The Yoruba Self-Determination Movement has denounced the silence of the President of Nigeria, President Mohammadu Buhari, to its request for negotiation on a timetable for the Yoruba to exit from Nigeria and form their own nation.
in a letter sent to him on August 6, 2022. The Movement listed among many other reasons the present ongoing insecurity of life and property in Yorubaland. It then called for urgent dialogue with the Nigerian government, on the group's proposals, for the peaceful exit of Yoruba people from Nigeria. The letter emphasized the importance of exiting Nigeria, partly to stave off a potential explosion of reprisals in response to the relentless terrorism, kidnappings, extortions, mindless killings, and rape of women and children by Fulani ethnic groups and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).
The Movement warned the Government of imminent descent into all-out war in the country if frustrated, embittered Yoruba group, who are being harassed by the state security services and terrorized by Fulani herders, lose faith in the ability of their political leaders and the Movement to achieve a negotiated exit from Nigeria for the Yoruba.
In a statement denouncing President Buhari’s insensitivity to the plight of the Yoruba and the risk of a second civil war, the Movement painted a picture of the dire situation in the country and called for urgent attention of the United Nations, the United States, and the international community to Yoruba people’s demand for self-determination as enunciated in the charter of United Nations.
In the letter to General Buhari, YSDM said that Yoruba people are determined to leave Nigeria. Toward this end, over 5 million Yoruba people at home and in the diaspora have appended their signature to a petition calling for Yoruba exit from Nigeria. They fully subscribe to the notion of the right to full autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs, as well as ways and means of financing their autonomous functions.
Yoruba people are determined to achieve their objective, and the earlier the Nigerian Government realizes this noble objective, the better. It must also take cognizance that the days of threats and fear and the use of brute force, through all instruments of coercion in the country to subjugate and suppress our people, are over. The younger generation will not tolerate and have no patience for uncivilized people who burn women in the street, chop off their hands and arms and rape our daughters because they yearn to be free from religious oppression and unbridled attempt to uphold feudal rule. The silence of General Buhari and, indeed, the Nigerian government to our demand will not make the Yoruba people relent in pressing home their desire to leave Nigeria. It will not stop us from moving on to the next phase of our campaign for nationhood.
We are urging the international community, mainly the United Nations, to take the issue of Yoruba self-determination seriously and invite YSDM to a series of briefings. We strongly believe that the interest of the United Nations in the Yoruba full autonomy move is crucial and may be the only chance to prevent insurgence, revolution, and, consequently, ethnic genocide in Nigeria.
Indeed, Nigeria experienced what qualifies as genocide during the Nigerian civil war. Biafra wanted to leave Nigeria, but the government said Nigeria must remain one country. At the time, there were tensions between Southerners and Northerners. The civil war lasted for almost three years, and many people lost their lives in what the Igbo people now refer to as genocide. It is instructive to know that before then, many Igbo people were killed by Northerners in the north in what Nigerians now refer to as a pogrom.
The world cannot afford to maintain stoic silence in the face of impending catastrophe that may befall Nigerians if the international community fails to act on the Yoruba self-determination desire. There is no point in expressing regret afterward for failure to perform when there is ample opportunity to avoid genocide now. We recollect how the former UK High Commissioner to Nigerian, in 1969, admitted he had been ‘unaware of an impending coup’: A coup in which northern soldiers slaughtered southerners, including Col. Adekunle Fajuyi, and scores of Yoruba officers and other ranks in a bloodbath. We want to reference here the ominous warning of the late Central Banker, Dr. Obadiah Mailafiya; he revealed to the nation, shortly before he died, the plan of Boko Haram and ISWAP, now operating in the North and Middlebelt, to expand and take their terrorism to Yorubaland. He declared:
“Some of us also have our intelligence networks. We have met with some of the bandits. We have met with some of their High Commanders, one or two of who have repented. They have sat down with us, not once, not twice. They told us that one of the Northern Governors is the Commander of Boko Haram in Nigeria. Boko Haram and the bandits are the same things. They have a sophisticated network. During this lockdown, their planes were moving up and down as if there was no lockdown. They were moving ammunition, moving logistics, moving money, and distributing them in different parts of the country. They’re already in the south, in the rainforest. They’re everywhere. They told us that when they finish these rural killings, they’ll move to phase two. Phase two will go into the urban cities, going from house to house, killing prominent people. I can tell you; this is the game plan. By 2022, they want to start a civil war in Nigeria. Please don’t joke with what I’m saying. … So don’t joke with what I’m telling you. I have this from the highest possible authority of some of the commanders of the killers and Boko Haram.
The Methodist Primate kidnapped by a terrorist, who Fulani terrorists released after a ransom of N100 million was paid, gave further credence to Dr. Mailafiya and General Danjuma’s warning when he attested to the military’s involvement with his kidnappers. We are convinced that the army under the command of General Buhari is somehow in sympathy with the marauding Fulani killers.
Meanwhile, a current Bauchi State Governor in Northern Nigeria went on National Television to reveal the Fulani plan of creating Fulani colonies across Nigeria, which Fulanis from all over Africa would be welcome to populate. He said:
“A Fulani man sees himself as a Bayelsan, as somebody coming from the Niger Delta because he speaks the Niger Delta language … And, of course, we will have to take this as part of our heritage. Something that is Nigerian… is African. And that we cannot just close the border and say the Fulani man is just a Nigerian or this …no.” Thus, if it means taking over Yoruba's ancestral indigenous and allocating to the arriving foreign Fulani without compensation, that would be alright because, according to the governor, any Fulani in any part of the world is automatically a Nigerian.
President Buhari himself, a Fulani nationalist and jihadist at heart, made his mindset clear to the nation on national television, stressing that anyone who aspired to be a Councillor in a Local Government, where people are predominantly of a particular religious persuasion or ethnicity, could base his campaign on religious or even tribal basis. As he put it:
“If somebody wants to be a Councilor in a Local Government, where people are predominantly of certain religious persuasion or ethnicity, then he can afford to do that.”
The President has now resubmitted a so-called “Grazing Bill” to the National Assembly, which is to make this a reality and turn Nigeria into a “Caliphate.” Equally, General Buhari has proposed an executive bill to the National Assembly; the bill, called National Water Bill, seeks the federal takeover of all rivers throughout Yorubaland. This bill has been rejected more than once, but General Buhari insists on getting it through before he leaves office. The consensus has been that he wants this bill passed to placate his Fulani tribespeople at the expense of the Yoruba people. This is why the Yoruba Self-Determination Movement deserves the attention of the United States, the UN, and the international community, now. The Nigerian Government and security forces are complicit in ISIS attempting to create and establish affiliates in Nigeria and Yorubaland.”
It is important to note that the issue of secession has always been in the minds of all Nigerians. This is so because Nigeria is a creation of the British. Nigeria is the lumping together of many nations with different cultures, values, and attitudes, so they have found it difficult to live together. The imposition of a unitary form of government rather than the federal system of government negotiated at independence has made working together for the country's progress difficult. “In a memo in early February 1969”, during the Biafra war, “the Intelligence Community argued that a further disintegration of Nigerian unity is likely’ and that the West could probably live with a ‘loose confederation or formation of several completely independent countries.” This was so then and remains the case now.
The right of secession was recognized at the Eight Plenary Meeting of the Resumed London Constitutional Conference held in the House of Representatives, Lagos, on Thursday, 28th January 1954, at which it was agreed that there was no need “to write this into the Constitution either now or in 1956”.
Chief Obafemi Awolowo made the point at the resumed Constitutional Conference in Lagos that if the units of Nigeria were to remain together voluntarily, “similarity of social and political institutions” was necessary. He noted that, for example, suppose one team of a Federation became predominantly anarchistic, the other members of the Federation should, if they disagreed with such tenets, be able to discontinue their association with such a region.” What Chief Awolowo predicted has become a reality in present-day Nigeria. Sadly, we have reached that point in Nigeria, and the Yoruba people have decided to exercise their right to self-determination and leave the Nigerian state.
The international community cannot close its eyes and ears to the reality of Nigeria today. The former National Secretary and former National Chairman of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) Abubakar Kawu Baraje, who crossed over to President Buhari’s APC party, disclosed on national television that the party made plans for the destruction of Nigeria if General Buhari was not elected President in 2015. In his own words:
“In 2014, in preparation for the 2015 elections, all efforts were made to ensure that APC came into power. And as a build-up to that election, APC never, or some people in APC, never thought they would win that election. So, all manners of scandals were prepared to ensure that if APC didn’t win, then Nigeria may not stay.”
Yoruba people do not belong with people who would seek to destroy a country if they don’t get their way during an election. Yoruba people did not choose to form a country with the Fulani in 1914. The British Government amalgamated its administration in northern and southern Nigeria, not the Yoruba people, and did so in the interest of the British Government.
It is a fact that in 1906, a further step in amalgamation was effected in the South by the British Government. Southern Nigeria and Lagos became one Administration under the title of the Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria. From this date, the material prosperity of the South increased with astonishing rapidity. The liquor duties—increased from 3s (shillings) in 1901 to 3s 6d (pence) in 1905; they stood at 5s. 6d. a gallon in 1912 afforded an ever-increasing revenue without diminution in the imported quantity. They yielded a sum of £1,138,000 in 1913.
The North, largely dependent on the annual grant from the Imperial Government, was barely able to balance its budget with the most economical economy and was starved of the necessary staff, and unable to find funds to house its officers properly. Its energies were concentrated on the development of the Native Administration and the revenue resulting from direct taxation. Its distance from the coast (250 miles) rendered the expansion of trade difficult. Thus the anomaly was presented as a country with an aggregate revenue practically equal to its needs but divided into two by an arbitrary line of latitude. One portion was dependent on a grant paid by the British taxpayer, which in the year before Amalgamation stood at £136,000, and had averaged £314,500 for the 11 years ending March 1912. Thus the British Government merged its administration in the north and south for financial reasons and in its interest.
The 1953 constitutional Conference recognized the principle of disassociation when a unit of the country became predominantly anarchistic. For this reason, the Yoruba people have chosen to exit Nigeria and form a new and sovereign Yoruba Nation.