A Yoruba youth group, Igbimo Odo Yoruba, has come out to warn the Arewa Consultative Youth Forum and its Convener, Yerima Shettima, over the warning he issued to Yoruba leaders on their position on the crisis in Ile-Ife, Osun State between the Hausa and Yoruba.
The crisis had led to the death of 46 persons.
The police arrested 20 persons, largely Yoruba, a development some leading figures and organizations in Yorubaland kicked against.
Shettima, in a statement on Tuesday, however, lambasted those who expressed opposing views to the arrests.
But Igbimo Odo Yoruba said Shettima was in no position to comment on the development.
It said: “The Igbimo Odo Yoruba, have read with utmost consternation, a statement credited to one Mr. Yerima Shettima, a self-acclaimed leader of a relatively unknown Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, where he purportedly warned, the leaders of Yoruba groups including the pan Yoruba Socio-cultural organization, Afenifere and our revered Preacher and icon, Pastor Tunde Bakare, over comments credited to them, on the recent ethnic clash, involving the Hausa Community and the Indigenes of Ile-Ife in Osun State. Naturally, we are not surprised by the outburst of Mr Yerima Shettima. By birth, this notorious Arewa tool is synonymous with such character, by upbringing, he must have lacked tender care, thereby losing the values of respect, discipline, and uprightness
“In the poorly conscripted statement, Mr. Yerima said the comments from the Yoruba groups and leaders, amounted to a gang-up to harass and intimidate the courts and the police from investigating and punishing those found guilty, so that a repeat of the sad episode would be avoided.
“As all other peoples of Nigeria abundantly know by now, the Yoruba nation are no strangers to antics of the North and its agents like the poorly educated Yerima Shettima, in their attempt to make others feel inferior in a nation that we all own and much more in our own land, going by his use of uncultured languages in the said statement.
“Frankly speaking, we would not have dignified Mr. Yerima and his sponsors with any iota of response, but for the sake of the innocent members of the public, who Mr. Yerima Shetimma and his sponsors are out to confuse, in their desperate attempt, to cover up the atrocities perpetrated by their kinsmen against the peace loving Yoruba people of Ile-Ife, that we are bound to say, that it is quite unfortunate that Mr Yerima, despite all the goods that the Yoruba nation has done to him in the face of his inability to survive and make a means of livelihood in his now cherished Northern Nigeria, could now resort to ghost talking and fiction thinking, which we consider as an untold assault upon our corporate intelligence, integrity as a people.
“Beyond our disappointment in the stomach infrastructure induced poor utterances of Mr. Yerima, against Afenifere and our Leaders, we can only shake our head in pity for Nigeria and indeed the region of the country, that has produced such poor students of history like Yerima, who now prides himself as the image of the Next Generation of the Arewa conglomerate in Nigeria. There could not be a more monumental tragedy.
“While not willing to engage this paid paper tiger of the Arewa in details of the emptiness of his threat and that of his sponsors against the Yoruba nation, may we remind Yerima and his Arewa paymasters, that as it had happened often in the past, the Hausa resident refugees in Yoruba land, in their characteristic disrespect of their hosts in all parts of Nigeria, have chosen to turn the situation in Ife into a conquest between themselves and the Yoruba cradle.
“We need to warn them very seriously that they are unfortunately making their position in the Yoruba kingdom very precarious from now on.
“As all Nigerians would testify, we the Yoruba people love to welcome and allow strangers like Yerima Shettima into our land. For this reason, many of them like Yerima who have fled from various difficult conditions imposed on them by their Arewa leaders, chose our homeland in Southwestern Nigeria as their destination.
“Finally, we want to advise Mr. Yerima and his sponsors, to in due course realize their folly and return to the path of good reason and know, that the Yoruba nation, is above such petty threats and noise making, that they are currently engaging in. We restate the mind of the Yoruba people and wish to state it clear that the Yoruba have never and would never be captured by intruders such as Yerima and his ilk, no matter the circumstance.
“We are also stressing the importance of justice and equity, as we shall not allow the police, to use our collective resources as a nation, to promote ethnic agenda, as exhibited by the one-sided arrest made after the crisis.
“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”
The statement was signed by Olufemi Lawson, the Convener, and Ologun Ayodeji, the Publicity Secretary.