By ANDREW ESSIEN ABUJA
As part of their continuous peaceful campaigns against groups agitating for the secession of the Southwest and the dismemberment of Nigeria, a coalition under the aegis of the Yoruba Appraisal Forum (YAF) to sensitise the people and prominent indigenes of the states on the dangers posed to the Nigerian nation by self-acclaimed Yoruba self-determination groups.
The Coalition also seized the opportunity to present petitions to Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, his Ondo State counterpart, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN); Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Funminiyi Afuye; Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Bamidele Oloyelogun and prominent traditional rulers in the two states.
The members of the YAF, who have been going round states in the South-West to draw the attention of their Yoruba kinsmen to the plan to cut off Yoruba race from the rest of Nigeria, also petitioned the Ekiti and Ondo states’ commissioners for local government affairs.
They made this known I during their visit to Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State and Akure, the Ondo State capital.
Royal fathers petitioned by the Coalition in the two states include the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba (Dr) Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe Aladesanmi;Ogoga of Ikere Ekiti, Oba Adegboye Akaiyejo; Olojudo of Ido-Ekiti, Oba Ilori Faboro; Ajero of Ijero-Ekiti, Oba Joseph Adebayo Adewole II; Elekole of Ikole, Oba Adewumi Ajibade Fasiku; and Chairman of Ekiti Pelupelu Obas and the Alawe of Ilawe-Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Ajibade Alabi.
The Coalition also petitioned traditional rulers in Ondo State, including Chairman of Ondo State Traditional Rulers Council and Olugbo of Ugbo, Oba (Dr.) Fredrick Obateru Akinruntan; Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Odundun I; Olowo of Owo, Oba Gbadegesin; Osemawe of Ondo, Oba (Dr) Victor Adesunbo Kiladejo and Jegun of Ile-Oluji, Oba Adetimehin.
The coalition described as “devilish” alleged plans by some Yoruba secessionist groups to work for the break-up of Nigeria, warning that this could lead to a second civil war in the country.
It also faulted calls by some Yoruba leaders for the dismemberment of Nigeria and secession of the South-West region from the rest of the country.
The Coalition, which vehemently opposed the alleged secession plans by some other Yoruba groups, stressed that the unity of the country remained non-negotiable.
It, therefore, called on the Federal Government and the various security agencies to take urgent and decisive action against secession agitators in the South-West.
YAF National Coordinator, Adeshina Animashaun, who led other members during their visits to the two states, appealed to the six governors and other major stakeholders in the South-West to rise to the challenge and stop the plans by secession agitators and some Yoruba elders backing them to cause chaos in the the region.
Animashaun restated that the aims and objectives of the most vociferous of these disparate groups known as the Yoruba World Congress, which claimed to be the umbrella body for these amorphous groups, were “patently suspect.”
“Those people by their nefarious and unpatriotic activities are bent on bringing hardship and disaster to the peace loving people of the South West,” he said.
Animashaun recalled that the YWC President General, Prof Banji Akintoye, in a press statement, had disclosed that the membership of the Yoruba-speaking nation of the UNPO was contained in in a letter addressed to him through the YWC coordinator for Europe by the UNPO Secretary General, Ralph Bunches.
“Your Excellency, the 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,” he said.
The YAF coordinator noted that with Amotekun under the control of YWC, it was planning to sustain unprovoked attacks and intensify the provocation of other Nigerians, especially northerners, in the pursuit of their selfish and devilish aim of seceding and dismembering Nigeria.
Animashaun, therefore, stressed that YAF was not in support of any person or groups clamouring for the secession of Yoruba land from Nigeria.
He vowed that the Coalition and YAF members would not be part of any arrangement that the South-West state governors and Yoruba traditional rulers have not endorsed.
The YAF coordinator also reminded those agitating for the secession of Yoruba land from Nigeria that such act is treasonable and punishable under the law of the country.