Yoruba Group Decries Shasha Crisis

Sunday Okobi

A coalition of Yoruba groups in the Diaspora, Yoruba One Voice (YOV), has expressed concerns over the breakdown of security in many South-west states, calling for the massive deployment of security forces in the region, especially Oyo State, where many innocent citizens were recently killed and displaced in ethnic conflict in Shasha area of the state.

In a statement issued by the coalition and signed by its Secretary-General, Dr. Sina Okanlomo, YOV said it strongly condemned the violence and provocation in Shasha, adding that the incident might have been deliberately designed to subdue the Yoruba nation.

According to YOV, the South-west region has been largely peaceful because the Yoruba people are accommodating and friendly, adding that: “The spate of hostilities and unwarranted attacks against us (Yoruba) clearly show that our affable trait is being taken for granted.”

Okanlomo stated further that the Shasha market crisis, like every other ethnic conflict, has the potential of snowballing into another brutal riotous conflict like the civil war.

While urging for a swift homegrown solution to wanton killings in Yorubaland, the YOV leader called for a public panel of enquiry to probe the Sasha incident, just as he urged the six governors in the zone to develop an immediate and long-term blueprint on security.

YOV, which has membership on six continents and 176 countries, also said there was the need to assess the basis of existence among the various tribes in the country, adding that: “We are entitled to our rights.”

There is an urgent need for a referendum for us to know the basis for our existence.”

The coalition however condemned herdsmen carrying arms around the country as well as those purportedly supporting them.

The Yoruba diaspora group said: “We are aware that some politicians are covertly sympathetic to the killer Fulani herdsmen in the South-West, but it was a surreal experience for us to see the governor boldly supporting their evil acts in the public.

“We also condemn some statements made in support for the herders, which is uncouth, insensitive and despicable especially against families and people that have been at the receiving end of these killer herdsmen.”

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