Oduduwa Republic: Yoruba scholars, traditional rulers caution Igboho, demand regional autonomy

A conference of Yoruba has called for decentralisation of government to allow the six geopolitical zones in the country to have autonomy to function.

The conference, which had in attendance Yoruba scholars and traditional rulers, was led by Professor of History, University of Texas, Austin, Toyin Falola, who submitted that decentralisation of power would solve most of the problems, including the insecurity facing the country.

The Yoruba leaders and scholars who met at Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, on Monday, for the sixth Atanda lectures and conference on Yoruba culture and society, advised secessionist agitators to be careful not to destabilise the polity as breaking away from Nigeria is not the solution to the nation’s current challenges.

The three-day conference on Yoruba culture and society had many national and international scholars on Yoruba and culture as speakers, including a foremost private art collector in Africa, Prince Yemisi Shyllon; Director of African Studies Institute, University of Georgia, USA, Akinloye Ojo, and Professor Arinpe Adejumo of the University of Ibadan.

Speaking on the essence of the conference, held in remembrance of a late professor of history, Joseph Atanda, Falola said the late scholar contributed immensely to the teaching of Yoruba history and culture while alive.

Speaking on the state of the nation, Falola said, “The Yoruba are angry, the Igbo are angry, so, how to minimise and reduce the anger is what we should find a solution to.

“At this time, the best advice one can give is decentralisation and autonomy in various regions.

“I don’t think separation is the best way to go, but seeking better autonomy in these regions is a better option.”

Another professor of history, Olutayo Adeshina, in his submission advised the agitators for Yoruba nation to think things through.

He said; “Those who are pushing for it, I will say let us take it easy and see it from broader perspectives because here, the structure of Nigeria is skewed; it is imbalanced and it is also not right. Yes, we have rights to agitate; I will say let us take it easy.

“If we agitate and try to secede, move away, what is the benefit of it? What is the cost of taking Yoruba out of Nigeria? Is it going to be done peacefully?

“You have to do this thing very clinically; you must get your parameters right; is it going to be peaceful? If it is going to be peaceful, Okay, if it is not going to be peaceful, what is the cost to us as a people and as a society? What is the cost on our infrastructure? A lot of things must be done carefully and well calibrated.”

The Orangun of Oke-Ila, Osun State, Oba Abolarin Adedokun, also called for patience and tolerance among the tribes and ethnic groups in the country.

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