WHAT DO YORUBA AGITATORS WANT?

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On April 13, a chaotic atmosphere was created in some parts of the South West, specifically in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, by the so-called Yoruba Nation agitators. They matched to the Oyo State Government Secretariat and as reported, they were determined to seize governmental power structure, first the State House of Assembly and then the Government House.

It was indeed a daring move as the agitators were well armed. They engaged the security agencies in shooting. They brandished weapons, the flag of their ‘new’ Oodua Nation Republic and other emblems, charms and many more. They declared themselves a Republic, completely severed from the Republic of Nigeria under the presidency of Bola Tinubu, a Yoruba man from Western Nigeria. Thankfully, the prompt intervention of a combined team of the military, police and other security outfits overpowered the traitors and quashed the insurgency.

It was even more shocking to find the promoter of the agenda as a woman who appeared in a life broadcast, identified herself as Modupe Onitiri-Abiola, US-based, with claims of being a spouse of MKO Abiola, the late winner of the annulled 1993 presidential election. Boldly, she declared: “Yoruba today 12 April 2024 begins as a sovereign nation and will operate as a country”. Of course, this is the first time a woman would lead an insurrection in Nigerian political history.

The widespread condemnation that greeted that un-necessary move that tried to trivialize our democracy is most instructive. We therefore commend the Nigerian armed forces for its prompt decisive response to that treasonable felony.

The South West Nigeria is currently in control of federal power, and so are most of the apparatuses of government. As has been argued in some quarters, the biggest beneficiaries of power since the return of democratic government to Nigeria in 1999 are the South West people. They have been president for eight years, vice president for eight years, they enjoyed the [position of Speaker of the House of Representatives for eight years, and so many other juicy positions.

We are wont to ask: what exactly do the Yoruba Nation agitators want that they cannot negotiate with their brothers? Or is it a case of a house divided against itself?

It is imperative to note that, Section 37 (1) of the Criminal Code of Nigeria clearly states that treasonable felony is an offence punishable by death. It is also notable that the presidency has warned severely against any act of insurgency against the democratic government of the day. Therefore, like other agitators in our remote and recent history, all those arrested so far in connection to that disorderly and unfortunate move should be made to face the full wrath of the law.