By Gbenga Olarinoye
Osogbo—A legal luminary and the founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola, SAN has charged the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja 11 to extend his peace and unity advocacy to other parts of Nigeria.
He also said the only solution to solve the country’s multi-various problems is to restructure the nation along all the ethnic nationalities.
Chief Babalola spoke yesterday in Ife against the backdrop of hate speeches and quit notice issued by Northern youths to the indigenes of South East, resident in the North,
According to him, Ooni’s intervention become imperative, with a view to protecting Nigeria’s unity and corporate existence.
He said drastic measure must be taken by the Ooni as the leading monarch in Yorubaland to galvanize peace and tranquillity in the country.
Chief Babalola, who spoke during a courtesy visit on Oba Ogunwusi in his Ile-Ife palace before he proceeded to Obafemi Awolowo University where he delivered lecture said taking the challenge to meet with relevant stakeholders in the North and East would go a long way in dousing the tension generated by the quit notice issued to Igbos in the North.
He described the threats over the quit notice as parts of the failure on the part of government to accede to clamour for the restructuring of the country.
His words: “I have been an advocate of restructuring of the country for decades. I am happy many leaders in the North, the South South, the East and West are now asking for restructuring of the country, which will no doubt bring about self determination, rapid development, employment and safety of lives and property.
“Since the air of self determination is almost everywhere, in the North, East and West, I want to plead with your Imperial Majesty to use your vantage position to galvanize other Obas and leaders of thoughts to join their counterparts in other parts of the country to actualise the restructuring of the country”, Babalola remarked.
“I want to specifically commend Ooni’s effort and at preaching peace and unity first among Obas od Yorubaland and secondly among all the tribes in Nigeria. This search for peace and unity has seen you visiting Oyo Alaafin and embracing the Alaafin, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi 111, on January 17, 2016, the first of such in 79 years, thus thawing the near four decades of thick and foggy ice of impasse between the two powerful and leading thrones in Yorubaland.”
Babalola stated further that “I was in this palace 27 years ago. What I came for then was different. At that time, there was war between Ife and Modakeke. The people of Modakeke hired me as lawyer, but we later came back to a round-table to resolve the internal crisis.”
He recalled that he visited the Ooni palace 27years ago during the war between Ife/Modakeke communal war adding that; “Today Modakeke and Ife people are now one. No more war between the two communities as there is inter marriage between their sons and daughters.”
In his remark, Oba Ogunwusi said he had started plans to visit other parts of the nation to preach unity and peaceful co-existence among all tribes in Nigeria, stressing that the country cannot afford to fight another civil war.