A United Kingdom-based self-determination group, Yoruba Voice of Liberation, has warned the Federal Government against any attempt to arrest Yoruba people agitating for self-determination within Nigeria.
In a statement on Friday, the group said “self-determination through a referendum is legal and constitutional”.
The statement was signed by the President and Secretary-General of YOVOL respectively, Ayo Faleti and Ademola Adekunle, respectively.
While quoting several Charters of the United Nations and African Union Declaration on Human Rights, including the agitations of the people of Ambazonia and Scotland, the group said any attempt to brutalise the leading agitators, especially, Emeritus Professor Banji Akintoye and Chief Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Igboho would be taken as “a declaration of war against Yoruba people”.
The statement read, “The Federal Government of Nigeria has a bad case against the call for referendum and the Yoruba people consider the threat issued by President Muhammadu Buhari through the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru on Mr Sunday Adeyemo as drumming up war; indeed on all ethnic nationalities.
“The evidence of oppression and suppression in the Nigerian state is everywhere for everyone to see, including conscious effort by a sitting President to use the power of the office to suppress all other ethnic groups. Considering all the above, it is evident that the notion of ‘indivisible Nigeria’ is baseless and non-factual. Any use of force will worsen the situation.
“Even self-determination remains the right of all peoples, including entitlement to secede from an existing state. United Nations Article 2(4) permits self-defence if an armed attack occurs before the Security Council takes necessary measures. The concerns in UK/EU or Scotland/UK relationship were far lesser than the deaths and poverty the ethnic nationalities in Nigeria are forced to bear.
“Yet Britain gave people the choice. In Nigeria, leaders who agreed they have failed the country, driving it to the brink are insisting on forcing the next way of life on the people they agreed they already led wrongly. It is untenable and at the best can be described as rape and abuse of people of various ethnic nationalities.
“The former Prime Minister of United Kingdom, David Cameron called BREXIT referendum, though he voted NO to BREXIT. The same principle applied when referendum was called on relationship of Scotland with the rest of the United Kingdom in which, eventually Scotland voted to stay in the UK. The referendum allows people who desire Nigeria to campaign for their position. The referendum allows those who want Yoruba nation or whatever is applicable to different ethnic nationalities to campaign for what they believe in.”