A coalition of Yoruba groups, under the aegis of the Yoruba Appraisal Forum (YAF), have stressed the need for caution over the ongoing national debate arising from resolutions of last Monday’s Southern Governors’ Forum meeting, noting that the tension being generated by the resolutions had become a cause for concern among Nigerians.
YAF National Coordinator, Adeshina Animashaun made the call on Friday at a news conference held at the International Press Centre (IPC) in Ogba, Lagos. The conference had in attendance scores of members of the Yoruba groups.
The Yoruba coalition observed that certain utterances and actions by some powerful politicians and individuals in the various Southern states since the meeting ended, could spark “serious tension” amongst the
different ethnic groups making up the Nigerian Federation.
The groups said, “Already, Northern governors and elders, youths as well as various groups have rejected the position of the Southern
governors, particularly on power shift and other demands.
“These powerful politicians have been putting pressure on traditional rulers and civil society groups in their individual states to organise similar meetings to that of the Southern governors and issue communiqués
on the resolutions.”
The coalition noted that the utterances of some of the civil society groups already recruited by the powerful politicians “have left so much
to be desired as their statements on the issue border on threats to the rest of the country.”
YAF stated that it was concerned about the implications of the threats already being issued by some of the civil society groups and individuals on the continued existence of the country.
It warned that such unguided utterances from groups and individuals and the reactions being generated by the resolutions were beginning to
heat up the Nigerian polity and “knowingly or unknowingly, preparing a fertile ground for another round of protests and violence in the
It warned that the existing peaceful atmosphere prevailing in the country in recent past should not be disturbed or threatened by issues
that could be amicably resolved.
YAF, therefore, appealed to Nigerians from all sections of the country to be calm and allow peace to continue to reign even in the face of the various vexing national issues.
“Posterity won’t forgive us if we allow the ongoing brouhaha to degenerate to any untoward or unthinkable situation. We should all
eschew provocative statements and actions concerning the ongoing debate about Nigeria’s political future.
“It is our considered opinion that rather than to continue to bicker unnecessarily, Nigerians should see the bigger picture and espouse
worthy causes that will ensure the continued survival of the Nigerian nation,” YAF said.
The coalition used the occasion to commend security agencies for their “professional handling” of last Saturday’s Yoruba Nation mega rally in Lagos, noting that if not for them the state would have erupted in another round of violence.
It alleged that the Yoruba Nation agitators and the rally organisers had the sinister intention of hiding under the cover of the rally to
attack Nigerians from other parts of the country living in Lagos.
The coalition enjoined all “Yoruba youths to continue to eschew violence and resist being used by unpatriotic elements masquerading as
Yoruba self-determination promoters to destroy our cherished motherland, the South-West and the Nigerian Federation at large.”