Joshua Dara. At the end of the prayer meeting the outcome was the inspired idea to organize the Yorubas in North America to commence the struggle for the Liberation of Yoruba Land It was the Imam of Dallas Bashir Babatunde Ashimi that whisphered the idea to Kolawole Ayodele who later presented the idea to the Yoruba International Union at their monthly meeting and the rest is history.
The Egbe omo Yoruba Houston was one of the first organizations to support the idea of a National convention. Other pan Yoruba association sent delegates that attended the inaugural convention in Dallas. Delegates came from Forth Worth, New York, California, Colorado, Chicago, Oklahoma, etc. Washington D.C; and Oklahoma sent goodwill and fraternal messages, Dr Benjamin Akande was the keynote speaker. It was at that convention that we decided to unite to do something fast and immediately, hence there may be no Yoruba culture to protect in a few years down the road. We resolved to appoint interim national executives with the mission to convey another national convention within 3 months of the inaugural convention. We issued a communiqué that articulate the position of Yoruba in Diaspora our resolve to liberate the Yoruba or restructure Nigeria. The California delegates volunteered to host the convention.
Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu who was then living in London was invited to be the key note speaker but could not attend the California convention because at the time his travelling documents were still being processed however he sent a key note speech and was represented at the California convention by Dr Bola Aluko formerly a tenured professor at the Howard University now in Balyesa University as Vice Chancellor.
The question we kept asking was: WHAT SHOULD FREE YORUBA PEOPLE ABROAD DO TO ASSIST THE MAJORITY OF OUR PEOPLE IN CHAINS AT HOME? WHAT DECISIONS SHOULD THOSE OF US IN NORTH AMERICA TAKE TO SAVE OUR HERITAGE NOW UNDER SIEGE?
We decided to join forces with NADECO and Oodua Youth movement to be our extension on the ground in Nigeria. Later in the struggle we joined forces with
Nobel Lauret Wole Soyinka to form NALICON we also joined forces with late Papa Anthony Enahoro. We joined forces with Egbe Afenifere. At Philadelphia Convention, Late Papa Abraham Adesanya was the key note speaker. We decided that all Pan Yoruba association in North America should form a National Pan Yoruba Association. We decided that we do not need to attempt to reinvent the wheel but we should adopt the Yoruba People’s Charter for Self-Determination of September 14, 1994 at Ile-Ife. The Oodua Youth Movement, an organization of young patriotic, proud Yoruba men and women met at Ile-Ife on September 14, 1994 made the historical declaration that unequivocally states the two options left for the salvaging of our culture and identity. The conditions are:
(1) RESTORATION OF DEMOCRACY THROUGH THE ACTUALIZATION OF JUNE 12, 1993 MANDATE AND A FUNDAMENTAL RESTRUCTURING OF THE FEDERATION, INCLUDING THE RESTORATION OF THE AUTONOMY THAT THE 1959/1963 CONSTITUTIONS ALLOWED AND ON THE BASIS OF WHICH THE YORUBA PEOPLE WENT INTO WHAT IS CALLED NIGERIA WITH OUR NEIGHBORS.
(2) SELF-DETERMINATION FOR THE YORUBA PEOPLE ALL OVER NIGERIA, SHOULD OUR NEIGHBORS PREVENT A FUNDAMENTAL RESTRUCTURING FROM HAPPENING.