Ilana Omo Oodua, the umbrella body of Yoruba self-determination groups within and beyond the shores of Nigeria has described Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu as a coward who belongs to the tiny group of neo-liberal and neo-classical elites.
The body led by Professor of History Banji Akintoye, was in a statement reacting to comment made by the Ondo helmsman against the secessionist agenda by some prominent Yoruba personalities.
The group says if Akeredolu is sure he speaks for the people of Ondo State, he should allow the one million march for Yoruba Nation being planned by over 100 Yoruba Self-Determination Groups to hold peacefully in Ondo State without “unleashing the instrumentalities of terror and state-sponsored commercial thugs on the masses of the state that desires an autonomous Yoruba Nation.”
The stern statement, signed by the Homeland Secretary of the group, Basorun Kunle Adesokan and one of its leaders, Otunba Folashade Olukoya, stated that the agitation being spare-headed by the Akintoye led Ilana Omo Oodua on behalf of Yoruba people is not that of a plot for secession as erroneously branded by Akeredolu, but a struggle for self-determination, warning that nothing the Governor and his “oligarchic allies could do to stop an idea whose time has come”.
READ ALSO : Lagos State Launches Health Scheme
“We wish to say very clearly that Akeredolu is entitled to his opinion. He has only spoken for himself. If he is sure he speaks for the classical masses of Ondo State, he should ensure that his army of state- induced terrorists allow us to stage our one million march peacefully in Akure, Ondo State capital to prove whether he spoke for Ondo state people or for himself.
“Akeredolu feeds 100% on the commonwealth of Ondo State people. He is a member of the tiny neo-liberal and neo-classical elites who will never support the wishes and aspiration of the masses.
“We saw how he grandstands on the terrorists and murderous herdsmen illegally occupying the forest reserves in his state and we saw how he chickened out to the chagrine of all of us who staked our reputation to defend him.
“Akeredolu has now surrendered the farm lands in Ondo State to the government of Fulani herdsmen while masquerading to be participating in National Livestock Programme.
“He is a definition of a coward who starts a battle he cannot finish. We are aware he traded Ondo people off to avoid being sacked from office through the fulani-dominated Nigerian courts.
“We are saying for the sake of clarity that what we declared is the sovereignty of Yoruba Nation from Nigeria, and not a secession from Nigeria. We want an autonomous Yoruba Nation.
“We want to determine how we want to govern our people. We want to control and manage our resources. We want to police and secure the lives and properties of our people.
“We have made our position known. Our agitation for autonomous Yoruba Nation is legally grounded, intellectually rooted and it shall be executed without shedding of blood.
“Akeredolu cannot sit inside the comfort of his office and claimed to be speaking for the people of Ondo State that he has failed to regularly pay their monthly salary, pension and gratuities”, the statement, said.