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Yoruba Mega Rally: Youths, Soyinka differ

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By Johnmark Ukoko, Lagos

Few days after the security forces dispersed Yoruba Nation Rally conveners and the youths who attended the rally, some Yoruba youths and elders have berated the conveners.

Orient Daily findings showed that many Yoruba professionals were not in support of the rally, particularly the activities of Mr. Sunday Adeyemi, better known as Sunday Igboho and the promoter of Egbe Omo Oduduwa, Prof Banji Akintoye who staged the “Lagos Mega Rally.”

A Lagos-based media practitioner, Mr. Segun Obisanya, in an interview with Orient Daily, condemned the conveners of the rally, saying that Yoruba people are too educated to believe that they can achieve their self-determination through this method.

“While each ethnic nationality that makes up Nigeria is entitled to ask for their rights, I don’t subscribe to the methods being embarked upon. I will never support it or be part of it irrespective of the region involved. There are better ways to go about this sensitive issue,” he said.

The journalist frowned at the resort to charms, juju and voodoo by Sunday Igboho and some of the organisers of the rally, adding that, as a proud Yoruba son, he felt embarrassed at the juju and the charms security forces said they seized from some of the protesters.

“At this age and civilisation, I can’t believe that some of my kinsmen in Lagos, Ibadan and other cities could be this deep in charms and juju. Do they think charms and juju can deliver self-determination or independence to the Yoruba nation?” he asked.

Also, speaking a Yoruba economist Mr. Abiodun Awogbemi, said the organisers of the rally were not serious. 

Awogbemi who said that Yoruba Nation conveners were capitalising on the fact that many youths were unemployed and therefore are available to be used to foment trouble, stressed that well-to-do and gainfully employed Yorubas will not waste their time causing trouble. 

He pointed out that all parts of Nigeria had one complaint or the other about the country, saying, “You will not find the kids of the rich Yoruba guys in that rally. Agreed that we have various problems in our country, there are better ways to tackle such challenges than calling for self-determination.”

 However, Awogbemi and Obisanya’s view does not agree with that of the Nigeria’s Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, who had asked the federal government to tender apologies to Sunday Igboho and the mega rally protesters.

Prof. Soyinka had maintained that it was wrong for the operatives of the Department of the State Services, DSS, to have invaded Igboho’s home and kill two of his associates.

Soyinka in an interview with the BBC pidgin earlier in the week insisted that the government’s actions and rationale for invading Igboho’s home “stink.” 

He said he expected the DSS to just apologise to Igboho and say ‘we have made a mistake; we should not have acted in this way. You are no longer wanted; go back to your home.’ “In fact, they should escort him to his home and let him resume his normal life.”

Prof. Soyinka noted that he didn’t like the sound of a Yoruba nation more than he likes the sound of Tiv or others nationality, noting that the country must be restructured through the decentralisation of power. 

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