A Coalition under the aegis of the Yoruba Appraisal Forum (YAF), on Monday and Tuesday, stormed Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State and Osogbo, Osun State capital, respectively, to sensitise the people of the two states on the need to maintain peace in the run-up to their governorship elections.
YAF also took its sensitisation and enlightenment campaigns to other parts of the two states, urging the people to reject anyone promoting violence during the forthcoming governorship elections in the two states.
The members of YAF, who have been going round states in the South-West in the past one year to draw the attention of their Yoruba kinsmen to plans by some disgruntled elements to cause violence and chaos in Yorubaland, urged the citizens of both Ekit and Osun states to prepare to go out and exercise their civic rights of voting for their individual preferred candidates on the days scheduled for the governorship elections.
While the Ekiti State governorship election has been scheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to hold on June 18, 2022, that of Osun to elect a new governor will be conducted on July 16, 2022.
YAF therefore urged the electorate in the two South-West states to ignore agitators and all those threatening that there won’t be governorship elections as scheduled by INEC in the two states.
The coalition also described as “devilish” alleged plans by some Yoruba secessionist groups to work for the break-up of Nigeria, warning that this could lead to a second civil war in the country.
It also faulted calls by some Yoruba leaders for the dismemberment of Nigeria and secession of the South-West region from the rest of the country.
The Coalition, known for its vehement opposition to the alleged secession plans by some other Yoruba groups, stressed that the unity of the country remained non-negotiable.
It, therefore, called on the Federal Government and the various security agencies to take urgent decision to put in place adequate security measures to ensure the forthcoming elections in both Ekiti and Osun states are conducted in a peaceful atmosphere devoid of any violence.
YAF National Coordinator, Adeshina Animashaun, who led other members during the visits of the Coalition to the two states, appealed to the government, security agencies and other major stakeholders in the South-West to rise to the challenge of ensuring a peaceful, free and fair elctions in Ekiti and Osun states.
The YAF members carried several placards, pasted posters in various places and distributed handbills with various inscriptions and messages in both English, Yoruba and other local languages to the people in towns and the grassroots communities across the states calling for peaceful and violence-free elections in both Ekiti and Osun states.