Anti-secessionists led by the Yoruba Appraisal Forum took over Ado-Ekiti, the state capital of Ekiti, on Thursday to oppose secessionist agitators.
Protesters gathered at Fajuyi Park about 9 a.m. and marched across the Okesa fly-over bridge to some major streets in Ado-metropolis.
The demonstrators, who included Okada riders, various youth groups, and driver unions, held banners and posters with messages such as ‘We believe in One Nigeria,’ ‘One Nigeria is supreme,’ and ‘Stand together and love one another.’
Others included, among others, “There is no way we can exist as a country or in the world without unity” and “individually we are one drop, together we are an ocean.”
Adeshina Animashaun, the group’s National Coordinator, addressed the gathering at Fajuyi Park and dismissed calls by Yoruba activist Sunday Adeyemo aka Igboho for Yorubaland to secede from Nigeria, calling such calls treasonous and unpatriotic.
He urged Yoruba to resist the IPOB’s brainwashing and infiltration of their ranks, claiming that proof abounds that succession agitators are plotting mayhem.
“Nigeria should not follow Somalia’s example,” he said. Because of the war, Somalia is no longer the same. I don’t want to see war in my lifetime because we saw what we lost in the Yoruba race during the 2020 #ENDSARS rally.
“On our part, as YAF members, we want to make it clear that no group or entity will be allowed to turn the Southwest into a theatre of war.
“To escape dire consequences, our Yoruba brothers involved in this evil enterprise or conspiracy to destabilise the Yoruba race should retrace their steps.
“We suffered enormous losses in the southwest during the #EndSARS protest in terms of burnt property worth trillions of naira, not to mention precious human lives lost as a result of the violence that followed the EndSARS.
“The Federal Government, police, members of the Nigerian army, and other security agencies must act quickly to put a stop to Yoruba independence agitators and freedom fighters before they set fire to the entire country.”
He urged the Department of State Services (DSS), the military, and the police to mobilise against these elements in the southwest before the situation worsened.