March 01, 2022

Non-violet Roads to actualize Yoruba Nation 1- Olusola Oni


Road No. 1 – Declaration of the Yoruba Nation
We pressurize for a formal declaration of the Yoruba Nation. The declaration of emancipation would clearly identify the ancestral territory of Yorubaland as the area south and west of the River Niger, north of the Atlantic Ocean and east of the Benin Republic. No negotiation is necessary or required. Those who wish to opt out could do so after the formal declaration has been made. There would not be an interminable discussion as to who was Yoruba and who was not. The procedure would be opt-out, if you want, not one of opting-in. The declaration should be performed by the Alaafin of Oyo in his capacity as the Political Head of the Yoruba Nation.  The Alaafin in 1888 signed a treaty with Queen Victoria, the Queen of Great Britain, on behalf of the entire Yoruba Nation. The 1888 Treaty that the Alaafin signed has not lapsed and it has not been superseded. No other Oba in Yoruba history has been required to formally represent the territory referred to as Yorubaland. There is no legal impediment to the Yoruba declaring independence from Nigeria. Self-determination is an inalienable right guaranteed under the UN and AU Charters and under international law. The Igboho case confirms that self-determination is legal under Nigeria’s domestic law.  Timidity is our only impediment. A declaration of Yoruba emancipation will encourage other ethnic groups to leave Nigeria. The Fulani will not declare war because they know that war would be ruinous for them and they cannot win it. The international community will recognize the Yoruba Nation. 
It is likely that to move forward, we the people would have to act to embolden the Alaafin. Self-determination groups can pledge their support for the declaration of the Yoruba Nation. People can hold support rallies and set up camps on the Oyo palace grounds. We can mount a media campaign to remind the Alaafin of his historic responsibility as the Political Head of Yorubaland. Yoruba people of influence like academics, professionals, pastors and the rich can openly pledge their support. We can even go to court to hold the Alaafin to the terms of the 1888 Treaty. The declaration should be accompanied by the appointment of an Interim Administrator, with a 1-year tenure. The transition from being part of a dysfunctional Nigeria to being on our own requires to be properly managed.
The immediate tasks for the administrator would be threefold:
to secure the internal and external borders of the new state using an extended Amotekun,
to secure the finances of the new state by establishing a central bank and introducing a new currency (Eku), and to set up a central administrative structure (not a governing structure) for the new state.
The Administrator must be a person unencumbered by politics.
The declaration should be accompanied by the appointment of a Commissioner for Districting, to report within 6 months. The task for the Commissioner would be to identify and compile a register of individual ancient Yoruba ‘kingdoms’, and to identify and compile a register of ‘districts’ that could potentially be economically viable.
The starting point for such a register could be the membership of the old Western Region House of Chiefs. In addition, the Commissioner would confirm and record the method(s) by which each ‘kingdom’ or ‘district’ selected its Oba and Oloye. The ‘kingdoms’ and ‘districts’ are to be the basic units of governance in the new nation as they used to be in ancient times. Yorubaland in ancient times was a confederation of ‘kingdoms’ or ‘city states’ (Ilu). This confederation should be reinstituted. The Yoruba confederation comprised of self-governing autonomous ‘kingdoms’, and a weak centre. The ‘kingdoms’ almost perfectly coincided with the Yoruba dialects; Ijebu, Ijesa, Ekiti, Egba and so on. Each ‘kingdom’ had two arms to its governance (Ijoba); a monarch (Oba) and a Council (Igbimo). The Oba exercised power at the discretion of the Igbimo. The arrangement may be described as a ‘Constitutional Oba’. The ‘Constitutional Oba’ system is identical to the ‘Constitutional Monarchy’ that operates in the UK today. The Yoruba Igbimo did the same job as the British parliament is doing today. The ancient Yoruba practiced parliamentary democracy long before the Europeans ‘introduced’ it to Nigeria.
An independent Yoruba Nation is a certainty. Nigeria will break up. When that inevitable occurs, the role of the Oba will be scrutinized. The Oba since 1914 has timidly surrendered their God-given, traditional leadership of the Yoruba race. The time has come for them to stiffen their spine and redeem their authority. The Oba institution is today in the ‘last chance saloon. Failure of the Oba to lead the self-determination struggle will be fatal to them when we become independent. The Oba institution would have shown itself to be dispensable and irrelevant to our lives. Our Oba must be sent this message loud and clear. Support, sign, spread, donate, share, retweet
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