December 24, 2022

Oodua Nation: Afenifere lambasts South West govs

…chairman’s statement unfortunate, confirms scarcity of statesmanship

…playing petty politics, sacrifices equity in preference of crass opportunism

By Dayo Johnson, Akure

The Pan Yoruba Socio- Political Group, Afenifere, has lashed out at the chairman of the south West Governors Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu, on his statement that agitators of Oodua nation should perish the thought.

Recall that Akeredolu, had at the launch of Emblem Appeal to flag off the 2023 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebrations, vowed that states in the Southwest will not allow any agitation that will scuttle the sacrifices of the Nation’s heroes. 

Read also: Buhari: I’ve done my best; Ohanaeze, Afenifere, PANDEF others differ

The governor had declared that “Those clamouring for Oodua nation will not succeed. No sit-at-home order will be tolerated in any state in the Southwest. 

But, the Secretary General of Afenifere, Chief Olusola Ebiseni, in a statement issued in Akure, the state capital, said that statement credited to Akeredolu ” unfortunately confirmed the scarcity of statesmanship in our clime particularly faced with the lust for political power.

The statement entitled, “Akeredolu: Between Equity And Opportunism” reads “We have no problem with the Governor playing to the gallery, as a glorified Chief Security Officer, urging that security forces clamp down on any person or group whose activities he interpreted as capable of disintegrating the Nigerian State because we are no less patriotic and committed to its continuing corporate existence. 

“We are also in the same boat with him that “this country is very important to some of us” and the recognition that agitation and protests are rights protected in a democratic society.

“Our worry however is that Akeredolu, even as the Chairman of the Southern Governors Forum, would not,  in deference to that high pedestal, wean himself from petty politicking which sacrifices equity needed for national peace and cohesion in preference of crass opportunism.

“In short, his vituperations on that occasion was most disastrously bereft of statesmanship and national conciliation.

“The real intention of Akeredolu’s phony sanctimony was unveiled when he declared that it is not at this stage in the history of this country that we will repeat IPOB  in Yorubaland. 

“Opportunity beckons at us. We cannot afford to throw away that opportunity.

“We must work to ensure that there is power shift. The opportunity for the presidency to come to the south, especially the South-West, is around the corner. We will not sit and support anyone clamouring for Oodua nation.

“We will not support it. We have fought for this with everything we had. Nigeria will be good”.

“Akeredolu is within his right as the South West Coordinator of his party’s  campaigns to imagine the opportunity coming  his way and his party in the pipe dream of presidential power.  

“It  is however unimaginable that the Chairman of the Southern Governors Forum would descend to the abys of equating his pontification for the equity of a Southern Presidency with the hegemony  of his or other ethnic nationality.

“To say that the clamour for Southern President was “especially for South West”  was not only most insensitive but also to make a fool of his colleagues outside of South West. 

“No wonder then that the Governor of Delta in whose office the Southern  Governors’ Conference was held was the first to betray the cause by accepting the second fiddle position of  the Vice President to the detriment of what has turned out to be their feeble declarations. 

“The unkindest cut of Akeredolu’s new song was his reference to IPOB as if he had  any control over the choice of a different modus operandi employed by different agitating groups in Nigeria. 

“Truth be told, there is no region of Nigeria where the elite including the ruling class in Government has been able to determine the methods adopted by agitators or succeeded in  checkmating  the effects thereof.

“So, let Akeredolu not boast of any capacity to dictate the method adopted by the Yoruba agitators or seek to set the rest  of Nigeria against his  Ndigbo colleagues or the entire South East in his unhidden separatist agenda of securing undue advantage for his party and region in the quest  for the Nigerian  President of Southern extraction.

“We state for the umpteenth time, that the true and real recipe for peace and continued corporate existence of Nigeria, ipsofacto, is an arrangement  that will guarantee regional equity and not an ‘emi lo kan’ philosophy in the mode of King Louis’s l’état c’est moi.  

“Incidentally, those who fought the civil war, truly shed their youthful blood and have seen all about Nigeria,  are now in the vanguard of the national movement not only for Southern but in the quest for the requisite equity are in the queue for the Nigerian President of South East extraction. 

The group declared that “there lies the solution to separatist agitations and not self-serving sanctimonious pontifications.”