By Ike A. Offor
The Yoruba have launched what it called a trans-national group aimed at working for self determination of its people all over the globe. The group named Oodua World Congress OWC according to them will represent and defend the interest of the Yoruba and Itsekiri people all over the world.
Two things are very clear about their mission, to defend the interest od he Yoruba and Itsekiri people and to seek for self determination, using nonviolent means. The group will also organise a national summit this year, 2019.
Below is the group’s press release.
Lagos, May 31, 2019
A trans-national group aimed at working for the self determination of Yoruba peoples all over the world has been launched.
The new movement, Oodua World Congress, (OWC) will represent and defend the interests of Yoruba and Itsekiri people all over the world.
The group said it will mobilise local and international community for the realization of Yoruba self determination using peaceful and non-violent means and drawing from Article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations which states that all peoples have the right to freely pursue their political, economic, social and cultural sovereignty
OWC draws membership from Nigeria and the six continents of Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Australia and the Pacific.
OWC plans a Yoruba trans-national summit before the end of the year.
In a release signed by Ayobami Akinreti and Dr. Mustapha Idris Olukotun on behalf of the OWC Public Information Bureau (PIB,) the organization said it will work for the self determination of Yoruba people using local and international instruments to actualise its goal within the shortest possible time.
The OWC said Yoruba population is 27th in a list of 233 countries and bigger in size than 165 countries in the world.
In Africa, Yoruba nation will be the third largest nation in population while it will be the first in human resource potentials.
The group said it is time to assert Yoruba as a sovereign nation and free the people from servitude and long-standing bondage.
“OWC is a new movement in response to the need for synergy and intensive local and international campaign for the Yoruba self-determination up to the point of actualising a sovereign nation for the children of Oduduwa who share common history, common culture and common fears and aspirations”, the group stated.
It noted that self determination is the goal of the new millennium.
“In this campaign, OWC promises to provide hope for a despairing population and lead the children of Oduduwa from stupor to greatness, from hopelessness to glory and from shame to fame,” the OWC said in the statement.
The group said Yoruba people do not hate any nationality or tribe, but rather was propelled by the motive to do things and run the affairs of her own government based on the over 2000 year old values and civilisations of the Yoruba people.
“After over a century, Nigeria has failed to give Yoruba people what we want. We have fought wars. We indeed continue to fight different forms of wars as a people in Nigeria where live and living must necessarily cost everything including constant misery and loss of human lives. Our children are crying, our young and old generations are deprived, our values and civilisations are trampled and our rights to choose those who lead us have always depended on the wishes of those who see us as eternal foes.”
OWC stated “What we see today is wasting and destruction in our towns, cities, villages and borders. Our moon no longer shines. Our sun has been suppressed. Our stars trampled under the scorching coercion of the Nigerian state.”
The officials said “We have a long history. We have a long tradition. At a point in world history, Yoruba nation was the reference point for the cultural, political and economic heritage of the black people all over the world. At a point, our standard of living was comparable if not better than some European nations. We have a history of war and peace. We had a history of when the children of Oduduwa had some level of independence later taken away by fiat. Today, the Yoruba fortunes have declined. Our humanity has been punctured by the garrison Nigerian state in the face of a desperate attempt to sustain the obvious ruins that the country has become.”
The group said the campaign for Yoruba self-determination has become inevitable “in the face of the horrific sufferings and deprivations of our people” adding that the problem has been compounded by the invasion of Yoruba territories by armed Fulani men who appear anxious and determined to impose siege and war on Yoruba people.
“Throughout Nigerian history, the Fulani have always been the aggressor. Our territories are currently occupied by armed groups. Our wives and daughters are raped. Those who challenged them have been killed in the most savage manners. Our farms, our homes, our cities and our forests have become death traps. It will be foolish and catastrophic for our people to fold their arms with the illusion that war is not being planned by people who consistently portray themselves as our eternal enemies inspite of the affection and love of the Yoruba people.”
The OWC said the group is open to all children of Oduduwa who are in the age of 18 and above.
“Our convenant is to liberate our people from the shackles of agony and bleakness.”
It urged Yoruba, Itsekiri and all Oodua descendants all over the world to unite and prepare to defend their ancestral territories from the aggression and organised hostilities of arrogant aliens currently occupying Yorubaland including our sacred forests and groves. OWC said it will shoulder the historic and necessary burden of redeeming Oodua descendants from their affliction and put an end to the mourning, the gnashing of teeth and the desolation of the people.
It said Yoruba people will be energised to act with the philosophy of proportional response to the premeditated attacks being planned by those who wish to keep Yoruba under brute force. The group said it is ready to work with other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria who share the dream of OWC.
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