Pan Yoruba coalition tasks Okun on Fulani attacks, restructuring as leaders hold historic meeting

-calls for Joint Security Council

By Samuel Ogunsona

Yoruba in Kogi and Kwara States will meet at the historic city of Egbe, located in Kogi State on Saturday, March 08.

The meeting is to address the economic, political and cultural faith of Yoruba people in what is now known as Northern Nigeria.

The meeting draws Yoruba leaders from Kogi and Kwara States expected to take key decisions on the travails of Yoruba indigenous people in Kogi and Kwara. States.

The two states have always been categorised as North even when the indigenous peoples are essentially Yoruba.

No fewer than 1000 delegates are expected at the meeting.

Ahead of the meeting, the Alliance of Yoruba Democratic Movements (AYDM),a coalition of over 130 Pan Yoruba groups has called for collective action to end insecurity challenges caused by the activities of Fulani herdsmen in Okunland.

The group regrets that the South West State Governors remain non-challant to the historic meeting which underlines the dearth of leaders with a deep sense of history in the Yoruba political space.

The AYDM calls on the leaders to set up a Joint Security Council to address the incessant attacks on Yoruba farmlands which has fuelled food and livelihood insecurity in indigenous territories.

AYDM coalition members include but not limited to Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC-New Era), Agbekoya, Iteskiri Nationalist Congress (INC), O’Odua Peoples Congress and many others.

In a press release signed by the General Secretary, Popoola Ajayi and made available to Irohinoodua urged the leaders to walk the talk by asserting their Yoruba identity and ensure the inevitable restructuring of Nigeria will see them reunite with their kinsmen in the South West.

AYDM praises the resilience of Yoruba in Kogi and Kwara and their loyalty over centuries in protecting and defending their heritage.

AYDM said Yoruba in Kogi and Kwara are some of the most endured human resource in Yorubaland highlighting their industry, their formidable presence in the military, academic community and the Federal and Northern civil service as evidence that they are a huge asset to the greater Yoruba Nation.

AYDM said it is time to end the contemporary challenges like the economic deprivation, unemployment and insecurity accessioned by the activities of Fulani herdsmen, bent on taking over the ancestral land.

Historically, The Okun people are Yoruba speaking people found majorly in Kogi, but with settlements in Kwara, Ekiti, and Ondo states of Nigeria.

Similarly, They are collectively called “Okun”, which in indigenous dialects expresses affection, brotherhood and solidarity.

Okun is also a mode of greeting among the Ijesa, Ekiti and Itsekiri people.

Mr Popoola who urged for the creation of Joint Security Council said the congress should be ready to escalate the agitation for the extrication of Okunland from the Northern region.

He said, “We standing with you today with a profound sense of history and a deep commitment to the shared destiny of the Okun people and the entire Yoruba nation as you gather here in Egbe for the annual congress of the Okun Development Association to the deliberate on social, economic and political advancement of the people and to elect new leaders, it is essential for us to reflect upon the remarkable legacy left by our forbearers and to draw inspiration from their struggles for justice, freedom, and self-determination.

“The indomitable spirit of our people is the hallmark Yoruba history, evident in the pivotal moments such as the Ogidi Grand Alliance, the Egbe protest in 1903, and the Mokobon Movement. These events were not just chapters in our audacious past as exemplified in the bravery and leadership by Oba Fayomi Asalu , Oba Paul Amupitan Agabana and others; they were beacons of resistance against injustice and imperialism. Our ancestors stood united against external forces, displaying unwavering courage and resilience.

“Today, Okunland is plagued with contemporary challenges like economic deprivation, political alienation, unemployment, insecurity accessioned by the activities of the marauding criminal Fulani herdsmen bent on taking over our ancestral land among others; it is crucial for us to channel the spirit of our forebears and more than ever before unite for the greater good of Okunland. It is very crucial to take a bold step towards strengthening the bonds among Okun people including those in Kwara, Ekiti and Ondo States. This will not only enhance our collective strength but also solidify our identity as one people with a shared purpose.

“In light of the prevailing security concerns facing Okunland, It is pertinent for the congress to look at the establishment of a Joint Security Council. This council will serve as the nucleus for the creation of a robust grassroots and community security network dedicated to protecting Okunland from the threats posed by Fulani herdsmen and all forms of criminality. It is our collective responsibility to ensure the safety and well being of our people as the country’s current security architecture is overwhelmed and has been proven to be ineffective.

“Furthermore, the congress should also escalate the agitation for the extrication of Okunland from the Northern region and be joined with the western part of the country as struggled for in the 1930s by our forbearers. While we acknowledge the historical ties, it is essential to carve out a distinct path that aligns with aspirations and values of Yoruba nation. This endeavor requires strategic advocacy, collaboration, and unity of purpose to achieve the dream of self-determination for Okunland.

“In conclusion, let us honor the sacrifices of our ancestors by standing together in solidarity. The formation of a united Okun promise and the establishment of a Joint Security Council are crucial steps towards a brighter, more secure future for Okunland.

May our collective efforts pave the way for the prosperity and flourishing Okunland” he stated.

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