Listing the groups as the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), the Yoruba Unity Forum (YUF), the Oodua Foundation, Afenifere, the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), the Coalition of Yoruba Autonomy (COYA), the Oodua Democratic Coalition (ODC), the Ominira Yoruba Apapo, and the Agbekoya Organization, the Forum said that the statement was an utter reckless, calling president Mohammadu Buhari to call the groups to order.
A communique signed by the Co-Ordinator General of the group, Usman Abdulkadir a meeting accused the Yoruba elders of inciting the general populace and especially the people of the South West region of the country to violence and bloodshed.
The Forum which regretted that such statement could emanate from the groups which he said should have noted the ethnic configurations of the country, stressing that the kidnapping of the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation was supposed to be a concern for all to help the president Buhari tackle the incessant case of kidnapping and insecurity at large.
“We have gathered here today to critically examine the recent unguarded and unwarranted vituperations that emanated from the Summit of Yoruba Elders in Ibadan, Oyo State and wish to state unequivocally that the threat to secession in the South West must not be taken lightly nor ignored by the Federal Government. It must be properly investigated by the security agencies and all actors in the summit must be brought to book”, Abdukadir said.
The forum recalled the situation of Boko Haram that has ravaged the North East and the various incidences of kidnapping in parts of Nigeria, asking whether the Yoruba Elders would have threatened to secede if the kidnappers of Chief Olu Falae were an Igbo or from other tribes in Nigeria.
“We believe the threat of secession by the Yoruba Elders has a hidden agenda which must be unravelled urgently by the security agencies because of the weighty nature of their statement and we know that if any region is to make such call, it should have been from the North East due to the ruin the region has witnessed in the last four years”, he said.
Part of the Communique read:, “A call for the breaking of Nigeria by a section of any individual or groups is a treasonable felony and there is no exception to what happened in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
“While we condemn kidnapping or any act of criminality by any indidual in the country and in any part of Nigeria, we want to use this opportunity to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to use all available means to protect the unity, oneness and integrity of this great country Nigeria. Nobody is above the law and no tribe or ethnicity can threaten our corporate existence without being called to account for their misdemeanours. The YCE should not be an exception”. The group said.
By Levinus Nwabughiogu