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Yoruba Nation agitators won’t succeed; will be arrested for treason, South-West governors vows

  • Politics

Chairman of the South-West Governor’s Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu, has kicked against the agitations of the formation of the Oodua nation. 

Mr Akeredolu, who also doubles as the governor of Ondo, said those behind the agitation should immediately “perish the idea” or get arrested by the police for treason. 

The governor, who spoke on Friday, added that no state in the South-West region would allow the agitation to scuffle the sacrifices of Nigeria’s heroes. 

“Those clamouring for Oodua nation will not succeed. People have not laid down their lives for this country for unscrupulous individuals to scuttle it. This country is very important to some of us. 

“We recognize the right of the people to protest or agitate. But if the police feel your actions are treasonable, they will arrest and prosecute you,” he said. 

Mr Akeredolu was speaking at the launch of Emblem Appeal to flag off the 2023 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebrations held in Akure, the Ondo capital. 

Some eminent Yoruba personalities in the South-West region have been clamouring for the Oduduwa Republic to pull out of Nigeria.

Prominent among the agitators are Banji Akintoye, leader of the Ilana Omo Oodua, a self-determination group agitating for the actualisation of the Yoruba Nation.

Mr Akintoye had consistently said the Yoruba may pull out of Nigeria before the 2023 polls.

He had also vowed that his group won’t stop the agitation even if Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who is also from the South-West region, becomes the next president of Nigeria. 

Recall that Sunday ‘Igboho’ Adeyemo, a Yoruba Nation agitator, had also insisted no going back on the actualisation of a separate country for the Yorubas in Nigeria. 

Mr Adeyemo’s consistent demands led to the invasion of his residence in Oyo by operatives of Nigeria’s secret police, the State Security Service (SSS). 

He had planned to hold a mega rally in Lagos to drive home his secessionist objectives before his house was brutally razed by armed security agents. 

Two persons said to be supporters of the separatist leader were killed during a gun duel with the SSS at Mr Ighoho’s house, who was subsequently declared wanted. 

In June, Mr Adeyemo was arrested by the Republican police at Cardinal Bernardin International Airport in Cotonou in Benin Republic, while travelling to Germany. 

Speaking further, Mr Akeredolu called on the security agents to begin a clamp down on agitators of the Oodua Yoruba Nation within Nigeria. 

“We will not support it (Oodua nation). We have fought for this with everything we had. Nigeria will be good. The security agencies will checkmate these unscrupulous enemies embarking on such frivolous activities. 

“We have responsibilities now to soberly reflect on the plight of those who have laid down their lives and those who are still laying down their lives for the unity and peace of this country,” the Ondo governor added. 

While also noting that the governors would not support any sit-at-home order, Mr Akerdolu said, “It is not at this stage in the history of this country that we will repeat IPOB in Yoruba land. Opportunity beacons at us. We cannot afford to throw away that opportunity. 

“We must work to ensure that there is a power shift. The opportunity for the presidency to come to the south, especially the South-West, is around the corner.”

The governor, however, saluted the selfless and sacrificial services of the fallen heroes who laid down their lives in wars and peacekeeping missions around the world, and those currently serving to guarantee the peace and unity of the country.