Renowned historian and Yoruba leader, Prof. Banji Akintoye , on Tuesday stated that the Yoruba World Congress(YWC) has been engaged in researches on how to mitigate the spread of coronavirus in Yorubaland, adding that the group had engaged Yoruba scientists and their findings are proving important in many ways.
The Akintoye led Yoruba World Congress (YWC), comprising of Yoruba people in Nigeria, Benin and Togo Republics as well as in the Diaspora, has expressed deep concern over the intensifying spread of the coronavirus pandemic in South West states, with Lagos being the epicenter, reiterating its support for the Yoruba nation during this travail and pledging its support to the Yoruba people
He explained in a statement that from the moment the coronavirus threat showed up, the YWC had been working with and assisting a patriotic team of Yoruba scientists to engage in researches on how to curb the spread of the virus, adding “their daily findings are proving very important in very many ways. The counsels that we are able to give to the leaders and people of the Yoruba nation derive much from their researches, as well as information from various other sources especially from the Diaspora members of the Yoruba World Congress from many countries of the world.”
Akintoye further suggested that to put an end to the ravages of the disease in Nigeria, the government should consider if the acclaimed Cuban doctors can help.
“Some stories are circulating that medical doctors in Cuba, where Yoruba descendants are about 30 per cent of the population, have been achieving some rare success in the fight against coronavirus. Shouldn’t our governments find out about this and see whether we can benefit from it?” he asked.
He expressed concern that a bulk of the confirmed cases in Nigeria is found in the South West, reiterating that there is a fear that the pandemic is about to break out among the Yoruba people and pledged its love and support to every Yoruba family in Nigeria in these difficult times, adding , “we stand firmly, patriotically and stoutly with our Yoruba nation in this travail, we will contribute all that we can to the Yoruba nation’s struggle and we will be there to rejoice lustily with the Yoruba nation after this cloud has cleared.
“We note with mounting concern that the number of confirmed cases has been growing very rapidly in the Yoruba Southwest and that a major upsurge of this pandemic appears to be about to break out among us Yoruba people.”
According to him, the war against coronavirus is placing on the nation’s socio-political systems and public officials, totally new burdens and operational demands unknown before in the history of the country and they are absolutely necessary for controlling and curtailing the ravages of coronavirus among the people.
He explained that it is fortunate that the Yoruba are a largely informed, historically resilient and capable people, saying “we can do it. We know that our richer and more resourceful citizens, especially our business captains at home and in the diaspora, will step forth now to give the needed help to the efforts of our public officials and we will add our voice to urging many of them to do so. This is a time to create a new tradition of unity and strength for our Yoruba nation. In the coming weeks, most of us will not be able to spend time at our favourite places such as restaurants, bars, night clubs, entertainment centres, recreation centres and more.”
He added: “Many of us will not be able to go to work in our places of employment. Our young people will not be able to go to their schools. All these will put in our hands a lot of idle hours. We want to suggest that all these hours need not be totally idle and that we can use some of them to do, design and create various kinds of things. Let us think about it.”
Akintoye urged the people to be conscious of the threat posed by coronavirus.
“We urge men and women in our nation to alert their neighbours, that a serious threat already exists in our land, and that we need to make life adjustments in order to beat the danger. That is what our scientists, and what most experts in other parts of the world, are saying. In the particular case of Nigeria, we Yoruba are in particularly grave danger and we need to know it and respond appropriately and adequately to it. If we do that, we can beat this monster. Let us all brace ourselves and resolve to beat it,” he stated.