The President of Ilana Omo Oodua, Prof Banji Akintoye, has described the recent food blockade by northern traders and the persistent destruction of farmlands by Fulani herders in the South-West as a deliberate plan to cause hunger and starvation in the region.
Akintoye, therefore, challenged other Yoruba leaders and governors of the South-West states to rise to the occasion and save their people from the impending calamity.
The Yoruba leader, who stated this in a statement on Saturday titled, “Only self-determination will save the Yoruba – Akintoye,’ said, ‘No Yoruba person must now be in doubt that war has been declared against the Yoruba nation, and that we, the Yoruba nation, must be ready to use all our capabilities to defend our nation. This is no longer surreptitious but a glaring and open declaration of war on our people.
“War by starvation is the most vicious facet of war. Death by starvation is the most terrible death imaginable. For them to consider starving us at all, the hostility in their spirit against our people must have been terrible. Seeing now that the attempt to starve us to death has failed, we must thoroughly investigate the persistent suspicions of massive food poisoning from the North.”
Akintoye further challenged the South-West leaders, especially the state governors, to see the food blockade as an eye-opener and wake-up call to go back to agriculture to ensure food security for their people.
He said, “Obviously, the objective of the Fulani herders and militias for destroying our farms, farmers and farming villages in the past five years has been to force us to become totally dependent on the North for all our food supply so that they may suddenly stop food supplies from the North and thereby plunge us into total starvation and ruin. Now, we have seen how these people will turn anything in which we may depend on them to become weapons against us.”
He said the current reality had become a potent reason the Yoruba must chart an independent course for themselves.