About 36 self-determination groups from the Southwest states on Thursday met in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, vow to resist any form of slavery by any group and to chart the way forward for the region.
The meeting christened: “Yoruba World Congress (introductory conference),” was attended by some of the groups, including factional leaders and members of the Oodua Peoples Congress, the Agbekoya, Yoruba Liberation Movement and the Yoruba Afenifere Youth Council, among others.
Speaking at the meeting, Prof. Banji Akintoye, said it was important the various self-determination and social cultural groups in Yorubaland harmonized their thoughts on how to defend and promote the interest of the Yoruba nation within the Nigerian context.
He noted that the Yoruba nation had declined since the independence of Nigeria in 1960 with various and numerous groups emerging in response to arrest the decline, but still leaving much more to be desired.
He recounted his efforts way back in 2006, where he founded the Oodua Foundation as a think tank organisation of Yoruba intellectuals from all over the world, who has been studying the impact of Nigeria on the Yoruba nation.
He said: “In today’s conference, we the founders and members of the Yoruba World Congress have assembled first to introduce and to highlight our Yoruba World Congress.
“We are gathered to send a clear message to the Yoruba people and to the other peoples of Nigeria that we Yoruba people are a great ancient civilization, the most educated people in Africa, and a people with widespread and enormous influence in the world.
“We are sending notice to those who harbor dangerous and destructive ideas of conquering and subduing other peoples of Nigeria that our Yoruba nation is far beyond their capabilities to subdue.
Akintoye added: “While we will continue to honour our tradition of hospitality to foreigners in our land, we will not hold back any effort to force out from our land any foreigner, who comes with the intent to hurt, to kill, to maim and to destroy.
“We do not harbour any ambition to subdue any people or to seize any part of their land, and we will make it absolutely clear to the world that nobody can seize any inch of our land.
“We also serve notice that we have arisen now to resist and reverse the trend toward retrogression in the life of our nation in Nigeria. We will mount a multifaceted operation to stop our language from continuing to decline. We will mount powerful operations and campaigns to revive our agriculture, and to revive our industrial development that has been deliberately stopped in Nigeria.