Igboho, Akintoye write Tinubu, demand Yoruba exit from Nigeria

Date:

The Yoruba Self-Determination Movement, led by Prof Banji Akintoye and Chief Sunday Adeyemo, alias Sunday Igboho, has written an open letter to President Bola Tinubu, seeking a peaceful breakaway of Yoruba people from Nigeria.

The open letter, dated April 17, 2024, was signed by both Akintoye, Igboho and one Ola Ademola.

 

They called on the President to within the next two months set up a negotiation team to negotiate the exit of the Yoruba people from Nigeria.

 

The letter by the Yoruba Nation arrowheads came about a week after some armed agitators invaded the Oyo State Government House, attempting to hoist their flag on the premises of the state House of Assembly.

The agitators were subdued and 29 of them were last week taken before a magistratesโ€™ court in Ibadan, which ordered that they should be remanded in the prison custody.

 

Both Akintoye and Igboho dissociated themselves from the violent action.

 

However, in their open letter made available to our correspondent in Ibadan on Sunday, the Yoruba Self-Determination Movement, said, โ€œWe have the honour to send to Your Excellency this important letter on behalf of the many millions of Yoruba people at home in Yorubaland in Nigeria and in the Yoruba Diaspora in almost all countries across the world.

 

โ€œWe send this letter as a follow-up to our earlier letter, dated August 06, 2022, which we delivered to your predecessor, President Muhammadu Buhari, in his exalted position then as President of Nigeria.

 

โ€œSince 2015, the Fulani have been killing widely among the other peoples of Nigeria, including us Yoruba, destroying farms, villages and other assets, kidnapping men, women and children, extorting large amounts of money as ransom from friends and family of the kidnapped, and repeatedly asserting their intention to seize the homelands of all the indigenous peoples of Nigeria for the purpose of turning all into a Fulani homeland.โ€

 

The group said in the Middle Belt, horrendous blood-letting was going on with many families forced into Internally Displaced People Camps while many of their villages were seized by the Fulani and renamed as Fulani villages.

 

โ€œIn our Yoruba homeland, our people are resisting somewhat better, but the Fulani attacks and killings and kidnappings are unrelenting and are coming daily, leading to horrific instability, and forcing most of our farmers to abandon farming altogether, thereby dooming Yoruba people to years and years of famine.โ€

 

It further alleged that an unofficial estimate showed that Fulani had killed as many as 29,000 Yoruba people since 2015 till date, adding that aforementioned reasons were enough for them to seek breakaway from Nigeria.

 

โ€œAll these actions by the Fulani are, to us Yoruba, a sufficient reason for our seeking to separate our Yoruba Nation from Nigeria. Most of us, Yoruba have no confidence in the โ€˜restructuringโ€™ that some of our most respected Yoruba leaders (such as our fathers in our highly exalted Afenifere) are advocating.

 

โ€œAnd our reason is that we know that restructuring cannot keep the Fulani marauders away from our homeland. Since, after restructuring, the Fulani would still be Nigerians like us, and would still have full citizensโ€™ rights to come in large numbers, and with weapons and intent to kill and destroy and seize land, to our homeland.

 

โ€œThe Fulani elite seem to be saying in effect that they intend to make Nigeria ungovernable for President Tinubu, and that they would never accept any official action of his.

 

โ€œWe are acting for and on behalf of our 60 million Yoruba people of the Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, and Oyo State, respectively, plus the Yoruba Local Government Areas of Kogi and Kwara State, and plus the Itshekiri homeland of Delta State, all together constituting the Yorubaland in Nigeria, hereby most humbly place our crowning request before Your Excellency as follows:

 

โ€œThat the Nigerian Federal Government shall, within the next two months, but not later than June 15, 2024, inform us Yoruba Self-determination Movement that the Nigerian Federal Government has graciously agreed to our proposal for negotiation and that they have set up a negotiation team that will meet and have a dialogue with our Yoruba Nationโ€™s negotiation team.

 

โ€œThat the Nigerian Federal Government shall invite the United Nations, African Union and the Economic Community of West African States, to send observers to the negotiation meetings.โ€

 

It, therefore, promised to forward the list of its negotiation team to the government as soon as it received a message in response to its request for the negotiation.

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