TOO LATE FOR RESTRUCTURING: ODUDUWA REPUBLIC NOW! OUR DECLARATIONS.
In the light of the foregoing, and in response to the occurrences in Nigeria of the past few months, including but not limited to the releases, utterances and actions of:
a) Certain groups representing the Igbo nation in Nigeria, IPOB (The Indigenous People of Biafra), MASSOB (Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra) among others, to the effect that they desire to leave Nigeria and cease to be called Nigerians; and
b) Certain groups representing the (AREWA) people of Northern Nigeria, to the effect that the Igbo people should vacate the territory of Northern Nigeria before October 1st, 2017,
The Yoruba Liberation Command (YLC), the core of the authentic representatives and defenders of the values, rights and demands of the Yoruba Indigenous people, now makes the following declarations:
- The entirety of Yorubaland lies almost completely within the trough encompassed by the River Niger, to the north and east, River Volta to the west and the long stretch of the Atlantic Ocean to the south. This geographic space more or less roughly describes the totality of the area occupied by Yoruba people over the extent of our known history.
From the west at the borders of Togo, it stretches through Benin Republic to the east, at Warri in the east in the creeks of the Niger delta (between Longitude 2°30′E and 6°30′E). The upward sweep commences from the Atlantic Ocean coastline up to the immediate westerly bend of the Niger river, (below the confluence) (between latitude 6°N and 9°N).
- Article 3 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples recognizes Indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination, which includes the right “to freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”
Article 4 affirms Indigenous peoples’ right “to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs,”, and
Article 5 protects their right “to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions.”.
Article 26 states that “Indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired,” and it directs States to give legal recognition to these territories.
Therefore, we totally agree with the desire and demand of the Igbo to vacate Nigeria. It is within their inalienable rights to so demand. We shall do all within our powers to assist and encourage the Igbo to achieve this, and remove themselves from all parts of Yorubaland, except as in such cases or under conditions as may be so agreed between both parties, in so far as it does not in any manner affect the safety, properties and rights of Yoruba people, anywhere they may be in the presently subsisting Nigeria country.
In the same vein, we agree that the Arewa groups are within their rights to demand that all Igbo should vacate their territories within the time frame given. This expulsion order however, has automatically grouped every other southerner, or non-muslim northerner, together in the order, because there is no verifiable way to differentiate between the Igbo and the Yoruba, between the Igbo and the Ibibio, Efik, Urhobo, Itshekiri, Ijaw or the Northern Yoruba of Kwara and Kogi. The Igbo do not carry a mark on their heads identifying them as such. Therefore, this is an expulsion order to all Southerners and people of the Middle Belt by the core north of North West and North East.
By this order the North has automatically asked its people resident in the south to vacate the south of Nigeria and go back home to the North.
Southerners, and especially Yoruba people resident in any part of the North are advised and encouraged to come back home, to Yorubaland where they are guaranteed one hundred percent protection of their lives, limbs and properties. It is important you do not fall victim to the wholesale slaughters, massacres and all the horrendously horrible things the Hausa-Fulani are known for, if we are to judge by past experience. In the confines of Yorubaland they dare not try any of these crimes because they know we have the antidote to their madness.
- We declare that the time to revisit, repudiate, repeal and destroy the amalgamation proclamation of 1914, bringing the peoples of Nigeria together by fiat has come. It is NOW!
To buttress this assertion, we examine the following quotations:
a) “The British needed the Railway from the North to the Coast in the interest of British business. Amalgamation of the South (not of the people) became of crucial importance to British business interest. Fredrick Lugard said the North and the South should be amalgamated “.
“What is critical and important are the reasons Lugard gave in his dispatches. They are as follows: He said the North is poor and they have no resources to run the protectorate of the North. That they have no access to the sea; that the South has resources and have educated people“
“When the amalgamation took effect, the British government sealed off the South from the North. And between 1914 and l960, that’s a period of 46 years, the British allowed minimum contact between the North and South because it was not in the British interest that the North be allowed to be polluted by the educated South.“
– Chief Richard Akinjide, former Attorney General and Minister of Justice
b) “Since 1914, the British Government has been trying to make Nigeria into one country, but the Nigerian people themselves are historically different in their backgrounds, in their religious beliefs and customs and do not show themselves any signs of willingness to unite … Nigerian unity is only a British invention”
– Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Late former Nigerian Prime Minister.
c) “I entered Parliament on December 12, 1959. When the North formed a political party, the northern leaders called it Northern Peoples Congress (NPC). They didn’t call it Nigeria Peoples Congress. That was in accordance with the dictum and policies of Lugard. When Aminu Kano formed his own party, it was called Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU) not Nigerian Progressive Union. Northern Peoples Congress was, back then, and still exists in one form or another in 2011- not without a Northern-prefix! Sometimes, you still read Northern Elements Political Forum! Indeed, these elements have not changed! 50 years later, we are still being confronted with a Northern Consensus Candidate. Yar´Adua´s purported message to Nigerians from his death bed via Hausa BBC in Hausa language! Northern this, Northern that! Not Nigerian!
– Chief Richard Akinjide, former Attorney General and Minister of Justice
d) “Nigeria is a very complex country. Our problems did not start yesterday. It started about 1894. Lord Lugard came here about 1894 and many people did not know that Major Lugard was not originally employed by the British government. He was employed by companies. He was first employed by East Indian Company, by the Royal East African Company and then by the Royal Niger Company. It was from the Royal Niger Company that he transferred to the British government.
The interest of the Europeans in Africa and indeed in Nigeria was economic and it’s still economic. They have no permanent friends and no permanent interests. Neither their interest nor their friends are permanent. Nigeria was created as a British sphere of interests for business.
In 1898, Lugard formed the West African Frontier Force initially with 2,000 soldiers and that was the beginning of our problems. About 90 percent of them were from the North mainly from the middle belt. And his dispatches to London between that time and January 1914 was extremely interesting. Lugard came here for a purpose and that purpose was British interest”.
– Chief Richard Akinjide, former Attorney General and Minister of Justice.
e) “The new nation called Nigeria should be an estate of our great grandfather Othman Dan Fodio. We must ruthlessly prevent a change of power. We use the minorities in the north as willing tools and the south as a conquered territory and never allow them to rule over us and never allow them to have control over their future.”
– Alh. Ahmadu Bello, the Premier of the Northern Region
– Parrot Newspaper October 12, 1960. Eleven days after Nigeria got her political independence on October 1, 1960
Now, there are important revelations about the vision of Sir Ahmadu Bello, as captured in the above, and which vision his people have executed with great effectiveness for the past 5 decades:
1. Nigeria is an estate of their great grandfather Othman Dan Fodio, and so anyone who does not descend from their forebear is a tenant. The vision is to maintain a tenancy status for all non-Dan Fodians dwelling within the geographical boundaries of Nigeria.
2. To prevent ruthlessly any change of order that wrestles power from the Dan Fodians.
3. To use and manipulate all “minorities” of the “north” as the slaves of the Dan Fodians.
4. To control the resources of tenants (non-Dan Fodians) in their estate (Nigeria).
5. To resist any form of rule over the Dan Fodians.
6. To never allow non-Dan Fodians to have control over their future.
The pursuit of, and the brutal enforcement of this vision have contributed greatly to the many crises Nigeria has faced for close to sixty years. The connivance of western powers such as Britain and the USA at different stages of our history for the sake of protecting their interest has been a recurring scenario that has just refused to go away. Now is the time to end this subjugation that has been as insidious as it has been hidden from the majority of peoples of the world, including some Nigerians.
We declare that Yoruba will never be slaves in their own fatherland. We repudiate this amalgamation document now and declare that we cannot and will not continue to be a part of an iniquitous Nigeria.
- History records that the Yoruba were never engaged at war with the British (except at Ilorin, under the Fulani usurpers, and at Ijebuland over rights of way for traders). So we were never conquered. But agreed voluntarily to sign treaties of cooperation with the British.
There was never an agreement, written or verbal, committing each of the various national, sub national groups, empires or kingdoms to be an integral part of a later to be formed Nigerian nation, state or country. What were signed and agreed with the British were treaties of protection (as in the treaties with Lagos (1852) and Ilaro(1891) and co-operation (as in the treaties with Ijesha(1891), Oyo1886 and 1888) and Ekiti(1891) (see appendixes) (sometimes forced or coaxed out of the hapless natives by intimidation or force of arms). Their sovereignties were never signed away (except that of the Lagos Island and ports (1861). The treaty with the Ibadan semi-autonomous state, 15th August 1893, is an example.
We hereby declare null and void the act of the mercenary Lord Lugard, who had no preliminary instruction nor our mandate as a people to bring us into an undesired union, ab-initio contrived for the interests other than that of our forefathers, the native owners of the entire territory of Yorubaland, as described in (1). Therefore we trash into the dustbin of history any action, purported to have brought us to the undesirable, unprofitable and retrogressive union called Nigeria.
- We declare to our people the viability, vibrancy and virility of a separate Yoruba Nation. As such, we are encouraged to boldly and vigorously pursue the initiative of an Oduduwa Republic.
Yorubaland has a landmass of approximately 80,000 square kilometers and a current  estimated population of 40 million people – more populous than:
o20 countries in Europe – Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic,
Demark, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Luxemburg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland;
o 41 countries in Africa – Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland,Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe;
o 17 countries in the Americas – Bahamas, Barbados, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador,El-Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Trinidad andTobago, Uruguay and Venezuela;
o 13 countries in the Middle East – Bahrain, Brunei, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman,Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirate and Yemen; and
o 6 countries of Asia –Cambodia, North Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Taiwan [Yoruba Agenda, 2012];
Yorubaland has a unique geography, competencies and resources and is positioned as the hub of development and growth of Nigeria into the 22nd Century The foremost urban civilization in Black Africa. Our first town, Ile-Ife, was built in the early 4th Century BC, during the European ―Dark Ages when most of Europe had no towns, with a level of urbanization more advanced than that of the countries of Europe in the same period;
Yorubaland is one of the fastest growing economic blocs in Nigeria and the world, with a combined GDP of $69.1billion, constituting 25.3% of the national GDP (2012 estimates) and a GDP per capita of $11,341 – a gross Regional output that grew the most in 2012
Yorubaland has over 60% of Nigeria‘s industrial capacity and approximately 60% of the country‘s banking assets plus 67% of its insurance assets…;
Two of Nigeria‘s most important deep seaports – Lagos Port, Complex, Apapa & Tin Can Island – handling over 100 million tonnes of goods p.a. valued at an estimated $2b in 2012, alongside its profitable land borders that accounts for 60% of the trading and commercial activities in Nigeria;
Yorubaland is blessed with the most intricate and valued mineral resources known to man: KWARA AND KOGI STATES – Gold, Marble, Iron-Ore, Cassiterite, Columbite, Tantalite, Feldspar (Traces), Mica (Traces)
LAGOS STATE – Glass-sand, Clay, Bitumen, Crude Oil
OGUN STATE – Phosphate, Clay, Feldspar (traces), Kaolin, Limestone, Gemstone, Bitumen, Crude Oil
ONDO AND EKITI STATES – Bitumen, Kaolin, Gemstone, Gypsum, Feldspar, Granite, Clay, Glass-sand, Dimesion stones, Limestone, Coal, Crude Oil.
OSUN STATE – Gold, Talc, Toumaline, Columbite, Granite
OYO STATE – Kaoline, Marble, Clay, Sillimnite, Talc, Gold, Cassiterite, Aqua Marine, Dolomite, Gemstone, Tantalite;
Yorubaland has the most performing non-oil sectors of the economy, which include telecommunications [32%], building and construction [12.5%], solid minerals [12.5%], hotel and restaurants [12.5%], real estate [10.4%] and business services [9.7%]…A financial services infrastructure that includes 22 national commercial banking institutions, 20 finance companies, 20 primary mortgage institutions, 2 merchant banks, 20 micro-finance banks and 5 development finance institutions, with extensive network of branches, and most significant operations in Nigeria. These institutions command money assets to the tune of $6.4 billion [May 2013]
Yorubaland is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, of comparative size to other national economies.
For instance, Lagos State produces about 12% of Nigeria‘s GDP, which is equivalent to almost $32billion [according to the 2013 estimates], making it Africa‘s 13th largest economy ahead of Tanzania Has Great tourism potentials due to the peculiarity of its history and distinct geography, and capabilities in ICT and other skilled professions
Yorubaland is the most conducive and safest part of the Nigeria country for investors and visitors. Of the top 20 cities that McKinsey has identified as growth hot spots for companies targeting young, entry level consumers, Lagos and Ibadan are included in the list, alongside other urban centres such as Dar Es Salaam, Ouagadougou, Kampala and Lusaka.
Yorubaland has a competitive advantage that is leveraged on its strategic assets of a unique communality of language, customs and culture among its peoples; a demography consisting of a large youthful population; huge human and material resources including a large knowledgeable diaspora; vast tracts of arable agricultural land, renewable water resources, and the presence of extensive mineral deposits, such as hydrocarbons, etc. (Culled from ‘Regional Autonomy…or Nothing’[Source: DAWN Commission, 2012].
- A nation with the land mass, population and all the potentials described above has no reason to be bogged down in a country as grossly inefficient as Nigeria. In essence, Nigeria represents a formidable obstacle to our development as a people, and as a nation. Self-preservation is the first law, and so, we owe it a duty to our progeny and ourselves to do everything in our power to exit this chaos of a country. Indeed, we owe no one explanations, except ourselves, why we want out; We declare that it is sufficient to so wish!
- It is tragic enough that we are forced to be in a union that significantly devalues our potentials as a nation, worse still, this union is engendering hitherto unimaginable retrogression in all facets of our national life. Now, let it be made clear that every time the words ‘nation’ or ‘national’ is used in this document, it is referring to the Oduduwa Nation and not to Nigeria. Nigeria is not a nation, much less ‘one nation bound in freedom, peace and unity’, contrary to the lies being sold to Nigerians. Nigeria is a conglomeration of nations, indeed, a multinational country.
- Nobody agreed to a Nigerian Constitution. At no point did we all sit down to draft one. But the constitution has told a lie about itself, even in its introduction, where it is written, “We the people.” So, it is a fraudulent document, ab initio, and cannot survive as a uniting document. Thus since Yoruba has no constitution to which it was signatory, binding it to Nigeria, we hereby declare its power and authority on us as non-binding, null and void! In addition, it is non-secular. Inside the 1999 Constitution, Shariah was mentioned 73 times, Grand Khadi 54 times, Islam 28 times, Muslims 10 times and there is no single mention of Christ, Christian, Christianity or Church. Thus we can conclude that the Nigerian state is an Islamic state. We declare that the Oduduwa Nation is secular, and does not seek to elevate one religion over the other. The Yoruba people are a living example to the world on complete religious harmony.
- Nigeria has never, nor will it ever present the desired platform for exploiting our God-given human and material resources to their full potentials. Nigeria has always found a way of truncating our progress via contrived and avoidable crises, coup d’états, and unjust laws and constitutional restrictions. The reality on ground is that Nigeria is a country purposed for periodic failures occasionally mitigated by transient half-hearted attempts at redeeming itself, in a vicious cycle that has no end. The Buhari Presidency can best be situated in the context of these periodic half-hearted attempts. It can only end in the usual manner of grief and disappointment for us.
- The current Nigeria is not oriented towards development, progress or prosperity. Nigeria now tends towards the maximization of power by the federal establishment. As a result, authority and control in Nigeria have been accumulated in the confines of the Federal Government. Nigeria, a country of different nations, has reduced the governments of the states of the Nigerian Federation to the level of impotency and incapability. These have stunted the growth and development of the states and their citizens. The Oduduwa nation aspire for development and the wellbeing of its people.
- “The autonomy to develop the Yoruba Nation as a separate nation from Nigeria is the only factor that is missing in efforts to industrialize our region. All the ingredients for socio-economic development are present in Yoruba land and the questions of viability and sustainability do not arise.” [Yoruba Agenda, 2012]
The overbearing attitude of the federal Government of Nigeria as reflected in its control of resources and the sharing of same, and the concentration and control of security apparatuses in the center have continued to be an impediment to our growth. These security forces have been unleashed on our people to kill and maim them under the pretext of maintaining law and order, in order to suppress legitimate protests, and in order to force us to accept rigged elections in the Federal elections of 1964 and 1983, and in the annulment of the 1993 election won by Chief M. K. O. Abiola.
It is this same overbearing attitude that has denied us the opportunity of having our own police system. A localized police system will ensure that the personnel are indigenes of our nation. The police are sometimes used against us as instruments of oppression and suppression rather than protection.
- Within our borders, Fulani herdsmen rampage over our land with impunity. They kill, maim, rape, pillage and destroy farmlands, crops and property without hindrance. They have the belief that they have grazing rights over our crops and nothing can stop them, and it appears to be a deliberate state policy that they are never brought to justice, and so the mayhem continues unabated. But the Yoruba Liberation Command (YCL) declares today, in the names of our ancestors and the owners of the land that this will no more be tolerated. This will be visited with the greatest severity of reprisal. If the enemies are in the bushes or in the savannah, upland or by the seaside, on our waters or in our cities. Anyone or group that terrorize, disturb, burgle, rape, rob, or kill any Yoruba person(s) or vandalize their properties will have the Yoruba Liberation Command (YLC) to answer to!
We are vulnerable because we are not allowed to defend ourselves under Nigerian laws even though the Nigerian Military has not demonstrated that it can defend itself, much less defend us. Religious crises have taken the lives of thousands of our people, while hundreds of our youths have died not defending the integrity of our nation but as soldiers of the Nigerian State hundreds of kilometers from their ancestral home in a religious conflict that should not have been our headache. We hereby declare that the game has changed!
- Our association with the rest of Nigeria has continually been promoting a decline in our values. As long as we are in this lost ark of a country, our mores and ethos will continue to be warped, abnormality will be the norm, and our culture and traditions will count for nothing in the face of the deliberate, unrelenting and deleterious effect of the never-never land called Nigeria. Our civilization faces the growing possibility of being diluted into nonexistence by strange cultures and invaders who insist that we must develop at their own pace or have our development perpetually arrested.
The decline and deterioration in our nation because of the dilution effect of the rest of Nigeria is intolerable, and has led to fallen standards. This is reflected in inadequate industrial capacity, decayed infrastructure, high unemployment rate, poor road network and bad roads, poor healthcare delivery system, and a worsening social welfare system.
It is glaring that we will never achieve our full potentials in Nigeria; we will remain in the quagmire caused by recurrent crises that seem to have become the norm. Understandably, this cannot be a country a rational human being would want to hand over to his/her children, or conversely, hand over his/her children to. In short, we must face the reality that Nigeria is a nightmare that is not pretending to be a pleasant dream. We are now at a level in Nigeria, where the only region and people that are desperate to go to war to force one Nigeria on everybody, are the core-Northerners, their few slaves and willing tools from the middle-belt and the others, from the south, which they consider a conquered territory.
Freedom will not be offered to us; we will have to demand it. We declare our readiness to engage Nigeria, by any means necessary, preferably peaceful, unless other means of engagement are forced on us, to which we shall respond resolutely, using all resources at our disposal to attain our independence!
- History as a subject is dead in Nigeria and has been replaced with propaganda seeking to subsume our distinct identity into the nebulous and dubious concept of the Nigerian ‘nation’. This is a deliberate attempt to make us forget who we are and what we stand for. If things continue this way, we may soon become nation-less and stateless. The only way to stop this avoidable disappearance of our civilization and all we stand for is to make a bold and decisive move to end this unholy association.
- It is time to disembark from the Nigerian train which is headed nowhere because it is running on a circular track.
We declare that the Oduduwa Nation and people, as any colonized or oppressed people, has an unquestionable and inalienable right to self-determination, and in effect, has the right to free itself from foreign domination, be it political, economic or cultural, which Nigeria currently represents.
As the state of the Nigeria country continue to spiral from the ridiculous to the unpredictable, we ask all Yoruba Obas, Baales, Chiefs and Self-determination Groups to gird and organize themselves to protect and safeguard the lives and properties of all Yoruba nationals within their domain.
- We advise the Nigeria military (The army, air force or the navy) not be tempted to carry out a coup in the name of one Nigeria, as it is doomed to fail from the onset. It will not succeed as it will be resisted by all corners of Nigeria, and with all powers at our disposal here in Yorubaland. Everybody is tired, frustrated and angry! We declare that Nigeria must be dissolved through a United Nations conducted referendum for each and all to go their separate ways. We reject, in totality, any action purportedly carried out to force us and any other nationality together to belong to a dead union. Nigeria’s unity is definitely negotiable!
- We hereby implore the United Nations to urgently convene a special session on Nigeria to commence the process of organizing a Nigeria Referendum, before the conflagration starts and anarchy is loose upon the land!
YORUBA LIBERATION COMMAND