The recent acceptance of the Yoruba-speaking Nation to the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, UNPO, will give global voice to the age-long agitation for a better deal for Yorubas in the affairs of Nigeria.
A foremost Yoruba Nationalist, Prof. Banji Akintoye, stated this while fielding questions on AM120, a Breakfast Show on the Television Channel of the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State, BCOS.
Processor Akintoye said the body exists to give voice to Nations submerged in larger Countries, adding that, “being accepted into the UNPO is a recognition that you are a people that deserves a voice.”
The Yoruba Leader said: “we now have an Agency that can maximize our voice in the things we desire. It is like a person holding a cutlass in the bush, how you are going to use it is your business.”
The renowned Historian and former Senator, while speaking on the present political structure said, over- centralization of Governance has suppressed over 56 million people in Yoruba speaking Nation.
He added that: “We want to go back to that original plan in which each federating unit is free to manage its life without interference. In a country like Nigeria, Unitary System is impossible;” noting that Nigeria is not a Nation, but a Country of many Nations and “that is the foundation of our problems. Each tribe, each nationality should be able to determine their own fate.”
He said like every other emerging Nations, Yoruba Nation has an agenda put together by her history, culture and religion; for instance, it is part of Yoruba agenda to uphold their culture because the Yorubas are very proud of their culture.
Also, he noted that: “It is part of Yoruba agenda that people should select their kings from a pull of princes and the selection is done by high level Chiefs, this is very unique. It is also being recognized that Yorubas have the strongest and very clear tradition of religious tolerance in the world.”
Professor Akintoye said in agitating for freedom, Yoruba Nation remains the only major Nation that never demanded break up; for them, it is “build, build and not break, break”.
The Emeritus Professor of History described as laudable the security network set up by Governors in the South-West States; saying it will assist to defend Yoruba Farmers in villages and rural communities, as well as people residing in Urban cities.
Professor Akintoye continued that: “the danger of food shortage and starvation is staring us (Yoruba Nation) in the face. Our Nation is in danger. Our Farmers can no longer go to the farms because of fear of rampaging Fulani intruders.”
The Elder Statesman said there is need for unity in the decision by the Yoruba Nation to be free; explaining that: “we have to take that decision together. No individual Yoruba person has the authority to say we are pulling out. I’m a responsible person and I know how things are done in the world.”
The frontline Yoruba nationalist believed that a proper federation could be achieved through referendum by a set of people who desire to pull out of the present structure.