A Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Yoruba World Congress (YWC), yesterday, called on the Yoruba to rescue Lagos State from “invasion.”
Spokesperson of the organisation, Babatunde Tolase, made this known during a world press conference, held at the YWC headquarters, Yemetu Aladorin, Ibadan.
YWC, in existence since 1987 with General Alani Akinrinade as first president, was established with the aim of championing the cause of the Yoruba in Nigeria and globally.
Tolase said the call became imperative in the face of false information making the rounds about ownership of Nigeria’s commercial and economic capital.
He said: “From history, which is verifiable, the first settlers in Eko are the Awori, who originated from Ile-Ife, the origin and ancestral home of the Yoruba. I will not want to dwell so much on the history of Eko, as so many prominent historians and scholars have written about Lagos.
“Our concern is the arrogation of the ownership of Lagos by some people who are alien to Lagos origin. The Yoruba, generally, are very accommodating; hence, the opportunity given to everyone from all walks of life to settle in Lagos and thrive thereon.
“However, as concerned Yoruba, who have the duty and responsibility to promote and protect the historical and geographical integrity of Yoruba land, we find it appalling that a set of persons or tribesmen will come to lay claim to our dear Lagos.
“We are not in anyway casting aspersion on our other brothers from the tribes but it is our mandate to protect our land from external invasion.
“As we countdown to the rescheduled governorship and House of Assembly elections on March 18, 2023, this briefing is a clarion call to all Yoruba that cut across 10 states (Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Kwara, Kogi, Edo and Delta), resident in Lagos State, to re-awaken their consciousness by exercising their franchise in favour of the integrity of Yoruba land.”
Tolase noted: “We have discovered that the present agitation is calculated to invade and take over, by crooked means, the Yoruba economic centre. As core Yoruba, we wish to state with emphasis that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is the preferred candidate endorsed by the YWC, and by extension, all Yoruba worldwide.
“The unusual and annoying laying of claim to a particular candidate by a tribe, which Lagosians have, over the years, accommodated and allowed to thrive is a plan to forcibly take over Yoruba land. We know that our magnanimity is being taken for granted. But we require and appeal to all Yoruba to stand tall in defence of our fatherland.”