The O’odua Progressive Union has asked the Federal Government to declare Miyetti Allah and bandits as terrorists instead of threatening the Yoruba nation agitators.
The group, however, urged the Federal Government to address the various security challenges in the country, and leave the Yoruba nation agitators alone.
Speaking against the backdrop of the recent attack by the Federal Government on Yoruba nation agitators, for keeping association with the proscribed Indigenous people of Biafra, the group said it is unfortunate for the Federal Government to threaten to judge the Yoruba nation agitators by the company they keep.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, had on Wednesday, flayed the efforts of Nigerian diaspora groups comprising Yoruba sons and daughters, using the world’s largest platform – the United Nations General Assembly – to garner attention to their causes of seeking self determination.
OPU in a statement by its Director of Communication, Akeem Apena, said Yoruba Nation agitators had committed no offence by joining other like-minded groups in driving home their self-determination agenda.
He pointed out that the Federal Government, rather than addressing pertinent issues has shifted its focus to attack agitators and trample upon their civic rights.
“Garuba Shehu is always in the media for the wrong reason. He should be told that the call for self-determination was not accidental. It came up as a result of the growing tension,including kidnappings, killings,and banditry, spreading across the country,
“The United Nations rally was to raise our voices against the unjust nepotism,corruption, kidnappings and killings in the country. And we have strategically approached the UN to lend our voices against the Federal Government’s failures to tackle the security challenges in the country,” he said.
Apena, however, dismissed Shehu’s warning against Yoruba nation agitators, insisting that UN is a global meeting arena reputed for its purposeful agenda, and cannot fall for the Federal Government’s subterfuge.
“Garuba Shehu needs to check his dictionary very well and know the meaning of self-determination, and terrorists, especially, in the context of a democracy. This, he needs to do before calling the Yoruba nation agitators terrorists.
“Self-determination is an important concept that refers to each person’s ability to make choices and manage their own life.”
“It is a cardinal principle in modern international law, binding, as such, on the United Nations as authoritative interpretation of the Charter’s norms.
“The UN offers a platform for aggrieved people to express their concerns as it was in the case of Quebec, Scotland and southern Cameroon and even the Catalonia. Those countries were not called terrorists for seeking their regions”
“The FG has embarked on using blackmail as a tool to denigrate all the groups by calling them names and also urging the UN to ignore our demand for justice, safety and peaceful approach towards achieving the best for our race.
“But it is also sad that the FG has never tagged Boko Haram, Bandits and killer herdsmen, Miyetti Allah and other groups as terrorists.
“Yoruba nation agitators are Free-minded people that have taken the right step by going to the UN to press home their demand.
“It is their legitimate rights because they didn’t take up arms against anybody.They go about their demands legitimately.”