Some Yoruba groups advocating self-determination have fixed June 12 for referendum to determine whether Yoruba people want to remain in Nigeria or become an independent sovereign state.
The groups said this in a communique issued in Ibadan on Thursday at the end of their meeting. The communique was read by Chief Deji Osibogun, who is the leader of Yoruba Koya.
The central theme of the Assembly of All Yoruba Groups Worldwide was, ” The paramountcy of Yoruba unity in tackling the insecurity menace in Yorubaland.”
The meeting had a former Nigerian Ambassador to Philippines, Yemi Farounbi, as the chairman, leaders of the Agbekoya, hunters groups and others were present. Lagos lawyer, Femi Falana, was not physically present but called in on the telephone. He said Yoruba must unite and work together, saying the practice whereby an indigene of Oyo State could not rise to become the Chief Judge in Ekiti or any other state and vice versa should be done away with.
The communique read, ” The following days should be celebrated in Yorubaland: June 12 , 2021 is being set aside as the day of referendum for Yoruba on self determination. The determination referendum will be held on June 12. On October 1, which is national Independence Day and September 21 which is the day Yoruba people signed the peace treaty.
“The painful situation in Yewaland, Oke-Ogun, Ekiti, Ondo which has made some of our citizens refugees in neighboring country is rejected. All Yoruba should go back to their towns and villages and protect their land.
“The elites of Yorubaland are being enjoined to be ready and make more impactful and meaningful contributions towards the determination of the new Yoruba nation.
“All Yoruba groups are to make unity of purpose their cardinal goals. The meeting appreciate the efforts of the Ooni of Ife, (Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi); the Alafin of Oyo, (Oba Lamidi Adeyemi), the Ogunsua of Modakeke (Oba Moses Oyediran), the Awujale of Ijebu, Oba and other Obas in Yorubaland that identify with this mission.
“All Yoruba groups should henceforth begin to mobilise relief materials for the affected Yoruba people in the Fulani ravaged areas.
“The meeting resolved to call members of all Houses of Assembly across Yorubaland and Yoruba lawmakers in the House of Representatives and the Senate to move a meaningful motion for self determination of Yoruba nation so that they can identify with the people they represent and this has a timeline of 90 days starting from March 25 to June 25, 2021.”
Meanwhile, a Yoruba self-determination group based in the United Kingdom named
Yoruba Voice of Liberation, has warned the Federal Government against any attempt to arrest Yoruba people calling for self-determination.
The group said in a statement signed by the President and Secretary-General of YOVOL respectively, Ayo Faleti and Ademola Adekunle, on Thursday that self-determination via referendum is legal and constitutional.
The statement read, “The Federal Government of Nigeria has a bad case against the call for referendum and the Yoruba people consider the threat issued by President Muhammadu Buhari through the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru on Mr Sunday Adeyemo as drumming up war; indeed on all ethnic nationalities.
“The evidence of oppression and suppression in the Nigerian state is everywhere for everyone to see, including conscious effort by a sitting President to use the power of the office to suppress all other ethnic groups. Considering all the above, it is evident that the notion of ‘indivisible Nigeria’ is baseless and non factual. Any use of force will worsen the situation.
“Even self determination remains the right of all peoples, including entitlement to secede from an existing state. United Nations Article 2(4) permits self-defence if an armed attack occurs before the Security Council takes necessary measures. The concerns in UK/EU or Scotland/UK relationship was far lesser than the deaths and poverty the ethnic nationalities in Nigeria are forced to bear. Yet Britain gave people the choice. In Nigeria, leaders who agreed they have failed the country, driving it to the brink are insisting on forcing the next way of life on the people they agreed they already led wrongly.. It is untenable and at the best can be described as rape and abuse of the people of various ethnic nationalities.”