Yoruba Nation agitators pretenders, against South-West interest – Omitola


A professor of political science from the University of Osun, UNIOSUN, Bolaji Omitola, has said Yoruba nation agitation had no traction among the people of the South-West.

He spoke in reaction to the resurgence of Yoruba Nation agitation at a time Nigeria’s President, Bola Tinubu, hails from the region.

Saga Gist recalls that armed men donning foreign military camouflage and other paraphernalia invaded the Oyo State Government Secretariat, Agodi, and announced that Yorubas have seceded from Nigeria effective Friday, April 12, 2024.

But speaking to newsmen, Omitola said those responsible for the agitation were abnormal pretenders who were against what Yorubas stood for right from Nigeria’s independence till now.

He insisted that the Yoruba were interested in the decentralisation of Nigeria, where every region is allowed to develop at its pace.

According to Omitola: “The question is do they have the kind of acceptance among the Yoruba people to warrant them to break away from Nigeria?

“Is there that kind of popular acceptance you say they are speaking for the Southwest where we have predominantly Yoruba people?

“We don’t have an answer now because the Yoruba Nation agitators are just a sort of pressure group like other NGOs in the country.

“The background in the Southeast and Southwest are not the same, there has been the issue of marginalisation whether real or imagined and some youths have bought into this.

“But when you come to the Southwest, except for the June 12 issue where we had a gathering of Southwest Yorubas demanding for reparation due to the June 12 election that led to demanding for the presidency when we had a democratic dispensation in 1999, the two parties – PDP and AD had Yoruba candidates which led to a Yoruba president at the end of the day.

“Maybe, that’s the one time where there was this gathering of Yoruba and saying we want some kind of treatment from Nigerian citizens, even then they never argued for a break away from Nigeria.

“If you understand what the Yorubas stand for right from the days of independence till now, they never talked about moving away from Nigeria.

“What they want is a decentralised system that will allow people to pursue their own development at their pace. That’s what Awolowo stood for and Afenifere has been agitating for.

“So, the Yoruba nation is yet to gain traction among Yorubas. I can tell you as someone who has studied politics in Nigeria that what is happening has not gained traction among the Yorubas like the agitation in the Southeast.

“The Yoruba nation agitation to an average Yoruba man is something that is abnormal; most of us see them as pretenders who nobody wants to reckon with.”

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