By Ezeocha Nzeh
Following the decision of the Yoruba nation agitators to attend and brief the United Nations General Assembly on the reasons behind its current move to actualize its move for a separate and independent Oduduwa republic from the present Nigeria, a coalition of Yoruba groups, under the aegis of the Yoruba Appraisal Forum (YAF) has petitioned the United Nations and its five permanent members, as well as the European Union (EU), the African Union (AU) and other powerful countries across the world protesting the plan by the umbrella body of Yoruba self-determination groups, Ilana Omo Oodua, to present a petition against the Nigerian government at the 76th General Assembly of the UN.
YAF, which in the petition urged the UN and the five Super Power countries to bar Ilana Omo Oodua and its allies from attending the UNGA to present its petition against the Federal Government of Nigeria, stated that “the ultimate objective of this plan by the group is to achieve nothing salutary or beneficial to the people of Nigeria, but to further their evil design to undermine and bring down the country and the incumbent administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, out of sheer malice over the forthcoming 2023 general elections.”
The Yoruba coalition group in the petition, titled, “Stop Plans by Ilana Omo Odua to attend 76th United nations General Assembly (UNGA),” accused the Yoruba nation agitators of stockpiling arms aimed at causing mayhem and violent activities across the six Yoruba speaking states of Nigeria
The Forum noted further that Ilana Omo Oodua’s endorsement of the recent petition by the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (NINAS), urging the Nigerian Government to conduct a referendum, is only part of the strategy by the group to legitimise its plan for the violent dissolution of the Nigerian Federation.
It accused Ilana Omo Oodua and its allies of stockpiling arms and ammunition for its alleged plan to eventually confront the Federal Government in its bid to achieve its “evil objective” of breaking up the Nigerian state under the guise of fighting for an independent Yoruba Nation.
The Forum in the petition which was signed by its national Coordinator, Adeshina Animashaun, alleged that Ilana Omo Oodua and its allies “have snatched over 300 AK-47 rifles from military, police and para-military personnel they have attacked and killed across the country,” adding, “Those dangerous weapons are still in possession of these the non-state actors bent on destroying Nigeria. As at the last count, these dangerous groups, including Ilana Omo Oodua, have killed no fewer than 180 military men, 600 other para-military personnel, including policemen.”
Prof Banji-Akintoye-led Ilana Omo Oodua had recently announced its plan to attend the 76th UNGA scheduled for September to present a petition to the global organisation over its demand for a separate and independent Yoruba Nation.
The YAF in the petition which was made available to newsmen in Abuja, accused Ilana Omo Oodua of funding “the violent activities of the self-styled Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Igboho, who is currently undergoing trial in the Benin Republic for gun-running following his recent arrest at that country’s airport while attempting to flee.”
The Forum alleged that Ilana Omo Oodua “is merely using Igboho to destabilise Nigeria through his nefarious, unpatriotic and violent agitation for an independent Yoruba nation.”
It further accused the Ilana Omo Oodua of getting “foreign funding from some ignorant Nigerians in the Diaspora to fund its plots to “destabilise the current government and the Nigerian nation and eventually truncate the country’s democracy.”
YAF also expressed its displeasure with Ilana Omo Oodua and its allies for constituting “themselves to unrepentant critics of the current government through their frequent acerbic and destructive outbursts and attacks against the government, coupled with the violence they unleash on innocent Nigerian citizens, which have become their pastime.”
It added, “Their obsession to pull down the current government has reached a stage where they have reduced themselves to playing the ignoble role of being the coordinator of all subversive activities against the Nigerian nation and the present administration. Their stock-in-trade is offering unsolicited and unconstructive but destructive criticisms and unleashing violence dressed in the garb of agitation for a separate Yoruba Nation.”
YAF’s petition to the UN further partly read, “As we stated recently, we are aware that this group (Ilana Omo Oodua) and individuals behind the recent violence in different parts of the South-West of Nigeria have a more sinister objective of destabilising the Nigerian nation for the selfish political end of those bankrolling them. They are only merely covering up their agenda with the cloak of fighting for Yoruba freedom and self-determination. Their plan now is to take their self-imposed agitation for independence and self-determination to the next level, which would involve outright widespread violence fashioned after what the IPOB/ESN are now doing in the South-East and South-South regions of Nigeria.
“It is very clear that the masterminds of this violence are bent on throwing Nigeria into total chaos to hasten the collapse of governments at both the state and federal levels to enable them to execute their evil plans for Nigeria, ahead of the 2023 general elections.
“They are planning to take advantage of the current security challenges in the country to wreak further havoc, starting with the South-West and expecting to instigate reprisals against Southerners in the North of Nigeria with the ultimate objective of destabilising the country, just as their partner-in-crime, IPOB is currently doing in the South-East and South-South regions of this country.”
The Forum further warned in the petition of its readiness to mobilise its members across the country to confront any group planning to destabilise Yoruba land under the guise of agitations for self-determination and a separate country for the Yoruba.
It, therefore, advised the UN to “vehemently resist the manipulation by unpatriotic elements to gain undeserved sympathy and support as well as score cheap political points with the global body and instigate violence against the Nigerian government to trigger the country’s disintegration.