The umbrella body of the Yoruba Nation self-determination groups, Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide, on Sunday described as unfounded a statement credited to the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, on next weekend’s elections.
The IGP had during a meeting with strategic police managers at the Force Headquarters in Abuja last week decried the growing importation of light weapons into the country by extremist groups.
He also alleged that the people of Yorubaland were planning to disrupt the elections and had stockpiled arms for the mission.
The group in a statement jointly signed by its Leader, Banji Akintoye and spokesman, Kunle Adelakun, dismissed the claim as outright falsehood.
However, the group accused the Federal Government of inflicting hardships on Nigerians through naira redesign.
The statement read: “This allegation is disgusting, unfounded, and in a full-fledged absurdity. And that such an allegation could ever be labelled on Yoruba people who naturally are known to be peace-loving people.
“The Yoruba is a non-violent race that always employs a civil, diplomatic, and non-violent approach to settle conflict or issues that affect them and their neighbours. Over the years, we have been resilient and civil in our approach and at the same time observed diplomatic mechanisms in line with international laws and other extant domestic laws.
“The world at large and the international community knows very well that Yoruba people are too mature politically to even resolve to carry arms or engage in a violent means of settling discourse or political disputes.
“Historically, we have shown and displayed this non-violent culture during the 1967-1979 civil war where we displayed technical intelligence and God-given wisdom to quench the Nigeria civil war.
“It is on record till now that if not the Yoruba Military men and political leaders who laid down their lives during this period, Nigeria would not have been what it is today, as one and certainly, Nigeria would not have won the bloody Biafra war.
“We want to believe that Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba needs to be tutored historically. Perhaps, this would make him have an unsentimental understanding and clear judgment about the Yoruba people.
“If we are to look into those who are behind the artificial crisis being inflicted on Nigerians daily, most especially, the insecurity (Boko Haram, ISIS) and destruction of farmlands, kidnappings for ransoms, invasions of Yoruba land, South East and Middle Belt regions by Fulani herders/land grabbers.
“Yoruba people/Nation are only exercising their indigenous rights to advocate and canvases for their sovereign nation, the act which is protected under the United Nation and African charters.
“The right for self-determination is never against Nigeria or international laws. On this point, we have seen and still witnessing the scarcity of fuel, most especially in Southern Nigeria. The Central Bank policy on the naira redesigned is not helping the already tensed environment and nation’s economy.”
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