Yoruba Nation: The Real Enemies of Self Determination
Irohinoodua Editorial, May 11, 2020
If there is anything Yoruba of today can be proud of, it is their past. But when a people constantly express pride only in her bygone, it becomes a proof of how progressively backward such a people can be; It shows the thickness of the darkness that lay in the horizon. Yes, Yoruba of today reference their magnificence during three epochs: golden age of the 10th century when she had an organized system of government; the glorious Oyo empire that collapsed in the 18th century and then the era of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo-1952 to 1959.
Facts buttress these claims: The Ile-Ife Palace for instance was built in 1010, some 700 years before the completion of the Buckingham Palace in 1705 having been designed and built by William Winde and John Fitch.
The Gross Domestic Product of Malaysia in 1960 was $1.916, that of Nigeria was 4.196b. Today, Malaysia is ahead of Nigeria in almost every sphere. In the Awolowo era, the South West was ahead of some European countries in terms of industrial growth and infact dwarfed many Asian nations who are today referred to as Asian Tigers. Awo built the first TV station in sub-Saharan Africa, the tallest building in Africa, the most efficient civil service and by far the most organized political party. He spent only 8 years. The SW has not been able to equal these achievements some 52 years after.
Since the introduction of a totalitarian regime in 1966, Yoruba have been moving several steps backwards. Tactically the various military regimes only strengthen the core-North and weakened the South West, in many ways: delineation of wards, states’ and local government creation, all done by the North controlled military (except the 1963 Act of Parliament that created Mid-West State), the population figures have all been couched to put the core North in perpetual advantage. These leads to firm control of any ‘democratic’ elections and sharing and allocation of resources. This is backed by the full control of the means of cohesion-the police and the military-all of which have 90 percent of their institutions, structure and superstructure located in the core-North. The democratic structures are nothing but mere reflections of a totalitarian system which mockery of democracy is the sham elections. In regaining the past and redefining the future, there is no solution except in the decentralization of the political economy.
As Nigeria wobbles through several landmines—corruption, violent extremism, inept leadership, poverty, cultism, kidnapping and worse still, an opportunistic, disorganized, devious and self-serving opposition, it is a grand illusion to assume that any form of liberty, economic or political, await Yoruba in the shortest time possible. For Yoruba Nation, the problems are glaring, the solutions known, but there is virtually no movement with the capacity to bell the cat.
The Real Enemies
The obstacles to Yoruba sovereignty are many. First is the ELECTORAL SECT. These people premise advocacy for Yoruba self-determination on failure to have secured political control of the South West. They loudmouth slogans for Yoruba nation but in reality are motivated by electoral gains, they seek to ride to political power on the crest of false nationalism. Their strategy is nothing more than press statements. They are in both APC and PDP. They attack policies of the ruling party which themselves and their political party would have implemented. When PDP was in power, it was the Yoruba elements in APC, when APC gains power, PDP is the new host of these false prophets. For this group, they criminally claim the PDP is synonymous with Yoruba freedom. They are in constant desperation for alliances, even with the most vile anti-Yoruba ideologues, in order to win elections using fake pan-Yoruba mottoes. They speak of restructuring as if there was never a period of 16 years that all they did was to wobble and fumble.
The POLITICAl AND ECONOMI CLASS . They are entrenched in the APC and the PDP, arch beneficiaries of the rot, the 10 percenters, vampires, rogues, political scavengers who feed on the rotten carcass of Nigeria. They make profit from rogue policies and it is in their interest to retain the Yoruba in the mud for there lay their profit. They are the most dangerous, sly, dubious, ,malicious, always anxious to spy on genuine advocates. They are hands-in-gloves with the Fulani cohorts and will do anything to sabotage Yoruba interest.
The SELF DETERMINATION GROUPS themselves-They are divided into two: Those who really want Yoruba self-determination but are short-sighted, ill-experienced, anarchistic, grossly undisciplined and lacking in scientific understanding of the history of liberation movements and by far crude to the extent that they cannot lead a sophisticated Yoruba nation. They employ violence against themselves and against the society, are dreaded but not respected by the Yoruba they wish to lead. This group can only plunge Yoruba into another Somalia. The second are those who attach the word “Oodua” to their names but have been conceived as a profit-driven venture, whose leadership and members think self-determination is all about personal gains and photo-opportunism. The above groups all take delight in attacking Fulani, Igbo and ethnic minorities, and other tribes, without a careful study of how to build alliances and a Yorubaland that will be home to every decent people, some Fulani inclusive. There may be a third category of genuine Yoruba nationalists, who understand the field and the discipline the work entails but are deterred by the lack of funds.
What is to be done? In leading a people, the most important but most scarce commodities are honesty, knowledge and a clear vision. The Yoruba needs a tactical and strategic group driven by knowledge, honesty, clear vision, information and international network. Yoruba in Diaspora must wake up from their slumbering sleep, their piggishness, gluttony, self-interest, weakling; they should move from their hopeless internet rhetoric and appreciate the burden history has placed on them. This is not to disparage the historic role a very few of them continue to play. It is important to note that why the Unity of Yoruba is essential, it is not compulsory, to realize the self determination of the people. There will always be traitors. The Yoruba needs, now, a compact, honest, dedicated, highly disciplined group, led by a truthful and vast figure who can lead at this critical moment when the Yoruba nation flounders along with a notoriously violent state that seeks nothing except the comfort of the few crooks that holds firm, and in hostage, albeit temporarily, the destiny of a potentially great but stunted country.