Yoruba youth leader, Mr Sunday Adeyemo, better known as Sunday Igboho, who came to prominence after he issued an eviction notice to criminal herders in Ibarapa area of Oyo State last month has declared that it was time for the Yoruba to have their own nation to be called Oodua Republic, saying this is the year of freedom for Yoruba nation.
Speaking at an event which video has gone viral, Sunday Igboho lamented that the Yoruba ethnic group had been marginalized under the present government and he would soon lead other Yoruba youths to declare freedom from the Nigerian state.
He dared any Yoruba leader to campaign publicly for any elective post under the present arrangement. He reiterated his stand while speaking in Ibadan on Wednesday, declaring that Yoruba were no longer part of Nigeria. He said the Yoruba were now united and with traditional rulers backing them. He had said in the video that, “we are no longer interested in being part of Nigeria. Before this becomes war, the United Nations must intervene because we want to go. We have gone beyond the point that we cannot keep quiet again. We are no longer scared to voice out. We are not safe anywhere; we can’t sleep in peace; we can’t travel in peace. What have we done; are we slaves?”
But how feasible is this Oodua Republic project for which Sunday Igboho vowed that there would be no retreat, no surrender until the republic becomes a reality? Reacting to Sunday Igboho’s declaration, some Yoruba leaders backed him while others expressed caution.
The Secretary General of Yoruba Council of Elders, Dr Kunle Olajide said, “As far as we are concerned, the injustice in the country staring us in the face every minute is very annoying and discouraging. Much as we believe that the current administration would have a change of mind and enthrone equity and fairness, day after day we begin to witness gross injustice and ethnocentrism, that is very frustrating and this is why we are not quarreling with any of our children because their future is at stake.
If they believe that it does not appear as if this country is fair to them anymore and they are attempting to dissolve the union, we do not quarrel with them, we do not stop them. We had believed in Nigeria and we had thought that the present administration would see reason with us. I was particularly impressed with the speech of the Vice President at the University of Sokoto, where he talked about equity, justice and fairness to all. But not quite 24 or 18 hours after, Justices of the Court of Appeal were appointed and only a handful of them came from the South.