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Yoruba Nation and a Dance of Shame

Yoruba Nation

On Saturday, 13 April 2024, a gang of suspicious misfits, armed with a measly fund of questionable weapons, smoothly wove themselves into the Oyo State Government Secretariat and House of Assembly, supposedly to forcibly effect the actualisation of a “Yoruba Nation.”

The result, of course, was a trouble-free suppression of the alleged threat by the Nigerian Army and the Police in which, curiously, the deployed army personnel had enough latitude to film the whole affair on a smartphone for Nigerians and simultaneously remind themselves to only “apprehend” the dubious aggressors.

If we were cynical people, we would have asked how come the same approach was not employed by the Nigerian Army and other security agencies in their numerous operations against genuine self-determination advocates in the Southeast who, interestingly, were conspicuously peaceful and have had no reason to invade any state secretariat or house assembly.

Yet, these were the ones on whom the Nigerian Army unleashed Python Dance and other ludicrously named sadistic operations that have been repeatedly deemed gross violations of human rights by local and international observers.

More recently, the Nigerian Army had an opportunity to demonstrate its rare benignity during a purely clandestine “peacekeeping mission” in Delta State but instead chose to burn Okuama and Okoloba communities to ashes for a tragedy that allegedly ensued in the course of the questionable mission.

We do not have any recorded evidence of that unfortunate incident nor any credible reference to justify the scorched-earth “retaliation” that followed it. But, thankfully, we are much better than embittered cynics, so we shall refrain from asking cynical questions.

Instead, we will temporarily content ourselves with the facts. Already, we know that Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide, an umbrella body for Yoruba self-determination activists, and Sunday Igboho, a leading activist among the Yoruba Nation advocates, have denied any knowledge of the suspicious gang and whatever their intent may be.

Within their given spheres of influence in Nigeria and beyond, these entities function almost as a congruent monolith ideologically, just like the IPOB and their counterpart in the Southeast. The groups on both sides have a notable appeal among those who share their ultranationalist ideology, and their actions are backed mainly by their followers.

On the other hand, we cannot say the same about the largely nameless pipsqueaks behind the shameful display on Saturday. Their choreographed attempt at a self-determination revolt—both the wonky military cosplay on the ground and the internet skit that followed as a declaration of a republic—lacked any positive content and, quite frankly, strongly stank of an exaggeratedly orchestrated farce.

At any rate, we must thank those who have taken it upon themselves to entertain the entire country in such a fraudulent manner. As a result of this failed ethno-chauvinistic mockery of self-determination advocacy in Nigeria, they have doubly exposed the vacuousness of their machinations and vividly communicated their lingering uneasiness to self-determination activists across the country. From here on, we can be sure that this Dance of Shame has only just begun.

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