The Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), yesterday, appealed to rights activist Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Sunday ‘Igboho’, and other youths to let agitation for an independent Oodua nation be within the ambit of the law.
It would be recalled that Adeyemo had, on Wednesday, during a press conference organised by the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-determination (NINAS) in Ibadan, said there was no basis for a continued one Nigeria but an independent Yoruba nation.
Igboho also said he would open all South-West borders for goods to come in.
Chairman of NINAS, Prof. Banji Akintoye, also spoke at the press conference.
Reacting, however, Secretary-General of YCE, Dr. Kunle Olajide, appealed to the Yoruba freedom fighter to operate within the law.
Olajide said: “We elders are a little bit careful about disputing and rebuking the youths because we are dissatisfied with the situation in Nigeria. Having expressed dissatisfaction about the degree of injustice, victimisation and marginalisation of the Yoruba nation, the Federal Government appears grossly insensitive to our feeling.
“Yes, we elders don’t have too much time to live, but the youths are definitely unhappy and believe that their future is at risk. This is why they believe they will be better off outside the country.
“Our appeal is that whatever they intend to do must be within the laws of Nigeria, because, realistically, we are still in Nigeria and instruments of coercion reside with the Federal Government and we will not want any of the youths to be killed, murdered or maimed in the process of struggling for Oodua nation.”
Also, while reacting to the position of Akintoye who gave an ultimatum and conditions on behalf of Southern and Middle Belt people, Olajide further said: “That is the mature approach to it. On one occasion, we, the Yoruba leaders, asked all ministers to resign. Akintoye has said some things that we don’t know. Before you give ultimatum, you should have the power of sanction. Within the Nigerian set-up as it is now, I don’t know how that will work. Akintoye is very intelligent and very well exposed, perhaps there are some other things that he knows that we don’t know.”