Clamour for a Yoruba agenda, in which its proponents are agitating for Oduduwa Republic, is fuelled by the current state of Nigeria, exacerbated by insecurity, banditry, herder-farmer clashes and distorted federal system being operated in the country.
A professor of history and archeology, Akinwunmi Ogundiran, made the assertion, at the weekend, during the unveiling of his book titled: The Yoruba: A New History, which review, reading and autograph was anchored by former Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde.
Ogundiran, who argued that to be a Yoruba is to be a knowledge and ideas person, insisted that those clamouring for Oduduwa Republic should learn from the successes of empire builders in the mold of Ile-Ife and Oyo empires, which were the first and second empires in Yorubaland.
Distilling the content of the book in a gathering of Yoruba intellectuals, he stressed that a Yoruba agenda could hardly succeed without engaging in dialogue with the Yoruba in the Diaspora, including those in Benin Republic, Togo, Cuba and even Brazil, among other Yoruba abroad, adding that the imperial nature of the Yoruba was not necessarily military in nature, but collaborative.
“When leaders or the elite of the metropolis (in this case, the country called Nigeria and, especially the South-West region) fail to resolve their internal crisis, it gives room for infiltrators to invade states, cities or empires,” he warned.
He also described the Yoruba as city builders and a community of practice, who do not discriminate in the sense that they openly welcome strangers, which is why the Yoruba or South-West had remained the most civilised and urbanised in the country.
“The soft power of culture, openness, accommodation, engagement and dialogue are crucial for peace, progress, harmony and development. Therefore, to succeed in the Yoruba agenda, we should be able to cajole or effectively engage other stakeholders. We must, of necessity, learn from the strategies of empire makers,” he stated.