By Olawale Kosemani
The Yoruba Appraisal Forum (YAF) has urged the UN not to allow the Yoruba Nation agitators to present their petition at its 76th General Assembly.
In a statement by its National Coordinator, Adesina Animashaun, on Tuesday in Lagos, YAF said allowing them will escalate insecurity and tension in Nigeria.
The 76th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 76) will open on Sept. 14.
The YAF addressed the petition to the UN, the European Union (EU), African Union (AU) and other countries worldwide.
Allowing such a petition against President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime, it pointed out, would send the wrong signal to its citizens and worsen the nation’s insecurity and secession agitations.
The Ilano Omo Oodua, the umbrella body of Yoruba self-determination groups, had petitioned the UN in July over its demand for a separate and independent Yoruba Nation. Ilano Omo Oodua, led by Banji Akintoye in July, also endorsed a petition by the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (NINAS) urging the Nigerian Government to conduct a referendum.
YAF argued that allowing the group to present a petition against Mr Buhari’s regime was only part of a strategy to legitimise plans to disintegrate Nigeria.
“YAF will never support any plan that will destabilise the nation and will continue to preach peace and unity of Nigeria. These self-styled unrepentant critics of the federal government of Nigeria, through their frequent acerbic and destructive outbursts and attacks against the government, coupled with the violence they unleash on innocent Nigerians, must be stopped,” the group stated.
It accused the “agitators and individuals” of “recent violence” in different the South-West.
“They have a more sinister objective of destabilising the Nigerian nation for the selfish political end of those bankrolling them,” it added. “It is very clear that the masterminds of this violence are bent on throwing Nigeria into total chaos to hasten the collapse of governments at both the state and federal levels to enable them to execute their evil plans for Nigeria ahead of the 2023 general elections.”
The forum, therefore, urged the various countries also petitioned “to prevail on the UN Security Council to take careful, appropriate and urgent steps to deal decisively with these elements bent on fomenting trouble in the South-West of Nigeria and the country.