President Muhammadu Buhari
By Omeiza Ajayi
A coalition of Southwest groups under the aegis of the Yoruba Appraisal Forum YAF has called on the Federal and state governments, the National Assembly as well as security agencies in the country to take urgent steps to stop alleged plans by some elements to launch series of attacks on security personnel in the South-West states.
The Forum alleged that it had uncovered plans by some so-called freedom fighters and secessionist agitators in the South-West “making efforts to replicate and inflict the same level of violence being visited on the hapless people of the South-East and South-South states by IPOB on our peace-loving people in Yorubaland.”
Violence and killings in the South-East geo-political zone escalated recently with incessant attacks on police stations and the killing of innocent policemen and other security agents in Igboland by suspected IPOB members.
National Coordinator of the forum, Adesina Animashaun, in a statement said YAF made the call on Thursday during a motorcade it organised in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, to kick-start its sensitisation of the people of the South-West to the alleged plans by some individuals and groups to launch attacks on security agents and formations in the zone.
“The motorcade, led by hundreds of okada riders and people dancing to music provided by a live band, went round Ado-Ekiti and other parts of the state to distribute handbills and leaflets enjoining the people of the South-West not to fall for the deception by those claiming to be championing Yoruba self-determination and independence, eschew violence, live in peace with other residents of their states and expose troublemakers”, he stated.
The forum therefore condemned the violence and killings in the South-East, saying that plans by some persons and groups in the South-West to replicate such wanton violence and killings in Yorubaland should be “effectively nipped in the bud by the government through the police and other security agencies.”
Animashaun appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari, the service chiefs, the Inspector General of Police, governors of the six South-West states and other major stakeholders in Yorubaland to rise to the challenge and stop the plans by secessionist agitators to cause such unprecedented chaos in the region.
The Forum stated, “YAF, therefore, warns that the indications are now very clear that if prompt action is not taken, these unscrupulous and unpatriotic elements will throw the South-West into an unprecedented wave of violence under the guise of fighting and agitating for Yoruba freedom, self-determination and independence.
“It is, therefore, imperative for the Federal Government to nip the burgeoning insurrection now threatening to arise from the South-West under such a smokescreen, in the bud. Having another rebellion from the South-West would be one crisis too many for a country still struggling to combat the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East, banditry and cattle rustling in the North West and North Central areas as well the current IPOB militancy in the South-East and South-South.
“The Federal Government, the Armed Forces and other security agencies should take urgent steps to stop the Yoruba independence agitators and freedom fighters now before they set the entire country ablaze.
“A stitch in time, they say, saves nine. We must not watch idly as the enemies of the country hide under the smokescreen of agitating for Yoruba self-determination and independence to engage in activities that are not only inimical, but also injurious to the continued corporate existence of the entire Nigerian nation.”
The Forum further disclosed that it had already sent petitions on the alleged plan by these individuals and groups to cause violence and chaos in the South-West to President Muhammadu Buhari; Governors of the six South-West states, Senate President, Ahmad Lawal; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Femi Gbajabiamila; Speakers of the six South-West states’ Houses of Assembly, the Service Chiefs, National Security Adviser, the Inspector General of Police, Director-General of the State Security Service SSS, Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Ministers of Police Affairs, Interior, Defence and Information & National Orientation.
YAF also petitioned prominent traditional rulers in Yorubaland, including the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi; Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo; Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona; Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji; Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun Oyetunji; Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi; Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu; Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Aladesanmi III; and other prominent leaders in Yorubaland over the matter.
Vanguard News Nigeria