by Bayo Oluwasanmi
These are heady days for Yoruba unity.
The Yoruba Summit,which held last week in Ibadan, represents a milestone in the way forward to extricate ourselves from the political sinking ship of Nigeria. Though the communique issued at the end of the summit didn’t call for outright separation of Yoruba from Nigeria, however, the 16-point resolve unequivocally put Buhari administration on notice to start restructuring now or risk tearing the country into shreds.
I’m for total separation of Yoruba from primitive, lawless, chaotic, crisis ridden ungovernable Nigeria. Nonetheless, I believe the Yoruba Summit was a good start to begin our journey to the Oduduwa Republic because I’m more than convinced the Hausa/Fulani oligarchy – defenders of the status quo – would never agree to any meaningful restructuring.
Like any other ethnic group, Yoruba people are exposed to their share of human character at its worst. The Hausa/Fulani are politically savvy at dividing Yorubas to maintain and monopolize their hegemony at the centre with the active collaboration of some traitors within the Yoruba people. Yorubas have been their own greatest enemies in the past as they patiently and obediently bowed to their second class treatment by Hausa/Fulani. Yorubas have been robbed of the presidency by Hausa/Fulani many times. Remember the gap-tooth Hausa monster Ibrahim Babangida who annulled June 12 presidential election won by MKO, a Yoruba. How could we forget the trumped up charges of treasonable felony preferred against Chief Awolowo by Hausa/Fulani led federal government of Tafawa Balewa? I can use a myriad of metaphors and platitudes to capture the chord of commonality – disunity – employed by Hausa/Fulani to achieve their political objectives.
The enemies within and without are at their game again. They’re trying to down play the importance of the Yoruba Summit. The reaction of some Yorubas on the social media on the Yoruba Summit is a confusing sum of disconnected and fragmented forces. Some argued that the summit was a summit of Christians because Muslims were excluded. Others said they were not consulted for their opinions hence the organizers could not have acted on their behalf. Yet, others said how could people like Governor Ayodele Fayose and Femi Fani-Kayode speak for them. It’s on record that the summit could boast of both Christian and Muslim members. Chief Sofola SAN, leader of the Yoruba Council of Elders, governors Aregbesola, Ajimobi, Amosun, Alhaji Wale Osun, leader of Afenifere Renewal Group, Alhaji Taofeeq Akinwale, one of the resource persons at the summit are all Muslims.
All the governors were present or represented. Yoruba Obas were led by Ooni of Ife and Alaafin represented by the Bashorun of Oyo the traditional Prime Minister. Also present were the Yoruba Council of Elders, Afenifere, the ARG, Vice-President Osinbajo represented by Femi Ojudu the political adviser to the President. Well known heavy weights of APC and PDP and thousands of party supporters from both parties buried their differences to discuss and fight for the common interest of all Yorubas regardless of political philosophy, party affiliation, and religious beliefs. Legislators from all the Yoruba states, the National Assembly were also represented and made presentations.
The critics of the summit on social media ridiculed the summit with personal charged jokes and jeers while some more reserved burst into hysterics. I couldn’t wait to finish reading their comments so I could get a respite from the ignorance and mean-spirited comments. It’s disappointing, to say the least that these set of Yoruba social media renegades prefer promoting Hausa/Fulani like Atiku and Buhari for 2019 instead of uniting with other Yorubas and fight for the liberation of their people. It’s comedic reading the fictional account of the summit by the purveyors of disunity – the distant devil – that plays among unsuspecting Yorubas and would strike in the days ahead to disparage and disperse the collective liberating voice of the representatives of our people.
Disunity is the greatest devil that torments the Yoruba people. This unimpeachable reality brings tears that sting the eyes. Dr Martin Luther King Jr. said, “to lose illusions is to gain truth.” It’s time for the hallucinating critics of Yoruba unity to face the truth and reality that a disunited Yoruba will stumble. “Truth can be the extra strength pain reliever or the sledge hammer to the forehead.” The summit to the majority of Yorubas is an emancipating truth. To those who serve as willing tools in the hands of enemies of Yoruba unity, they are instantly stunned and rendered unconscious and useless to the cause and struggle of our people to free themselves from the yoke and shackles of Hausa/Fulani hegemony.
Yoruba unity has never been vital to our survival as a people than now. We should not play with disunity – a weapon – that can wreak havoc on our fragile unity. We should not allow unguarded and misguided underdog groups fabricate their own compensatory versions of history. If our unity is cracked open, it’ll mean a journey into the unknown for a group never before so divided. We cannot and we must not gamble our resolve at the altar of clandestine and corrupt influences of the enemies of Yoruba people. Disunity will either instantly kill us or slowly bleed us dry of our dream, hope, aspirations, self-determination and ultimately our independence. But as history will show, disunity is as fluid as a lava flow. It never goes away. It just erupts from time to time. We must rise above it and jealously guard our unity.
We must stick to the 16-point demand reached at the Yoruba Summit. Buhari administration has chosen a time and a moment that would prove to be a great calamity if it fails to act wisely and promptly. To the agents of disunity, history will hold you accountable for the rupture of a dream of Yoruba people. That will be the inscription etched deep on your tombstones.
The die is cast. The revolution has begun. There’s no turning back!
Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija