The umbrella body of Yoruba self-determination groups within and beyond the shores of Nigeria, Ilana Omo Oodua, has slammed Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, over his recent threat against those agitating for secession in the South-West.
Calls for the secession of the South-West from Nigeria have continued to garner attention since Sunday Igboho, a youth leader, declared that the region was no longer part of Nigeria.
On Monday, however, Akeredolu blasted those championing such agitation, asking them to steer clear of Ondo State.
But in a statement on Tuesday, the group, led by Banji Akintoye, said Akeredolu is entitled to his opinion, stressing that the governor only spoke for himself, and not the good people of Ondo State.
The group said Akeredolu belongs to the league of a tiny neo-classical elite who want the business to continue as usual in Nigeria because the current structure of the country oils their selfish aggrandisement.
It added that if Akeredolu is sure he speaks for the people of Ondo State, he should allow the one million march for Yoruba Nation being planned by over 100 Yoruba Self-Determination Groups to hold peacefully in Ondo State without unleashing the instrumentalities of terror and state-sponsored commercial thugs on the masses of the state who desire an autonomous Yoruba Nation.
The group added that the ongoing agitation is a struggle for self-determination, warning that there is nothing the governor and his “oligarchic allies could do to stop an idea whose time has come”.
It read: “We wish to say very clearly that Akeredolu is entitled to his opinion. He has only spoken for himself. If he is sure he speaks for the classical masses of Ondo State, he should ensure that his army of state-induced terrorists allow us to stage our one million march peacefully in Akure, Ondo State capital to prove whether he spoke for Ondo state people or himself.
“Akeredolu feeds 100% on the commonwealth of Ondo State people. He is a member of the tiny neo-liberal and neo-classical elites who will never support the wishes and aspirations of the masses.
“We saw how he grandstands on the terrorists and murderous herdsmen illegally occupying the forest reserves in his state and we saw how he chickened out to the chagrin of all of us who staked our reputation to defend him.
“Akeredolu has now surrendered the farmlands in Ondo State to the government of Fulani herdsmen while masquerading to be participating in National Livestock Programme.
“He is a definition of a coward who starts a battle he cannot finish. We are aware he traded Ondo people off to avoid being sacked from office through the Fulani-dominated Nigerian courts.
“We are saying for the sake of clarity that what we declared is the sovereignty of the Yoruba Nation from Nigeria and not secession from Nigeria. We want an autonomous Yoruba Nation.
“We want to determine how we want to govern our people. We want to control and manage our resources. We want to police and secure the lives and properties of our people.
“We have made our position known. Our agitation for autonomous Yoruba Nation is legally grounded, intellectually rooted and it shall be executed without shedding of blood.
“Akeredolu cannot sit inside the comfort of his office and claimed to be speaking for the people of Ondo State that he has failed to regularly pay their monthly salary, pension, and gratuities.”