A peaceful Yoruba self-determination rally organised by various groups in Yorubaland, including the Ilana Omo Oodua, held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Saturday.
The rally was earlier scheduled to start inside Mapo hall but the heavy presence of armed policemen apparently forced the organisers to change the take-off point.
However, the policemen did not disrupt the gathering in any way as some of them said they were deployed to the hall to protect the agitators and prevent hoodlums from attacking them.
The agitators armed with various banners and posters, as well Yoruba nation flags, with leaders of various groups, taking turns to address the crowd, insisting on a Yoruba nation.
Some of them kept shouting, “Yoruba nation or nothing. No retreat, no surrender,” as their leaders were addressing the people, telling them the benefits they would enjoy if Yoruba self-determination sailed through.
The Alana of Ilana Omo Oodua, 86-year-old Professor of History, Banji Akintoye, did not attend the rally, although he was billed to lead it.
Earlier, one of the leaders of Ilana Omo Oodua, Chief Kunle Adesokan, while addressing the gathering at Mapo area, said the desire of the Yoruba was to have their nation and exit Nigeria, where they were being killed, maimed and raped without justice.
Adesokan condemned the insecurity in Yorubaland, saying people could no longer bear the injustice in Nigeria.
Adesokan said, “We are no longer part of Nigeria. Yoruba people are determined to stand alone.
“We are starting the rally here in Ibadan because this is the capital of Yorubaland.
“Our brothers in Kwara, Lagos, Kogi, Edo, Delta and other states are here. We are not going to use violence. We want a Yoruba nation. No retreat, no surrender. Let Hausa go their way, let Fulani go their own way and Igbo people should also go.”
Hundreds of agitators from Oyo, Ogun, Lagos, Osun, Ondo, Edo, Delta, Kwara and Kogi states thronged the rally which took off opposite Mapo Hall, Ibadan.
The agitators later moved round some major streets in the city and their movement, coupled with the roads construction along the Bodija/Secretariat Road, caused a traffic jam.