A crop of Yoruba scholars and traditional rulers have advised secessionist group in the southwest seeking a Yoruba nation to weigh the consequences of their demand.
The US-based historians and their Nigerian counterpart rather suggested decentralization—instead of a break away.
“The Yoruba are angry, the Igbo are angry, so, how to minimise and reduce the anger is what we should find a solution to,” said University of Austin Prof. Toyin Falola
He said this in his lead speech during the sixth Atanda lectures and conference on Yoruba culture and society at Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, on Monday.
Ilana Omo Oodua led by historian and Prof Banji Akintoye and Sunday Adeyemo aka Igboho, and other Yoruba group have been mbilising the Yoruba nation to break away.
But Prof. Olutayo Adeshina, another historian, advised the agitators for to think things through.
“Those who are pushing for it, I will say let us take it easy and see it from broader perspectives because here, the structure of Nigeria is skewed; it is imbalanced and it is also not right. Yes, we have rights to agitate; I will say let us take it easy,” he said during the conference.
“If we agitate and try to secede, move away, what is the benefit of it? What is the cost of taking Yoruba out of Nigeria? Is it going to be done peacefully?
“You have to do this thing very clinically; you must get your parameters right; is it going to be peaceful? If it is going to be peaceful, Okay.
“If it is not going to be peaceful, what is the cost to us as a people and as a society? What is the cost on our infrastructure? A lot of things must be done carefully and well calibrated.”
The scholars are not alone in calling for caution in the on-going agitation. All the state governors across the southwest have distanced their administrations from Igboho and others.
Other Yoruba intellectuals present at the lecture were foremost private art collector in Africa, Prince Yemisi Shyllon, Director of African Studies Institute, University of Georgia, USA, Akinloye Ojo, and Professor Arinpe Adejumo of the University of Ibadan.