Many Yoruba groups under the aegis of Assembly of all Yoruba Groups Worldwide have set June 12, 2021 as a day of referendum for the South-West region.
The groups disclosed this on Thursday after their meeting held in Ibadan, the Oyo State.
The meeting was tagged “The Paramountcy of Yoruba Unity in Tackling The Insecurity Menace in Yorubaland.”
In a communique read on behalf of the groups by Otunba Deji Osibogun after the meeting, they said the push for Yoruba self-determination is non-negotiable.
Noting various threats to security in Yoruba land, the meeting charged Yoruba people, especially the elites, to return to protect their land.
The meeting also tasked every House of Assembly in the South-West to pass a resolution on the state of insecurity in Yorubaland.
The groups called on members representing Yoruba constituencies in the Senate and House of Representatives to move a motion on insecurity in Yorubaland within the next 90 days, precisely June 25.
They urged Yoruba groups to organise relief materials for Fulani ravaged victims while a Yoruba Central Coordinating Council was also proposed.
In his remarks, popular historian, Prof. Banji Akintoye, who was represented by Tunde Hamzat, stressed that the call for Yoruba self-determination should not be misconstrued as secession.
Akintoye said the Yoruba nation will be achieved peacefully through the building of a consensus and mobilisation of the people.
Also speaking, Ambassador Yemi Farounbi stressed that Yoruba people should be ready to defend themselves against threats to their lives.
He charged all Yoruba individuals and groups to bring to bear their intellect, assets, and knowledge for the cause of the Yoruba nation.
In the same vein, renowned lawyer, Femi Falana (Senior Advocate of Nigeria), who made a phone call during the event, harped on the need for restructuring of Yorubaland.
He called on Yoruba people to take charge of their affairs and ensure the development of the Yoruba nation.
To curb herders/farmers’ clashes, he urged the Yoruba nation to embrace ranching as it was in the times of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the first Premier of the region.
Groups present at the event included YorubaKoya and Soludero.
Yoruba nation: We stand with Alake – Egba Obas, women declare
Egba traditional rulers, women chiefs and leaders, as well as other indigenes of Egbaland at home and in diaspora have declared their unflinching support for the Alake, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo.
Oba Gbadebo was recently attacked by some social media users over a comment that Nigeria is better as an indivisible entity and that the black race would fail if Nigeria failed.
Alake admonished those beating the drum of war to embrace peace, warning that no nation could accommodate 250 million people as refugees.
The Oba’s comment came a few days after the self-acclaimed activist, Sunday Adeyemo (aka Sunday Igboho) declared that Yoruba would no longer be a part of Nigeria.
With this, Sunday Igboho’s spokesperson, Olayomi Koiki, did a video, wherein he attacked the Alake, with a threat that angry Yoruba youths would invade his palace because he did not support the secession plan.
Aside from Koiki, many individuals called out the monarch on social media for his comment, which they interpreted as tackling Sunday Igboho.
On Thursday evening, Egba kings, chiefs, women leaders and traders trooped out to tell the Paramount Ruler that they were behind him.
Reports that the verbal attack on Alake was described by the Osi Egba, High Chief Bode Mustapha, as unwarranted, ill-advised and a desecration of the Yoruba’s respect for the truth, the royalty and the elders.
Egba Women Chiefs and market leaders, who were led by Iyalode Alaba Lawson, were at the Ake Palace in Abeokuta to show solidarity and renew their loyalty to the king.
Represented by the Otun Iyalode, Lawson told the Alake to continue to stand by his clarion call for justice and peace, not only in Egbaland, but also in Nigeria, saying “we don’t want war in Egbaland.”
She assured the revered monarch that the entire Egba women were solidly behind him, saying it is only those looking for the wrath of God and Egba people that would speak ill of Oba Gbadebo.
In her words, the Iyaloja of Egba, Chief Kemi Oloyede, emphasised that “Egba traders will never allow social media miscreants to insult our revered monarch, in whatever circumstances”, adding that only uncultured people would insult an Oba.
In the same vein, Egba traditional rulers, swore to always “defend the good name and the integrity of the Alake.”
The Olu of Itori, Oba AbdulFatai Akamo said this when he led a group of Egba Obas and Baales to pay homage to the Alake.
Oba Akamo stated that the Alake should not be bothered by what he called the “misguided utterances of social media hoodlums”, who he said had no other business than to spread fake news and engage in “anti-social behaviour and irresponsible cultural attitude to their community leaders.”
Akamo warned those peddling fake news and making disrespectful statements about the Alake to immediately desist or “be ready to face self-inflicted cultural destruction.”
Responding, Oba Gbadebo thanked the Egba women, Obas, Baales, individual visitors, callers as well as Egba High Chiefs for their support to pursue truth and integrity.
He stressed that it was not those who rightly or wrongly caused a war that suffered calamities, but the innocent, especially women, children and the aged.
He added that in spite of the many challenges facing the nation, Nigeria would be better if leaders can sit together to talk sincerely with the fear of God, saying “it is better off to jaw-jaw than to war-war.”
He seized the occasion to call on political leaders, the youth, and religious bodies to remember that they had been called by God to lead Nigeria in peace and justice.