By Ariwodola Idowu
The Agbajowo Advocacy for Yoruba People’s Rights, AAYPR, a Pan Yoruba socio-cultural
organisation, has condemned call for the break up of the country and secession of the Yoruba from Nigeria.
The group rejected clamours of secession of Yoruba from Nigeria as being canvassed by agitators like Sunday Adeyemo popularly known as Sunday Igboho and Prof Banji Akitoye.
The group made this known in a communique issued on Sunday in Ado Ekiti at the end of its monthly meeting.
In the communique, jointly signed by its National President and the Director of Media and Publicity, Otunba Muyideen Olamoyegun and Oluwasola Ibukun, respectively, the group warned that division of the country would complicate issues.
It urged Nigerians not to be distracted by the call by some Elders among the Yoruba race for the breakaway, noting that there is no time generality of Yoruba leaders met and discussed anything about breaking away from the current Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group suggested that it was better to insist on the need to restructure the country in all its ramifications instead of disintegration.
Rather, the Yoruba group canvassed need for continued unity amongst people of Yoruba extraction and Nigerians generally.
The group explained that it was more concerned about cementing the age long bond of relationship that existed between tribes towards engendering progress and cohesion of the country.
“To be sincere with ourselves, the current clamouring for secession will not yield any positive result.
“What the country needs to do at this time is to agitate for restructuring, tackle the current rise in crimes, the rise in prices of food commodities, unemployment among youths and the epileptic power supply in the country, among many others
“It is pathetic at this point that some elders in South West are in the forefront of those championing the division, forgetting that we have five other geo-political zones in this country.
“It is unwise for Yoruba people to join any clamour for the division of the country at this historical moment,” the communique read in part.
It stressed the need for the Yoruba race to remain monolithic within the Nigerian nation so as not to be sidelined midway and left behind in the scheme of things.
Drawing inference from the recent quit notice allegedly issued by the Arewa youths in the northern part of the country to the people of Yoruba living in their land as another big lesson to the Yoruba, it said the time had come for Nigerians to be mindful of their utterances and actions.
The group lamented what it described as the formation of several splinter associations within the Yoruba race, as against the popular Afenifere and AAYPR groups which, according to it, were the only recognised voices of the Yoruba race during the period of the Action Group of the defunct Western region.
The AAYPPR said the formation of the groups with each claiming its own identity and drawing followership along political lines and showing allegiance to individuals rather than the collective benefits of the race could portend great danger for the Yoruba.
“We think the time has come for all Yoruba leaders who have the interest of the people of the race to come together as one so as to move the people forward.
“The present situation where we have several associations being formed and are seen to be divided along political and group ideology is not healthy for the progress of our people.
“Since the demise of our highly revered sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and Chief Adekunle Ajasin, it has become almost impossible to get another person that will command the kind of respect the duo had when they were alive.
“Although, some of our leaders have attempted filling the vacuum left behind by these two leaders, the process has become almost impossible due to the influence of some politicians who infiltrated their ranks thereby truncating the vision of our past leaders.
“However, since the Yoruba race cannot continue to move like a ship without a captain, it has become important for all leaders of the race who meant well for the people to come together and form a common front while jettisoning their political affiliations,” the communique advised.