Yoruba groups call for investigation, prosecution of attackers oyo state government secretariat

The apex body of the Yoruba self-determination groups, Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide has disowned the attackers of the Oyo State House Assembly and the state secretariat at Agodi, Ibadan, the state capital, on Saturday.

Penpushing reports that General Secretary, Yemi Akindele of the apex body in a statement on Sunday, titled, ‘Important disclaimer’, described the suspects as hoodlums trying to hide under the foliage of the association.

The group berated the attackers who claimed to be members of the Yoruba Nation agitators, stressing that the hoodlums are impostors who disguised at Yoruba Nation agitators, explaining that that the attack was needless and uncalled for.

‘The attention of Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide has been drawn to the unfortunate incident of a needless attack on the Oyo State House of Assembly by hoodlums disguised as Yoruba Nation agitators on the 13 April 2024’, the statement reads.

‘The entire membership of the group, the umbrella body representing all agitating groups under the leadership of the founder and chairman, Prof. Emeritus Banji Akintoye, hereby denies any knowledge of such individuals and wishes to inform the public that the attackers are not members of Ilana Omo Oodua worldwide. These criminal elements are not known to us and, as such, are not part of any genuine agitating groups demanding freedom for the Yoruba people’, the statement emphasised.

Penpushing further reports that Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide pointed out that its movement was devoid of any form of violence or confrontation with any arm of the government adding that self-determination was backed by international law and committed to achieving it without resorting to war.

The statement made available to journalists stated and explained that all rallies organised by genuine agitating groups in Yorubaland have been conducted with proper notifications, peacefully and without any form of violence.

‘We, therefore, condemn the needless attack on the Oyo State House of Assembly facility and urge the government to thoroughly investigate the incident, expose the sponsors and collaborators, and charge them with treasonable felony and terrorism’.

Penpushing also reports that the Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide in the statement declared that charging them with treasonable felony and terrorism will serve as a deterrent to others who might contemplate such a deplorable act in the future.

The renowned Yoruba leader Prof Banji Akintoye in the same vein disowned attackers pointing out that the behaviour of the so-called agitators was insane, explaining that, though the Yoruba wanted to have their independent nation, but would not go violent with it.

Penpushing reports that Akintoye noted that those going violent with the actualisation of the Yoruba Nation wanted to destroy the struggle, pointing out that the agitators had nothing to do with the real Yoruba struggle.

‘We thank God that law enforcement agencies were able to handle them. I am speaking on behalf of the struggle for the Yoruba Nation. There is no need for us to go violent. We are not part of the violence that anyone is propagating. Everything we do must be peaceful. All our acts are peaceful,” he added.

Penpushing reports that in similar development the Yoruba Oodua Union (YOU) while reacting expressed displeasure over the conduct of the attackers, and equally distanced itself from the violent attack, however, stressed that regardless of a Yoruba man being the current President, the current system of governance in Nigeria was unacceptable, skewed in favour of a particular ethnic group over others and was retarding growth and development.

The founding member of the union Sam Agbetuyi, however, urged the Nigerian Government to do everything possible to investigate where the acclaimed leader of the perpetrators of the Ibadan attack, Abiola Onitiri, lives and why the action.

Penpushing reports that Oyo Global Forum (OGF) in a statement by its chairman, Taiwo Adebayo, and public relations officer, Mojeed Agboola also condemned the invasion by the armed group purportedly seeking the secession of Yorubaland from Nigeria.

The forum noted that the style of the invasion and the use of military camouflage with badges suggested that they had been organising without detection and preemptive actions, stressing that this calls for the need to enhance intelligence gathering and systems.

Penpushing further reports that the forum warned against any action by any group that would lead to the erasure of the substantial peace and stability being enjoyed in Oyo State, arguing that freedoms of expression and association remain fundamental rights in the country, but nobody should resort to violence to pursue any agenda

“Freedoms of expression and association remain fundamental rights in the country, but nobody should resort to violence to pursue any agenda. We call on Governor Seyi Makinde and the security establishment to ensure a thorough investigation that would not only lead to lawful consequences but also help counter such violent tendencies moving forward,” it said.

Penpushing also reports that  on its part the Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate (CPPM), in a statement by its Executive Director, Nelson Ekujumi called for prosecution of the attackers and condemned the attack which was described as an act of terrorism.

The Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate (CPPM), in the statement commended the security agencies for rising to the occasion in apprehending the terrorists before they could unleash mayhem in Oyo State in particular and Nigeria in general.

‘We view this reprehensible terrorist conduct by the hoodlums called Yoruba nation agitators as an act of terrorism against the Nigerian state, which must be confronted with the full wrath of the law,” the statement read.

Penpushing further reports that the body urged the security agencies to dig deeper into the activities of the terrorist association called Yoruba nation agitators, who have assaulted and undermined national security and were warming up to be like other terrorist groups such as IPOB/ESN and Boko Haram.

The Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate (CPPM) warned that Nigeria as a country cannot afford to allow the threat to national security by another terrorist group in the name of Yoruba nation agitators, and called for the venting of the full wrath of the law on the terrorists before they develop into monsters.

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