Hundreds of Yoruba loyalists under the aegis of a pan Yoruba groups ‘Ilana Omo Oodua,’ on Saturday, occupied the streets of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, seeking independence of the Yoruba nation.
The group, in a peaceful rally against what they described as the prevailing injustice and biases in the country, insisted that there was no going back on the demand for the creation of the Oduduwa Republic.
The protesters, which comprised of various pan Yoruba groups and leaders, converged in front of the ancient Mapo Hall, under the initiation of the leader of the group, Prof. Banji Akintoye.
Heavy security personnel was stationed at strategic points of the venue to prevent hoodlums from hijacking the peaceful rally.
The rally, which was billed to start around 9 am, could not hold until about two hours later, due to the presence of heavily armed security personnel who prevented the protesters from gaining entrance into the Mapo Hall venue of the event.
Undeterred, the group later converged in front of Mapo Hall where the protesters declared that the Yoruba nation has had enough of the burdens of the marriage of inconvenience in the country.
According to some of the protesters, the agitation for sovereignty followed the claims by the various actors of the groups that the Nigerian constitution had not been effective in the smooth running of the country’s affairs.
Among others, they listed alleged ethnic imbalance, lop-sided appointments into public offices, insensitivity of the present leadership of the country to the increasing waves of banditry, kidnapping, raping, and killing of the people of the Southwest region, as part of their grievances.
This was as they said they have lost faith and confidence in the country’s leadership and the electoral process, declaring that conducting the 2023 elections would amount to nothing but an exercise in futility.
One of the notable leaders at the rally, Bashorun Kunle Adesokan, was emphatic in his conviction as he noted that it was time for the Yoruba race to have a country of its own country.
He said: “Yoruba have suffered enough. We are not in support of the 2023 elections. We are telling the politicians not to contest. They should not contest in order not to waste their money, because we will not allow all Yoruba to participate in the election.”