Prof. Banji Akintoye, leader of the Yoruba self-determination movement, Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide, has reacted to the terrorists attack in Owo Ondo state.
He described the Sunday, June 5, attack on Christian worshipers at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, by terrorists suspected to be Fulani herdsmen as a declaration of war against the Yoruba people.
He made this known in a statement by the Communications Secretary, Mr Maxwell Adeleye, titled, “Owo Catholic church attack is a declaration of war against Yoruba people – Akintoye”
He said “The effrontery of the Fulani marauders needs to be frankly and courageously confronted so as to prove to their sponsors that the Yoruba people can never be intimidated or subjugated.”
Going further, he called on Ondo state Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, to declare an emergency against the activities of Fulani herdsmen in the state with immediate effect.
He added: “We have stated it very expressly that the Yoruba people need to negotiate their exit from Nigeria as a matter of urgency, but our partisan political actors in Yorubaland never took us serious. We warned them that there’s fire on the mountain, but we were mocked because of their personal aggrandisement.
“Today, we have all been encircled, most especially, in Lagos. For herdsmen to have the effrontery of bombarding a church in Yorubaland to kill some people, shows that we are now in a realistic danger.
“My urgent advice to Governor Akeredolu is to pick up the gauntlet and declare an emergency against the activities of all Fulani herdsmen in the state with immediate effect. We have now been taken for granted. We need not pretend anymore. We must demand unanimously, an exit from Nigeria.
“We, the Yoruba people, cannot live in the same country with characters whose idea of common citizenship in Nigeria is to brutalise, subjugate and even exterminate us. It is time to leave these characters now. All stakeholders – the elites, traditional rulers, our women should act now.
“All the South-West states, including the Yoruba leaders in Kogi and Kwara states should equally declare an emergency against the activities of Fulani herdsmen. We must now take our destinies into our hands.”
In what can be described as a sad in the history of Nigeria, Rev Father Andrew Abayomi, one of the priests at St Francis Catholic Church, Owa-luwa Street, Owo, Ondo State, has narrated how the church was attacked.
He made this known in an interview with BBC Yoruba. According to the cleric, the terrorists struck as the day’s service was about to end.
He said: “We were about to round off service. I had even asked people to start leaving, that was how we started hearing gunshots from different angles.”