Afenifere Criticizes Yoruba Nation Agitation, Calls for Focus on Good Governance

Afenifere distances itself from Yoruba Nation agitation, citing governance issues as the root problem, not ethnicity. Akintoye disagrees, arguing for self-determination over restructuring.

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Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed
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Afenifere Criticizes Yoruba Nation Agitation, Calls for Focus on Good Governance

Afenifere Criticizes Yoruba Nation Agitation, Calls for Focus on Good Governance

Afenifere, a prominent pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, has distanced itself from the agitation for the creation of a sovereign Yoruba Nation out of Nigeria. The group described the call for the exit of Yoruba people from Nigeria as undesirable, self-serving, and unnecessary.

In a statement released by its National Publicity Secretary, Jare Ajayi, Afenifere emphasized that Nigeria's challenges extend beyond its multi-ethnic makeup. "The problems facing Nigeria are not solely due to its multi-ethnicity or diversity, and the deprivations experienced by the Yoruba people are not unique to them but rather a result of the general misgovernance that the country has faced," Ajayi stated.

The organization's stance comes in response to an open letter written by the Yoruba Self-Determination Movement, led by Prof. Banji Akintoye and Chief Sunday Adeyemo (alias Sunday Igboho), to President Bola Tinubu. The letter sought a peaceful breakaway of Yoruba people from Nigeria within the next two months, citing insecurity and the killing of Yoruba people by armed herdsmen from the North.

Afenifere criticized the claims made by Akintoye and Igboho, arguing that they do not speak for all Yoruba people, both at home and in the diaspora, without conducting a referendum. The group also challenged the legitimacy of claims about UN endorsement, emphasizing that sovereignty is not granted arbitrarily.

Why this matters: The debate surrounding the Yoruba Nation agitation highlights the complex political and ethnic dynamics within Nigeria. Afenifere's stance underscores the importance of addressing governance issues and ensuring equitable development for all regions and ethnic groups in the country.

In response to Afenifere's position, Banji Akintoye, the leader of the Ilana Omo Oodua group, disagreed with the organization's call for restructuring. Akintoye argued that the Yoruba Nation wants self-determination, not restructuring, as he believes that even if restructuring is implemented, the Fulani herders who have allegedly killed more than 29,000 Yoruba people will remain in Nigeria and continue their atrocities.

Afenifere maintains that concerted efforts should be directed towards promoting good governance to address the grievances shared by various segments of society, including the Yoruba community. The organization advocates for a united approach in tackling the challenges faced by Nigeria as a whole, rather than pursuing secessionist movements.

Key Takeaways

  • Afenifere distances itself from Yoruba Nation agitation, cites misgovernance as root issue.
  • Akintoye and Igboho's letter seeks Yoruba secession, Afenifere rejects claims of UN endorsement.
  • Afenifere argues Yoruba grievances are not unique, advocates for addressing governance issues.
  • Akintoye disagrees, says Yoruba Nation wants self-determination, not just restructuring.
  • Afenifere maintains united approach to tackle Nigeria's challenges, opposes secessionist movements.