The federal government has been urged to allow agitators to leave the country without any bloodshed.
This was made public by the leader of Yoruba self-determination movement, Ilana Omo Oodua, Prof. Banji Akintoye.
He said Nigerian authorities cannot stop the proponents of Yoruba nation and other secessionists.
Akintoye noted that the United Nations (UN) constitution as well as various UN and African Union conventions agree that every nationality has the right of sovereignty.
He reminded the government that Nigeria is a signatory to the laws and advised the authorities to commence negotiations on how those willing to exit the country can do so peacefully.
The historian spoke in reaction to the endorsement of non-violent agitation by the Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa.
Obasa declared there is nothing wrong in seeking the split of a nation and cautioned against military deployment.
The Ado-Ekiti born former Senator urged other Yoruba elites to emulate Obasa by starting to speak truth to power without a dint of fear.
In a statement issued by his spokesman, Akintoye warned the federal government against the use of force.
The elder statesman, 86, said instead of threats, the government should call for dialogue on how to peacefully dissolve issues over the amalgamation of 1914 of Southern and Northern Nigeria.
“All our elected and bureaucratic public officials know what Hon. Obasa has now dared to proclaim: that every nationality in the world has the right of self-determination; that such right is inalienable.
“Majority of the people of our Yoruba nation have made it absolutely clear that we now want to assert our self-determination, separate from Nigeria, and go forth to run our own Oduduwa Republic or Yorubaland.
“Many other nationalities in Nigeria seek to assert their self-determination too, and we have announced our willingness to work with them as co-travellers seeking identical goals.
“We need to warn the Nigerian authorities who say they are determined to thwart our quest. You cannot stop us or any of the other nationalities seeking independence.
“When you say you have ordered the police and military to be ruthless against us, we advise you to be aware that you might be breaking laws that can lead you into serious criminal prosecutions in international criminal courts.
“Yoruba do not wish such a fate for any of the persons who are until now our co-citizens. The truth is that you cannot stop any nationality that is presently part of Nigeria from asserting their self-determination”, Akintoye added.