Yoruba coalition express full support for Olu designate, condemns Ayiri’s court action
By Abiodun Memuletiwon
The Olu of Warri designate, Omo’Oba Tsola Emiko deserve the full and unconditional support of Yoruba and Itsekiri people all over the world.
In a statement on Monday O’odua Nationalist Coalition, (ONAC) a coalition of 35 different Pan Yoruba groups condemned attempts to distort the historical ties between Yoruba and Itsekiri through Chief Ayiri Emani’s court action. ONAC made the statement after visiting Warri at the weekend.The group said it was on a fact-finding mission.
The group in the statement signed by ONAC Deputy Chairman, Chief Samuel Akindele and General Secretary, Mr Omowumi Adebo said millions of Yoruba and Itsekiri people all over the world are disappointed about Chief Ayiri’s role in fuelling disunity and conflict in Warri and beyond.
ONAC said the position of Chief Ayiri that someone cannot become the Olu of Warri because the mother is Yoruba is embarrassing and a complete distortion of time honoured records.
“We are shocked by the position of Chief Ayiri. It is a known fact that Itsekiri is one of the sub ethnic groups of Oduduwa. There are some 25 sub Yoruba ethnic groups. When the proponents of the Edict mentioned Itsekiri and Bini origin, they did not exclude Yoruba” ONAC said
The group said Chief Ayiri’s action has the potential of distorting history and creating discord between children of Oduduwa
“The Bini royal family is a product of Oduduwa, the Yoruba progenitor. It means that any royalty in Bini has iota of Yoruba blood. The same way there is hardly any Itsekiri family without a link to Oduduwa. For centuries we have seen ourselves as belonging to one family. We urge Chief Ayiri not to put his name in the darkest part of history”
ONAC said the visits of it’s officials to Warri indicate that the new Olu designate is very popular and well accepted among majority of Itsekiri people, young and old, men and women adding that Chief Ayiri stands obviously in the minority.
‘The plot of Chief Ayiri will not only create disaffection among Itsekiri, it will set in motion instability which is the least Itsekiri and Yoruba people need at this critical moment that unity of purpose is needed.
ONAC said “Chief Ayiri does not need to fight the entire Yoruba or Itsekiri Nation. He should be conscious of history and how his role will be recorded. History is kind to peace makers but harsh on the path of those who nurture mischief and conflict. We advice Chief Ayiri to toe the path of honour and allow peace to reign for the prosperity of the Warri Kingdom.
ONAC said Yoruba people all over the world will be sending strong delegation to Warri to monitor court proceedings and also provide all the necessary support for truth and justice to be done in Itsekiri land