Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) has thrown its weight behind the call by Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka for a declaration of emergency in the Southwest, owing to the level of insecurity in the region.
According to the elders, the forests in the region have been invaded and the people are in danger.
Soyinka, a literary icon, made the call at the Fagunwa Study Group second international conference, organised to mark his 85th birthday in Akure, Ondo State.
However, the YCE National Secretary, Dr. Kunle Olajide, who reacted to Soyinka’s call yesterday in a chat with The Guardian, urged Southwest governors should collaborate and rid the region of invaders.
He said: “Most people from the region keep blaming the Federal Government and President Muhammadu Buhari, and I tell them, we are the greatest apostle of true federalism in Nigeria.
“So, our governors must start preparing for true federalism by taking full responsibility for our protection and welfare. We don’t need to be looking up to Abuja all the time. I think we should take our destiny in our own hands and ensure that our zone is safe.
“I totally agree with Prof. Wole Soyinka on that. Southwest has been relatively peaceful since 1983. The eruptions we had in 1965 and 1983 were as a result of election rigging. Our people abhor cheating. When people cheat and flaunt it in our face, our people get angry. That was the reason for the eruptions in the Southwest, but ever since, our people have been living in peace.
“Yorubas are very liberal. They welcome visitors with open arms. We even celebrate strangers more than ourselves. That is our culture, but this is being abused. People are taking undue advantage of our hospitality. Our forests have been invaded and we are in danger…”