By Ajibola Abayomi,
Oodua One Voice, a coalition of all Yoruba groups and organisations in the diaspora has been launched. A statement made available to journalists by the coalition’s Director of Communication, Comrade Zacheaus Somorin, on Sunday reads in part: ”having taken into consideration the urgent need to unite all Yorubas in the diaspora, a coalition named Oodua One Voice was launched recently at the global stage”.
According Somorin who is based in Canada, the coalition became imperative to bring all Yoruba professionals in many parts of the world including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, European Union, Africa, Asia, South America, North America and Australia, under one umbrella to have a convergence point for charting a new course for a better future for the race back home in Nigeria
The statement clarified that Yoruba One Voice is not an organization; but a formidable coalition of every Yoruba organisation in the diaspora that believes in solidifying our unity; pointing out that periodically, the coalition intends to intervene and engage the Yoruba people at home in terms of governance, socio economic justice and fairness for all.
”Over the years, Nigeria’s leadership deficit has been intractably inefficient, tribal and palpably hopeless; hence the need for intervention in terms of policy direction, accountability by Yoruba intellectuals abroad who have garnered global exposure and education towards having a livable Yoruba nation”, the statement added.
The Director of Communications further noted that, ”In recent times, there have been centripetal and centrifugal forces calling for the geographical/constitutional laceration of the Nigerian State. These have been motivated by the intractable disillusionment that permeates the nation state called Nigeria”,
Somorin stated that Oodua One Voice was founded to engage various progressive groups, within the confines of the law, in ensuring that The people of the South West do not suffer continued economic isolation, being trampled upon and subjugated; saying a sustained agitation for the ”Yoruba’s economic liberation is urgent and critically fundamental at this point in time.
”It has been observed that many Yoruba youths have been forced to stay and overstay abroad due to lack of opportunities at home – most jobs have been taken over by those who are NOT sons and daughters of the soil. Also, the agitation has become urgent based on the fact that most resources being generated in the SouthWest are taken to the centre – Abuja, as structurally facilitated by arrogant defiance to true fiscal federalism. The South West contributes 90 per cent of the country’s non-oil revenue to the federation account”.
The statement explained further that ”historically, the South West had the first television station in Africa; first university, among other firsts. But as things are, Oodua One Voice, as a diaspora Yoruba coalition is of the opinion that the Yoruba glory is being trampled upon based on how Nigeria is presently structured – politically”.
It stressed that, ”The security architecture of the region is being, on a daily basis, polarised and undermined by marauding herdsmen who have been wreaking havoc on farmlands; killing and maiming innocents while the central government looks the other way. To allow these to fester unchallenged could spell doom for the Yoruba nation. There have also been reports of stealth penetration of terrorist groups into Yoruba land. We therefore urge all Yoruba groups in the diaspora to affiliate with the coalition for the purpose of having a united front for the betterment of the Yoruba nation”.