A coalition of groups, Yoruba Appraisal Forum has warned the various groups claiming to be championing the cause of the Yoruba people of the South-West to stop their subversive and unpatriotic utterances and activities or risk the wrath of its members.

YAF vowed to resist with “the last drop of our blood” all attempts by these self-acclaimed freedom fighters in Yorubaland “to throw our motherland into needless chaos, destruction and desolation” by their divisive utterances and nefarious activities.

According to the YAF, the recent activities of the various irredentist groups masquerading in the South-West geo-political zone as self-determination bodies fighting to protect the interest of the larger Yoruba race border on treason against the Nigerian state.

The group, in a statement by its Coordinator, Adeshina Animashaun, specifically fingered the Prof. Banji Akintoye-led Yoruba World Congress (YWC) as the culprit and umbrella body for these amorphous Yoruba groups, saying that the aims and objectives of the YWC and its cohorts were “patently suspect.”

It accused the YWC and its alleged cohorts of planning to unleash avoidable violence and needless destruction on the peace-loving Yoruba people in collaboration with their foreign sponsors, in their quest to achieve the violent secession of the South West from the rest of Nigeria for their own selfish interest.

YAF said that the YWC and its cohorts were only bent on bringing hardship and disaster to the peace-loving people of the South-West by their devilish plan to violently confront the rest of the Nigerian nation.

It, therefore, urged government at all levels and all security agencies “to be more informed about the divisive tendencies of these groups and nip it in the bud.”

The YAF statement made available to journalists on Friday, read in part, “The YORUBA APPRAISAL FORUM is by this statement giving a notice that we, as responsible Yoruba, will not fold our arms and watch a few disgruntled and self-serving individuals to turn our dear Yorubaland into another Somalia, Sudan and Rwanda or a war-torn zone, where anarchy, bloodshed, proliferation of arms and wanton destruction of lives and property would become the order of the day in place of the prosperity that Yorubaland has been known for over thousands of years.

“If it ever becomes imperative for Yorubaland to break away from the rest of Nigeria, if at all things will ever get to this level, it should be a collective decision of all Yoruba people within Nigeria and in the Diaspora. It should not be a decision for a caucus of selfish individuals as represented by Akintoye’s YWC and his collaborators.

“We know the paymasters of those singing the current tune of secession in Yorubaland. Their main objective is to tear the country apart and cause disaffection between hard-working Nigerians residing in Yorubaland and their peace-loving hosts.

“But the purveyors of secession in Yorubaland should know now that there is no way we will allow anybody under the guise of fighting for the freedom of Yoruba people to confiscate the property and possessions of people of other ethnicity legally living in the South-West.

“Therefore, to be forewarned is to be forearmed. The YORUBA APPRAISAL FORUM won’t allow anyone or group of persons to destroy our future and that of those coming behind us.

“We’ll resist with the last drop of our blood all attempts by these renegades masquerading as freedom fighters in Yorubaland to throw our motherland into needless chaos, destruction and desolation.”

Below is the full text of the YAF statement:

Oduduwa Republic: A note of warning to individuals, groups bent on taking Yorubaland on a journey to perdition

A press statement by the YORUBA APPRAISAL FORUM on the nefarious activities of some so-called Yoruba leaders and self-determination groups claiming to be championing the interests of the people of the South-west.

“A motley crowd of discontents, zealots and irredentists have lately increased the tempo of their unpatriotic activities in the media, masquerading as championing the cause of the Yoruba people of the South-West of Nigeria.

“Their activities, at best, qualify for nothing good other than treason!

“The most vociferous of these disparate and so-called Yoruba self-determination groups is the Yoruba World Congress (YWC), which claims to be the umbrella body for these amorphous groups, whose aims and objectives are patently suspect.

“It is now very clear that the ultimate objective of the YWC and its cohorts is violence and secession.

“They are only, by their nefarious and unpatriotic activities, bent on bringing hardship and disaster to the peace-loving people of the South-West.

Infact, the recent subversive activities of the YWC and its cohorts underscore the need for the government and the security agencies to be more informed about the divisive tendencies of these groups and nip it in the bud.

“The YWC, which is the arrowhead of these ignominious groups is, through and through, an organisation working for the dismemberment of the Nigerian nation.

“Gentlemen of the press, recall that in April this year, this Yoruba irredentist organisation, committed an act of treasonable felony against the Nigerian nation by announcing that the Yoruba ethnic stock of Nigeria had been accepted as the 45th member of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO). The YWC shamelessly added that the development was “a very important step in the collective quest of well-meaning Yoruba people to achieve the goal of dignity and self-determination.” What an imprudent action!

“YWC President-General, Prof. Banji Akintoye, in a press statement, had disclosed that the membership of the Yoruba-speaking nation of UNPO was contained in a letter addressed to him through the YWC Coordinator for Europe by the UNPO Secretary-General, Ralph Bunche.

“Akintoye had added that with the latest development, the Yoruba nation, just like the Catalonian people of Spain, can put forth their organs of representation such as people’s parliament and an indigenous people’s government “with a flag as our symbol.”

“The YORUBA APPRAISAL FORUM wants to state emphatically that this is nothing short of treason against the Nigerian state!

“Akintoye, the controversial Yoruba leader, also recalled in the statement that some formerly unrecognised nations that were now members of UNPO but were now independent nations and members of the United Nations, include Armenia, East Timor, Estonia, Latvia, Georgia and Palau and stressed that the international body, like many others, had the capacity to help the Yoruba nation to achieve its goals within the Nigerian Federation. What goals could he be referring to other than secession? What an impudent and unpatriotic remark against Nigeria, our dear fatherland!

“The statement, antics and body language of the YWC are enough clear indications of the sinister plans by some of these so-called Yoruba self-determination groups and their leaders like Prof. Akintoye, to lead their innocent and unsuspecting people to secede from Nigeria.

“In fact, the infiltration and hijacking of the Amotekun security outfit by these selfish group and persons is one of their plans to use the South West security apparatus to achieve their devilish aim of seceding and dismembering Nigeria.

“Gentlemen of the press, with Amotekun, they plan to sustain unprovoked attacks and intensify the provocation of other Nigerians, especially Northerners, in the pursuit of their selfish and devilish agenda to cause the disintegration of the country.

“The recent unprovoked killings of some Nigerians from the North, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown, are aimed at provoking other citizens from that part of the country to react so that there could be grounds for violence and chaos in the South West and across the country! We have observed that the killing of some Northerners in the South West states aggravated shortly after the YWC’s announcement that the Yoruba nation had been accepted as a member of the UNPO.

“For your information, the Amotekun security outfit is merely lying in wait to launch attack on Nigerians from the other parts of the country, especially Northerners living in the South West, under the guise of providing security for the people of the region, just to attract sympathy and to access more funding from such international bodies as the UNPO.

“In a nutshell, Amotekun is nothing but the armed wing of the YWC and other Yoruba separatist organisations planning secession of the South West from the rest of Nigeria.

“To further gain sympathy from their sponsors, Akintoye, recently, raised false alarm over the safety of the Yoruba ethnic stock under the Nigerian nation on the occasion of this year’s General Assembly of the UNPO, held virtually due to travel restrictions imposed to curtail the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Akintoye lied to the UNPO General Assembly that the Nigerian environment had been consistently harsh to the Yoruba people, who dominate the South-West part of the country. Nothing can be further from the truth than such a laughable claim by an elderly scholar.

“More laughable is Akintoye’s claim that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration had already begun to take action against the Yoruba people by removing the Yoruba World Congress from the list of state-registered organisations.

“Akintoye had further alleged that security forces were preparing to clamp down on YWC members. Nothing can be further from the truth than this, too. His organisation is not reckoned with as such to attract any attention.

“At its recent General Assembly, the YWC was inducted as a full member of the UNPO alongside four others, including the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra, represented by Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, one of the allies of the YWC.

“This development, where these unpatriotic organisations and individuals are left unchecked in perpetrating various subversive activities, poses serious threat to Nigeria’s unity and could result in her disintegration, which is clearly the ultimate objective of the YWC and its cohorts.

“There is intelligence that the ultimate plan of the YWC and its allies in other parts of the country such as MASSOB, IPOB and others of their ilk is to unseat the President through violence and dismember the Nigerian nation.

“The YWC, as the arrow head of this subversive elements and organisations, plans to achieve their devilish aim in collaboration with its allies across the country.

“The threat the YWC and its allies pose to the country should no longer be taken with levity because, unknown to the authorities in Nigeria, they already have support from many other foreign bodies in addition to the UNPO.

“Already, their trained militia have infiltrated the South West security outfit, Amotekun, and they are just lying in wait to launch their attack on the entire country. They have done so through the various Yoruba socio-cultural organisations and civil society bodies whose members have formed the core of the South-West security outfit.

“They have a latest plan to spark off civil unrest across the country to be spearheaded by the YWC in the South West while their allies will escalate the violence in other parts of the country.

“YWC and its collaborators also have as their targets of violent attacks, selected traditional rulers, politicians and members of the National Assembly.

“It is at this juncture that every Yoruba sons and daughters in Nigeria and the Diaspora should begin to ask the YWC and the other so-called Yoruba self-determination groups whose interests they are championing. They should convince us, their kinsmen they claim to be fighting for, the rationale behind their subversive and unpatriotic activities against the Nigerian nation.

“The Yoruba, as we all know, is one of the three major ethnic groups and one of the three biggest stakeholders of the Nigerian nation. So, it beats our imagination that anyone or group of persons in their right senses should come together and preoccupy themselves with raising false alarm and crying wolf where none exists about perceived persecution and marginalisation of the Yoruba in a country where the ethnic group has the God-given privilege of being one of the biggest three!

“There is no doubt that the promoters of this evil agenda have equally devilish motive and sinister objectives they hope to ultimately achieve.

“Their unpatriotic activities are a cause for serious concern to all Yoruba people, and continue to raise more questions about their real intention and motive.

“YWC and its cohorts should tell the rest of the Yoruba people on whose authority they are demanding the secession of Yorubaland from the rest of Nigeria.

“They should tell us, the group of Yoruba people that gave them the mandate to work for the secession of Yorubaland from the rest of Nigeria, when and where they were instructed by such people to embark on this already ill-fated and disastrous journey.

“It has become imperative that Akintoye and his YWC, as well his other collaborators, tell us now the forum or fora where the Yoruba in Nigeria and all our kinsmen in the Diaspora sat down and took the decision to secede and dismember Nigeria.

“Furthermore, Akintoye, YWC and their cohorts should tell us how they came about the name, logo, anthem, currencies and other insignias purported to be that of the Oduduwa Republic of the Yoruba nation being bandied around now by the YWC and others without the approval of the majority of the Yoruba people of the South-west and the Diaspora.

“If the YWC and its cohorts fail to rationalise the above issues and explain to the satisfaction of the larger majority of the Yoruba people, they should halt all their nefarious and unpatriotic activities forthwith.

“The YWC and its cohorts have no moral grounds to stand on regarding their unpatriotic activities, as their reasons for embarking on this disastrous journey are not and can never be convincing to the larger majority of the Yoruba people in Nigeria and the Diaspora.

“We, as true Yoruba sons and daughters want to seize this opportunity to advise these our so-called leaders to wake up from their warped reverie and wild daydreaming. They should not just keep building castles in the air about their imaginary ‘Oduduwa Republic.’ With the people of their ilk as the driving force, the reality of an Oduduwa Republic will forever remain a pipe dream.

“We, therefore, call on the Federal Government, states in the South West and all well-meaning Nigerians to condemn this unpatriotic activities of the YWC and its cohorts before they plunge Yorubaland into needless but unprecedented bloodshed, which is inevitable if we fail to call them to order now and allow them to continue to thread this dangerous path to perdition.

“The fact is that YWC and all its collaborators are not sincere with the Yoruba people and the Nigerian nation, as they are only working to achieve their hidden, parochial and selfish agenda.

“We know their real intentions and plans, which are selfish and unfortunate. That is why the YORUBA APPRAISAL FORUM has always been outspoken in exposing the lies YWC and its cohorts bandy about. We repeat, their intentions are not in the interest of the Yoruba people and the South-West region!

“As we pointed out earlier, they are merely working for some interests within and outside the country with the objective of dismembering and destabilising Yorubaland and Nigeria as a whole, for their selfish pecuniary gains. For instance, we have it on good authority that some Yoruba are currently being mobilised in states like Niger, Kaduna, Kogi, Benue and Kwara to be armed under the guise of being members of the Amotekun security corps, but with the devilish aim of attacking perceived enemies of the Yoruba people in their states of residence.

“And with the reprisal this is expected to generate, non-indigenes resident in the South-West, particularly the Hausa/Fulani and Igbo would now be asked to vacate Yorubaland or risk being attacked. The expected failure or refusal by these non-indigenes to leave the South-West is to result in bloodshed. That’s their secret plan!

“As we also pointed out earlier, we have it on good authority that these groups have plans to attack some identified traditional rulers and members of the National Assembly just to create a semblance of the insecurity in some other parts of the country in the South West, just to justify and underscore their demand for the secession of Yorubaland from the rest of Nigeria.

“Gentlemen of the press, help us to ask Akintoye, the YWC and all their collaborators if their own biological children would be part of the Army of Yoruba youths they are planning to use as their foot soldiers to prosecute their evil agenda of a rebellion against the Nigerian state.

“As far as we know, the children of these so-called leaders of these Yoruba self-determination groups are in safe havens in Europe and America, while they are only planning to use other people’s children in the South-West as cannon fodder in their senseless plan of insurrection against the Nigerian nation. When their devilish plan boomerangs, we are sure, these so-called Yoruba leaders will take the next available international flight out of the country and leave behind the innocent Yoruba youths and people to suffer the calamity and bear the brunt, all alone.

“We want to bring it to the notice of all Yoruba sons and daughters that many of these so-called leaders shout secession in the morning only to go to their supposed enemies at night, cap-in-hand, to beg for juicy appointments and contracts. They are nothing but hypocrites exploiting the ignorance of some of our youths and people.

“We are, therefore, sounding a note of warning again to all our youths and people in Yorubaland not to be deceived any longer by the claims and lies usually told them by these self-serving Yoruba leaders and groups.

“The YORUBA APPRAISAL FORUM is by this statement giving a notice that we, as responsible Yoruba, will not fold our arms and watch a few disgruntled and self-serving individuals to turn our dear Yorubaland into another Somalia, Sudan and Rwanda or a war-torn zone, where anarchy, bloodshed, proliferation of arms and wanton destruction of lives and property would become the order of the day in place of the prosperity that Yorubaland has been known for over thousands of years.

“If it ever becomes imperative for Yorubaland to break away from the rest of Nigeria, if at all things will ever get to this level, it should be a collective decision of all Yoruba people within Nigeria and in the Diaspora. It should not be a decision for a caucus of selfish individuals as represented by Akintoye’s YWC and his collaborators.

“We know the paymasters of those singing the current tune of secession in Yorubaland. Their main objective is to tear the country apart and cause disaffection between hard-working Nigerians residing in Yorubaland and their peace-loving hosts.

“But the purveyors of secession in Yorubaland should know now that there is no way we will allow anybody under the guise of fighting for the freedom of Yoruba people to confiscate the property and possessions of people of other ethnicity legally living in the South-West.

“Therefore, to be forewarned is to be forearmed. The YORUBA APPRAISAL FORUM won’t allow anyone or group of persons to destroy our future and that of those coming behind us.

“We’ll resist with the last drop of our blood all attempts by these renegades masquerading as freedom fighters in Yorubaland to throw our motherland into needless chaos, destruction and desolation

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