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Femi Fani-Kayode /Twitteri fani kayode

Former minister of aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has taken to his official Twitter handle to declare that he is not Yoruba, on the claims that the word was coined by Northerners.

In a series of tweets on Monday, October 22, Fani-Kayode said ‘Yoruba’ means ‘shady and unreliable’ which was derived from ‘Yariba’.

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He wrote, “Two names that the Fulani gave to southerners: ‘Yamiri’, in reference to SE and ‘Yariba’ in reference to SW.”

“The SE rejected that name but the SW accepted it. The name ‘Yoruba’ derives from ‘Yariba’ and it means ‘shady and unreliable’. I reject that strange name and label.”

The former minister stated that he would prefer to be addressed as a son of Oduduwa.

“I am not a ‘Yariba’ or ‘Yoruba’ but an ‘Omo Karo Jire’ or an ‘Oduduwan’ and my language is not ‘Yoruba’ but ‘Anago’. We are what we call ourselves.

“We are not ‘shady and unreliable (Yariba) and we must not accept names that are given to us by our historical adversaries.”

He wrote:

“Any Omo Karo Jire or Oduduwan that continues to call himself a ‘Yoruba’ is lost and does not know the implications of what he is doing to his own people. He is simply affirming and confirming an insulting label which has deep sinister, mystical and spiritual connotations,” he wrote.

The 59-year-old added that the word ‘Yoruba’ did not exist until the 18th century.

“…and even then most of the tribes of the SW, including the Oyo’s, rejected it due to its origin and meaning. The word ‘Yoruba’ is alien to our culture and not known in the Anago language. Oduduwans please take note,” he wrote.