break up, the group added that, “We don’t want to belong to a country where ISIS and Al-Qaeda, have invade like Mideast.
“We want Oodua Republic that we can leave in peace and be a prosperous nation soon through referendum.”
Source: Independent Newspaper