The secretary-general of the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), Kunle Olajide, has affirmed that what the Yoruba wanted in Restructuring of the country and not secession as being championed by some self determination groups .
He added that Yorubas should not follow Sunday Igboho’s planned secession.
Recently, Igboho had called on the Yorubas residing in the north to return home, said Yoruba was no longer part of Nigeria.
He said the Yoruba people had invested so much in Nigeria’s formation and unity, and it would be unwise for them to seek secession.
Olajide postulated that what the Afenifere wanted was restructuring and not secession.
Olajide said: “It is his (Igboho’s) personal desire but the present circumstances in our nation do not favour and will not make it achievable, and the fact that Yorubas have invested so much in the unity of this country and in the making of Nigeria. The tribe cannot choose to opt-out without any adequate plans.
“I am not aware that the Yoruba nation or citizenship has given a mandate to anybody to desire their extinction from this country. So it is not a decision that can be taken by an individual or a group of individuals.
“Anybody who is familiar with the history of Nigeria will know that we have been together for over 100 years, even before the British came and we have Yorubas all over the country just as we have other Nigerians everywhere.
“It is not something that you can declare by fiat. In any case, our diversity in this country and our population are our strengths. Fragmentation and dismemberment of this country cannot be in the best interest of anybody.”
Olajide said the Yoruba people were angry against the insecurity and other criminal tendencies in the state.
He, however, noted that secession was not the best option.
“Yes, all of us, especially the Yoruba nation, are angry about the ethnocentric nature of the present administration that appears grossly insensitive to the cries of marginalisation from all parts of this country. Whatever the hidden agenda it is, the agenda is bound to fail,” he said.
“But we are still part of this federal government that we are so much against because of the way it is being run. The vice-president is a Yoruba man, we have ministers and governors so I don’t think anybody can ignore those Yoruba leaders and go ahead to make a pronouncement that is not in the interest of Yoruba nation and Nigeria in general.”
Olajide urged Igboho and his followers to exercise patience for the present administration.
Olajide maintained that while Igboho has a right to pursue whatever objective he desires as a “full-grown adult”, he cannot speak for the entire Yoruba people.
He said: “Igboho is a full-grown adult, he is not a teenager so it will be wrong to believe that he does not know the country he is.
“I have spoken to him once or twice on the telephone but he is completely free to make his decision. But to make it on behalf of the entire Yoruba is what I seriously fault, it is not in order.
“I read his stories in the media and saw him on the television and social media but I am not aware that any such meeting has been held.”