By Lukman Olabiyi, Lagos
Yoruba One Voice (YOV), an association of Yorubas in the Diaspora, has applauded the UK government for granting asylum to members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB).
YOV, in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Princess Omoladun Orolugbagbe, said the UK has shown and demonstrated great interest in Nigeria, especially with the growing spate of insecurity across the country.
Orolugbagbe appealed the UK government to work on modalities for an all-inclusive referendum that will lead to the actualisation of O’odua Republic.
The YOV spokeswoman said the call for self-determination and the actualisation of the O’odua Republic remains pertinent, adding that Nigeria, being a former colony of the UK, should be saved from being plunged into chaos, saying the present situation in Chad led to the death of President Idriss Deby.
She admitted also that the situation in Nigeria is even worse than what is happening in the Chad Republic.
‘It is unfortunate that our leaders don’t even know when to call it quits when their time is up. The chaos in Chad is a signal to Nigeria and it is sad that the federal government is shying away from the reality of the present situation. Nigeria’s situation is even worse than what is playing out now in Chad where rebels are threatening the peace of about 16 million people as well as the sovereignty of the country,’ she said.
‘The federal government must be wise enough to know that those agitating for self determination are doing so legitimately because from the reports reaching us abroad, our people back home in Nigeria are tired of the situation where lives are of no value, following the activities of Boko Haram, bandits and killer herdsmen.’
Orolugbagbe also cited the case of the former Czechoslovakia, pointing out that the dissolution of the country took effect on January 1, 1993, leading to the historic and self-determined split of the federal republic of Czechoslovakia into the sovereign and independent countries of the Czech Republic (now Czechia) and Slovakia.
‘We cannot continue to deceive ourselves that Nigeria is one and indivisible. Agitations for the actualisation of O’odua Republic didn’t start overnight. It was as a result of the protracted suffering of Nigerians,following reports of insecurity,including political and economic instability, social crisis, injustice and clear nepotism.
‘A section of the country lords it over others, creating feeling of mishief and distrust between the leaders and the followers. It is as bad as that.’
She berated the federal government’s declaration that there is no need for national conference to address core problems plaguing the country and those agitating for such conference should chanel their grievances to the National Assembly currently in the process of amending the 1999 Constitution.
‘The Presidency needs to be tutored that the present agitations across the country are constitutional, and those agitating are doing so very well, bearing in mind that it is their legitimate rights to seek self determination, especially now that it is obvious that the federal government has failed in its responsibilities.
‘It has never been so bad as it is presently in this country. For instance, in South West, Amotekun was established in the region in response to the alarming rate of security challenges in the region. All the six governors in the South West rose to the occasion with Amotekun, even at that the security outfit is yet to find its feet,’ she stated.