Secession: It's time for Yoruba people to hold a referendum - Akintoye

Professor Banji Akintoye

Professor Banji Akintoye

Secession: It's time for Yoruba people to hold a referendum - Akintoye
Professor Banji Akintoye

Chairman, Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (NINAS), Prof. Banji Akintoye on Wednesday said it is time the Yoruba people hold a referendum to secede from Nigeria.

Akintoye, in a statement said the Yoruba people must now move forward to accomplish their Yoruba Nation’s self-determination by holding a referendum.

“A referendum is exactly like a regular election in which people line up at voting stations to vote for a candidate.

“I want the Yoruba Republic separate from Nigeria. Each voter will be able to vote YES or NO. That is the Yoruba Nation Referendum,” he said.

“But we Yoruba need to take some steps before we can get to our referendum. The first step is to make a strong statement loud and clear that we Yoruba want a referendum. The best peaceful way to make that statement is to circulate a petition among us that we want a referendum,” he added.

Akintoye urged all the millions of Yoruba people within and beyond Nigeria to vote in support of that petition, saying that signing in the petition that they wanted the Yoruba Nation would enable the group use the petition supported by millions of Yoruba people as a weapon to get referendum.

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According to him, the group might use the petitions to pressurise the Federal Government to grant Yoruba people referendum, adding that the chances were that the Federal Government would not grant the petition.

Alternatively, Akintoye said the group might take their petition to state government and demand that they should grant them referendum.

“Since our state governments are our own elected governments, we have a much better chance to compel them to do what we will want. What we will need is intense pressure persistently applied. We must not take no for answer.

“Finally, we can take our petition to the United Nations and demand of them to come and arrange our referendum. The United Nations has carried out referendums in many parts of the world. One such referendum made it possible for South Sudan to break away from the Republic of Sudan. Another made it possible for Timor Les to break away from Indonesia,” he said.

Akintoye added that their petition supported by millions of Yoruba people was a great weapon to get their referendum.

“So, we Yoruba must all make a rush to vote for the petition that is now being circulated by NINAS,” he stated.