Islamic oppression Nigeria | 14 May 2024

Nigeria: Yoruba leaders seek break-up of Nigeria

Show: false / Country: Nigeria /

As reported by Premium Times on 22 April 2024, leaders of a major Nigerian ethnic group – the Yoruba – are demanding the break-up of Nigeria and the creation of an independent state. The Yoruba are mixed Christian, Muslim and traditional African worshippers, and in a letter to President Tinubu, they cited the ongoing radical Islamic insurgency as the cause of their demand. President Tinubu is himself a Yoruba. 


The Yoruba chiefs accuse elite Muslim Fulani politicians of setting out to make Nigeria ungovernable: “Since 2015, the Fulani have been killing widely among the other peoples of Nigeria, including us Yoruba, destroying farms, villages and other assets, kidnapping men, women and children, extorting large amounts of money as ransom from friends and family of the kidnapped, and repeatedly asserting their intention to seize the homelands of all the indigenous peoples of Nigeria for the purpose of turning all into a Fulani homeland,” stated the letter. 


Naomi Williams of World Watch Research comments: “Many observers see the demands for a breakaway Yoruba state as the inevitable result of the state’s failure to contain worsening radical Islamic violence.  The Yoruba people populate the wealthy South-West of Nigeria and make up 20-25% of the entire population. Their artistic, sporting and business achievements have made them a global brand.  The Nollywood film industry, Afrobeat music, the Adire art-and-design movement and Nigeria’s financial services sector – all have sprung from the hi-tech megacity, Lagos, and the openness and freedom of Yoruba culture surrounding it. An independent Yorubaland could economically thrive. However, memories of Nigeria’s civil war in the 1960s and the resulting famine are deeply imprinted on Nigerians’ memories.  As many as two million civilians were killed during that war and resulting famine. As a result, for decades it has been taboo to speak of reviving secessionist movements;  and yet the scale of Islamic extremism is re-awakening such thinking.” 


Naomi Williams continues: “Calls for a breakup of Nigeria are a direct response to security failure. The Eastern independence movement, IPOB, are also now actively reviving and resuming attacks. This is a now problem in the South-West and the South-East. These calls, from President Tinubu’s own heartlands, are politically awkward.  For all the government’s attempts to paint a positive picture of gains against violent Islamic militants, loss of trust in the state is spreading. Robust security reform, and Western support, are crucial if Nigeria is to survive.” 


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