*As YWC changes name to Ilana Omo Oodua
By Gabriel Olawale
The umbrella body of all Yoruba socio-cultural and self-determination group within and outside Nigeria, Ilana Omo Oodua, formerly known as the Yoruba World Congress, YWC, has said that the quest for Yoruba Nation self-determination is non-negotiable.
Speaking during stakeholders’ virtual meeting where YWC changed its name to Ilana Omo Oodua, the President-General, Emeritus Professor Banji Akintoye, said that as they struggle towards achieving that goal, they would operate with peaceful and law-abiding ways and means.
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“We shall encourage and energize the youths of our nation to protect and defend our homeland against herdsmen and militiamen who have been rampaging through our farmlands since 2015, and who have been destroying our people’s farms, villages and farmsteads, killing members of our rural population, raping vulnerable women, kidnapping people on our farmlands and highways, forcing many of our farmers to abandon farming altogether, and threatening our whole nation with devastating food shortages.
“In our towns and cities, we shall encourage and empower our youths to form themselves into vigilante groups for protecting our communities. We shall also continue more vigorously our plans for the stoppage of the decline of our Yoruba language, and for reviving and revitalizing our language. Interest in the well-being of our Yoruba youths will form a central feature of our whole enterprise. We shall encourage them for leadership, enterprise, and creativity.
“It is a very good thing that we can now put away our ideological differences in the Yoruba World Congress, for example differences such as attitude to youths, whereby some leaders insist upon actual respect to our youths, while others seem to despise our youths.
Akintoye said that the change of name was necessary to run the organization in line with the philosophy of the late Yoruba Sage, Obafemi Awolowo’s led Egbe Omo Oduduwa.
“The YWC also said the change of name was necessary because several Yoruba traditional rulers and leaders had kicked against adopting an English Name to lead the struggle for the liberation and freedom of Yoruba people.
“The motion for a change of name, moved during a virtual congress of the group held on 24th October, 2020 where delegates of 87 Yoruba Socio-Cultural and Self-Determination Groups within Nigeria and 126 countries unanimously adopted it.
In a statement signed by Intake and the Chairman of the Communiqué Drafting Committee of the Congress, Professor Wale Adeniran, a copy of which was made available to Vanguard revealed that the change of name was also as a result of the confusion created by the existence of a YWC founded in the year 1999 and another YWC established in the year 2007 by some Yoruba patriots who are now laying claim to the Professor Banji Akintoye-led YWC.