Afenifere has slammed the chairman of the South-West Governor’s Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu for kicking against the agitation for the formation of the Oodua nation.
The group also accused Akeredolu of setting the rest of the country against Ndi Igbo in a statement issued on Saturday.
Afenifere said Nigeria’s corporate existence can only be guaranteed through regional equity.
Sola Ebíseni, Secretary General of Afenifere, slammed Akeredolu, for playing “petty politics” to the detriment of the Yoruba people.
“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, 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,” the statement read.
Akeredolu had at the launching of Emblem Appeal to flag off the 2023 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebrations held in Akure said that no state in the South-West region would allow the agitation to scuffle the sacrifices of the country’s heroes, adding that the police would begin a clamp down on agitators of the Oodua Yoruba nation within Nigeria.
“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.
But Afenifere in reaction, said that though Mr Akeredolu was within his right as the South-West Coordinator of his party’s campaigns to safeguard the opportunity coming his way and his party in the ‘pipe dream’ of presidential power, his “vituperations” were, however, bereft of statesmanship and national conciliation.
“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.
“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,” the group further added in the statement.
According to Afenifere “It is however unimaginable that the Chairman of the Southern Governors Forum would descend to the abyss 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 group further posited that there is no region in the country 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.
“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.
“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. There lies the solution to separatist agitations and not self-serving sanctimonious notifications,” the group said.