A Second Republic senator and President-General of the Yoruba World Congress (YWC), Prof. Banji Akintoye, has stated that the Yoruba nation has been recognised as the 45th member by the Unrepresented Nations and People’s Organization (UNPO).
Akintoye, who said this in a statement announcing the membership of the international body, said the latest development represents a very important step in the collective quest of well-meaning Yoruba people to achieve the goal of dignity.
He said the membership of UNPO offers the Yoruba nation a solid voice on the international stage via the machinery of the international body which maintains a permanent presence before the United Nations, the European Union, and the United States of America.
Akintoye said with membership of UNPO, the Yoruba nation, just like the Catalonian people of Spain, can put forth their organs of representation such as a people’s parliament and an indigenous people’s government, with a flag as a symbol, which according to him, are all legal.
“The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) is an international membership-based organization established to empower the voices of unrepresented and marginalized peoples worldwide and to protect their fundamental human rights.
“It was formed on 11 February 1991 in The Hague, Netherlands. Its members consist of indigenous peoples, minorities, unrecognized peoples or peoples of occupied territories.
“UNPO works to develop understanding of, and respect for, the right to self-determination, provides advice and support related to questions of international recognition and political autonomy; trains groups on how to advocate their causes effectively, legally, devoid of violence; and directly advocates an international response to human rights violations perpetrated against UNPO member nations or groups,” he explained.
The renowned Emeritus Professor of History also disclosed that some formerly unrecognised nations who were members of UNPO but are now independent nations and members of the United Nations are Armenia, East Timor, Estonia, Latvia, Georgia and Palau, stressing that the international body, like many others, have the capacity to help the Yoruba nation achieve her goals within the Nigerian Federation.
“Some former members, such as Armenia, East Timor, Estonia, Latvia, Georgia and Palau, have gained full independence and have joined the United Nations as full members. The peoples represented within the UNPO membership are all united by one shared condition: they are denied their equitable level of representation and voice in the institutions of the countries to which they currently belong and in international governance,” Akintoye said.