Gov. Fayemi Speaks On South-West Secession

The Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi has said everyone calling for the secession of the South-West from Nigeria were doing so out of frustration.

Fayemi made the comment yesterday, barely a day after the Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu dissociated his state from the calls for the secession.

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Meanwhile, Gov. Fayemi who spoke on Arise Television yesterday, said he wasn’t surprised by such agitation, considering the stress and laxity in the society recently.

According to the governor: “Frankly, when you have stress and laxity in the society, you’re bound to find a whole range of responses. Some rational, some irrational, some that speak to the fears of the people, some opportunistic and harebrained.

‘’There’s no question that some of the reactions we’ve seen will fall into all of those categories.”

He said he is hopeful that the country would see through the challenges it is currently facing. The Governor noted that the time was right for the devolution of power, adding that the country needed to adopt other measures at managing its diversity.

“I have gone on record to say that I have unfailing optimism that despite all our challenges, this country will triumph and we’ll survive current challenges.

‘’We, as leaders, must focus on the goal of protecting lives and property, and focus on safety and security as the primary responsibility that we have.

“The people who are talking about secession, frankly, are doing it out of frustration. I don’t think that’s the solution to the Nigerian predicament right now.

“In matters of economic development, we may need to begin to look at other ways of managing diversity and differences in our country and that devolution of power is an idea whose time has come.”

However, the Ilana Omo Oodua, led by Banji Akintoye, had yesterday, blasted Governor Akeredolu, for speaking only for himself, and not the people of Ondo State.

While reacting to Akeredolu’s stance, Ilana Omo Oodua said the agitation for self-determination “shall be bloodless, intellectually rooted, legally grounded.”

The group in a statement signed by Messrs Kunle Adesokan and Folashade Olukoya, Ilana Omo Oodua has asked Governor Akeredolu to let it hold its planned one million men march in Ondo State “without unleashing the instrumentalities of terror and state-sponsored commercial thugs on the masses of the state that desire an autonomous Yoruba Nation.”

The statement reads in part: “We wish to say very clearly that Akeredolu is entitled to his opinion. He has only spoken for himself. If he is sure he speaks for the classical masses of Ondo State, he should allow us to stage our one million march peacefully in Akure, Ondo State capital, to prove whether he spoke for Ondo State people or himself.

“We are saying for the sake of clarity that what we declared is the sovereignty of Yoruba Nation from Nigeria and not secession from Nigeria. We want an autonomous Yoruba Nation.

“We want to determine how we want to govern our people. We want to control and manage our resources. We want to police and secure the lives and properties of our people.

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“We have made our position known. Our agitation for autonomous Yoruba Nation is legally grounded, intellectually rooted and it shall be executed without shedding of blood.”

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