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Why we want to break away from Nigeria

A group, the Yoruba Self-Determined Movement (YSDM), has written to President Muhammadu Buhari seeking a “peaceful break away” of Yorubas from Nigeria.

Banji Akintoye, the chairperson of the group, said in the letter that an overwhelming number of Yorubas want out of the country because of their “worsening and painful plight.”

Mr Akintoye, a professor of History, said that Yoruba leaders requested in the 1950s for the input of a secession clause in the Nigerian Constitution but was overruled by the then colonial master.

“Mr President, the Yoruba Self-Determination Movement now serves you notice of the decision of the Yoruba people to assert their right to self-determination, which right of self-determination is an inalienable and unquestionable right of every indigenous nation in the world,” the letter read.

“Upon asserting this right of self-determination, we Yoruba nation shall be free to determine our political status, pursue our economic, social and cultural development according to policies chosen independently by us, and to live under the government independently chosen and ordered by us.”

A recent call for an independent Yoruba nation had been championed by a self-styled activist, Sunday Adeyemo (popularly known as Sunday Igboho). Mr Adeyemo’s call for Yoruba self-determination garnered momentum following the continuous killing of Yorubas in the South-west region by suspected herdsmen.


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