AKURE – A group fighting for the independence of the Yoruba race under the aegis of “Yoruba Self-Determination Movement (YSDM), has described its recent letter to President Muhammadu Buhari as justified and appropriate under the law.
The Vice –Chairman of the group, Mr. Banji Ayiloge, spoke while receiving members of the communication team of the group who paid him a courtesy call in Akure, the Ondo State capital
Ayiloge who is an activist and former Commissioner for Information in Ondo State said the letter was written to serve notice to Nigeria that the Yoruba Nation is prepared to peacefully exit Nigeria.
He pointed out that “the letter became necessary because members of the Diplomatic team were being asked what the reaction of the government of Nigeria has been to Yoruba demands for separate nation of our own”.
According to him” YSDM was temperate in our letter to the President of Nigeria because we must demonstrate that Yoruba are peace-loving people”
He added that those who think we are supplicants because we used a measured tone to demand for our rights are not familiar with the Yoruba principles.
Ayiloge said throughout history, Yoruba have always attempted to solve thorny issues with diplomacy and tactics and not by violent means.
The Vice- Chairman pointed out that the Yoruba people can now wait for one more month to await the reaction of the President of Nigeria.
On what the Movement would do if President Buhari maintained his characteristic silence, Ayiloge said while in some instances “silence could mean consent.” we are prepared to consult our people for the next line of action, adding that the momentum for a separate nation has built up to a crescendo among Yoruba people and there is no going back.
He noted that the Yoruba Self-Determination Movement, YSDM, is an amalgamation of many Yoruba organizations around the world that fully subscribe to the notion of the Yoruba self determination project.
“Thus, the decision of the next line of action rests with the Yoruba Council which is the highest policy making organ of the organization. The council will determine the next line of action.
The Veteran journalist also urged Yoruba people to be law-abiding in the face of constant provocations.
Ayiloge said those Yoruba who have been commenting on the letter probably never saw a copy.
He stressed that the letter was not solely signed by Professor Banji Akintoye but was signed by Four signatories of Prof. Banji Akintoye, Banji Ayiloge, Chief Sunday Igboho and Prof. Adeniran.
According to him “YSDM is not perturbed by the few Yoruba who are not fully onboard with the Yoruba Self- Determination Movement call for a nation. But we believe that as events continue to unfold in Nigeria it will become clear to them that ours is just cause.
“The wish of most Yoruba to have their own country is not new, it has been advocated for before independence but the resurgence reached crescendo with the relentless invasion of our land by foreigners who whose sole aim is to take over our land. They set this evil act in motion through intimidation, killing, maiming, and the raping of their women.
Ayiloge said the five million Yoruba who signed the petition to have Yoruba nation is a testimony to their desire to be free from internal colonialism calling on the government to act on the letter without further delay.