Blessed be the name of the most high God, the God whose I am and the God whom I serve, blessed be His holy name forever.
Mr. Chairman, permit me to declare all protocols observed. I thank the leaders and elders of the Kurunmi Front, which is fast becoming one of the leading yoruba nationalist groups in our country today, the honour and privilage of inviting me to share a few words with your group today. I am overwhelmed by the number of people here from all walks of life. What has made me worthy of this great privilage I do not know but I pray that I do not disappoint you or let you down.
Permit me to get to the point. The yoruba have always thrived on a plurality of opinion. That is our way. We debate and discuss all things and we hardly ever agree on anything. There is nothing wrong with that provided we do not lose sight of the fact that we have a common cause and purpose- and that cause is to protect and preserve the rights, dignity and integrity of our people in a wider Nigeria and to ensure that our values and divinely ordained destiny to be the first in all things in our nation is not thwarted.
Nigeria is NOT and was never designed to be a hybrid, mongrel state where we were meant to forgo our primary identity, forsake our forefathers, forget our differences with other nationalities and live as one. Nigeria was meant to be a federation in which there was unity in diversity and in which each of the various nationalities and tribes was gauranteed, by law and the constitution, the right to develop at their own pace, the right to preserve and nurture their own cultural heritage and the right to a certain degree of separate development. That was the ethos and understanding upon which our nation was founded and it is my view that that ethos and understanding must be nurtured, preserved and handed down to the younger generation of the yoruba if we are to survive into the distant future as a people and as a race.
We must not give an inch and we must not allow our benevolent disposition to others to become our albatross or the vessel of our own undoing. Be good and be kind to those from other climes and nationalities and be gentle and generous to those who derive from a deficient culture and that have no history. Showing kindness to such people in the name of God, of fraternity, of national cohesion and of nation-building is indeed a virtue and we must continue to do that. However we must never forget who and what we are- proud sons and daughters of Odua that share an ancient and noble heritage and that come from a long line of innovators, great warriors and noble emperors and kings. Unlike some other nationalities that reside in the Nigerian state, the 50 million people that make up the yoruba nation can trace our ancestral roots and heritage for many centuries back. We know that we existed as a distinct and clearly defined race as far back as 3000 years ago and we were loved, honoured and respected by many all over the Middle East, the Sudan, Egypt and north Africa for our numerous contributions to science, the arts, religion, philosophy and all manner of human endeavour.
We must never forget and we must never sacrifice that noble heritage or that concept of who and what we are on the alter of a new Nigerian state where we are, more often than not, envied, despised, held down, held back and cheated by so many others that do not understand and cannot poosibly fathom our ways. Worst still some of our very own have begun to espouse the ungodly philosophy of the mongrel nation where they regard themselves as being Nigerians before being a yoruba. Such people despise and seek to demonise those of us that are yoruba nationalists even more than any non-yoruba seeks to do. They are the enemy within- misguided souls that have forsaken their noble heritage and racial foundation for a pittance and that have been hopelessly seduced by the Nigerian dream of a harmoniuos, peaceful, happy and functional multi-ethnic and multi-cultural state which is simply an illusion and which does not exist. Such a state exists only in their minds and in the minds of those that sought, and failed, to establish it.
We must not only guard against those from outside our shores that covet our land and that happily proclaim that even one inch of yorubaland is “no man’s land” but we must also guard against the misguided few from within our own ranks that seem to agree with them. Such people are the enemy within. They are filled with more error and poison and are more dangerous than any outside aggressor or indeed the snake that tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. There is nothing more pitiful and repugnant to me than a self-hating yoruba man who joins forces with outsiders to disparage his or her own. As far as I am concerned such people are to be pitied and are hardly ever worthy of a response.
The good news is that they are very few of them in our ranks and the overwhelming majority of our people have fully espoused the yoruba nationalist philosophy and imbued the yoruba nationalist spirit. It is that spirit and that majority that will keep the flag flying, that will keep our hope alive and that will lead us into the glorious future that the God of Heaven, who alone rules in the affairs of men, has promised us. This is an eternal covenant and it shall not be broken. The vision may tarry but it shall not fail, for it is for an appointed time. As surely as night follows day, God shall honour His word, He shall grant us our hearts desire and He shall liberate us from the cruel chains of the Nigerian state which seek to hold us in eternal bondage and perpetual servitude.
Our hope and glory reside in our own hands and in the power of our God. We must take that glory and live forever in honour because it is ours to take. We must pray for it, fight for it and stand for it or we shall live forever in eternal shame. God bless the sons and daughters of the Kurunmi Front, God bless the yoruba people and God bless Nigeria. Shalom.
(N.B. the above are extracts of my speech which was delivered to the leaders of the Yoruba Nationalist Group, The Kurunmi Front, on 17th September 2013).