The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has reproved Yoruba Nation agitators, describing them as “ignorant and foolish” for demanding secession.
Aregbesola, who is a former Osun State governor, said this on Saturday at Ijebu Jesa, Osun State, at his 64th birthday celebration organised for him by the Awolowo Centre for Philosophy and Ideology.
Aregbesola warned that the crisis that might engulf the country if a war broke out could last for over 50 years.
He said, “My most important message for this gathering is to let you know that those advocating for the Yoruba nation are fools and ignorant of the consequences of their action. Nigeria is the reason the Western nations respect the Blackman globally.
“Maybe these secessionists did not know that if any crisis or war happens in Nigeria now, its fallout will linger for another 50 years. So we must guide this unity jealously. Although things are not perfect yet, I believe we should rather advocate better government rather than agitate for secession.”
Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, who addressed the gathering through telephone, commended Aregbesola for laying a good standard for the development of Osun State when he served as governor.
Meanwhile, Oduduwa Republic agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Sunday Igboho, on Saturday evening stormed Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State capital, for the Yoruba Nation rally organised by Ilana Omo Ooodua, led by Prof Banji Akintoye.
Igboho, who arrived at the city at 5.02 pm to the waiting hands of other Yoruba nation agitators who had been having processions around major parts of Ado Ekiti since 10.30 am, reiterated the need for the Oduduwa Republic in view of alleged lopsidedness in the distribution of resources and relegation of Yoruba to the background in Nigeria.
Igboho, who spoke in Yoruba, said, “Enough is enough. We must stand for our freedom because we have suffered enough. We are Yoruba people and we must not be slaves in our own land.
“We have all the natural resources, but the Fulani are the ones controlling them and heading almost all establishments. It is enough. We have a lot of our youths who are graduates but there are no jobs for them! That should not be the case. These are among the reasons we said it is enough.
“We are not going to work with them. If there is no referendum, we will not vote in 2023, that is the truth.”
Igboho addressed the rally amid heavy security presence as men of the Nigeria Police, Department of State Services, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, and Amotekun Corps were stationed at strategic locations at Fajuyi Park, the venue of the rally.
The mammoth crowd of agitators and placard-carrying participants were jubilant as they chanted, ‘Yoruba Nation anthem’, while major roads in Ado Ekiti, particularly around the venue, were shut while the rally lasted.
Also speaking at the rally, the Media Communications Secretary, Ilana Omo Oodua, Maxwell Adeleye, added, “We are ready and our people are ready. The rally today is to sensitise the good people of Ekiti State to start preaching the gospel in every nook and cranny of the state. We shall succeed and triumph. We shall rescue our land from the jaws of underdevelopment.”
In a similar vein, a member of the Oodua Action Movement, Olusola Oyemakinde, said, “We are here in support of our agitation for Oodua Nation. Every one of us can see the state of Nigeria, where there is no justice, there is lopsidedness in appointments, and insecurity is the order of the day.”