Professor Banji Akintoye To General Muhammadu: Let My People Go!

By Bayo Oluwasanmi

Professor Banji Akintoye, the renowned historian and leader of the Yoruba Self-Determination Movement, Ilana Omo Oodua, in his letter to General Muhammadu Buhari, offers a new version of the Exodus story, the Bible’s most enduring political narrative.

Faced with institutional, cultural, economic, social, and political persecution and oppression, the Emeritus Professor Akintoye, laid out in eloquent narrative why Yoruba must exit Nigeria NOW! For Yoruba, Nigeria has become a bondage of sin, a wilderness of wanderings and woes, a colony of despair and death, a jungle of poverty and persecution.

Just like Machiavelli would end The Prince (1513) by calling on the Medici to play the part of Moses and “liberate Italy from the barbarian yoke,” so also Akintoye as the Moses of Yoruba people is calling on Buhari, the Butcher of Aso Rock – the symbol and strength of Fulani hegemony and terrorism – to let Yoruba people go.

Buhari’s government has stripped the Yoruba people of their dignity. Buhari has stripped Yorubas of their indigenous values, institutions, and heritage. We Yorubas are more than physical characteristics, more than language, song, and dance. It is the embodiment of our values, institutions, and patterns of behavior, a composite whole representing our historical experience, aspirations, and worldview. The Fulani feudal regime has deprived Yorubas of their ethnicity and culture. They have been deprived of our sense of direction and purpose.

The 1914 British Amalgamation of Nigeria, brought Yoruba and other ethnicities together with little or no regard for their common characteristics or distinctive attributes. We were placed in new administrative frameworks, governed by new values, new institutions, and new operational principles and techniques. With the imposition of Fulani hegemony, Yorubas were forced under the rule and control of the central government with the ultimate power from barbaric foreign outsiders- the Fulanis. Buhari and his Fulani terrorists came riding roughshod over Yorubas.

The framework for national unity was not based on consensus. Not based on mutual respect, understanding, and agreement. Sixty-two years of ethnic rivalry and acrimonious rancor, instability, violence, and insecurity, that stemmed from our ethnic differences, underscores the intensity of disunity. Because the Fulani oligarchy rejected reason and logic, they failed to agree to civilized acceptable norms and means of managing our diversity within the framework of unity, and peace. Thus stability continues to elude the pluralistic composition that made up Nigeria. For Buhari, the Butcher of Aso Rock, to disregard Yoruba ethnic realities, would be to continue to build Nigeria on loose sand – a high-risk exercise.

To paraphrase the great theologian and icon of civil rights, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Yorubas have got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter to us now. We have looked over the new Yoruba Nation. We have seen the Promised Land. But we want to let Buhari and his evil regime know that we as Yoruba people will get to the Promised Land.

Email: bjoluwasanmi@gmail.com

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