By Dapo Akinrefon
Dr. Wale Adeniran is the national chairperson of Ilana Omo Oduduwa, IOO, the umbrella organization for Yoruba self-determination groups.
In this interview, the former Osun State Education Commissioner speaks about burning national issues, ranging from the uncertainty in the country, controversial pasture routes, to his optimism that Yoruba Nation agitator Sunday Adeyemo, affectionately known as Sunday Igboho, will be released of Benin Republic. Excerpts:
From your point of view, the insecurity in the country is worrying. Who is to blame and how can it be dealt with?
President Muhammadu Buhari and his followers should be held responsible for the terrible insecurity in Nigeria today.
It is worth remembering that El-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna state, spoke a while ago about how he shared money with non-Nigerian Fulani to get them to return to where they came from.
You’d have thought that the solution lies with the man who caused the problem in the first place. But it seems that for the time being the situation robs any immediate solution, especially considering that even Kastina, the president’s home state, has now been taken over by bandits who are terrorists.
The federal government has refuted claims that there are alleged plans to funalize and Islamize Nigeria. Do you agree with this template?
There is no one who has lived in Nigeria in the past six years who would not admit that Nigeria is being fulanized. General Obasanjo, a former president, shouted it. General TY Danjuma, a former army chief and former defense minister, yelled over it. Virtually all major defense positions are occupied by Fulani officials. What other evidence of fulanization is needed?
As for Islamization, it started with General Babangida ignoring the fact that Nigeria is supposed to be a secular state and dragging the country into the Organization of Islamic Countries, OIC. As far as I know, OIC flags are now being displayed in government offices in Abuja.
The former Emir of Kano, Emir Sanusi, has appealed to the secessionists to help rebuild the country. Would you and other agitators accept this appeal?
Did the former Emir of Kano, Sanusi, appeal to agitators for self-determination? No.
On the other hand, he accused us of being ignorant in his usual arrogant way. It is too late for me to hear appeals or chastisements from all sides. What people fail to recognize or admit is the fact that too much damage has been done to Nigeria’s unity over the years.
Look at the discriminatory system of admission to institutions, the federal nature or the requirements skewed against the South. It is an unfair and unjust system that prevails in practically all areas of life in Nigeria.
To top it off, you have the fraudulent 1999 Constitution that is at the root of all problems in Nigeria today. There is too much distrust and senseless exploitation of the south by the north. How can you make up for all of this? My opinion is that the different entities should just go their separate ways as there is no basis for keeping the country one.
What do you think of President Buhari’s establishment of pasture routes, and what would your advice to the governors of the South?
President Buhari’s creation of pasture roads is another expression of the impunity that characterizes the behavior of the northern ruling elite. President Buhari has no such powers under the Land Use Act. Hence, the governors of the south should simply ignore him and insist in the interests of the lives and livelihoods of their people.
What is the update on the Sunday Igboho case in the Republic of Benin and trying to find a political solution to his ordeal?
I believe the Sunday Adeyemo (Igboho) case is purely judicial. As soon as the court resumes its vacation in the Republic of Benin, its case will be resolved quickly.
Do you think agitation is still feasible for the Yoruba nation?
Oh yes, the agitation for self-determination of the Yoruba is not only feasible, but also on course and is picking up speed with the Yoruba at home and in the diaspora. To the extent that we peacefully conduct our agitation according to the instructions of world leader Ilana Omo Oduduwa, Professor Banji Akintoye, and according to the 2007 United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Peoples Rights UNDRIP for Self-Determination, we are sure that the Yoruba Nation will gain autonomy and sovereignty very soon.
One of our demands will be to call on the UN to come to Nigeria to hold a referendum in the above four zones to determine the level of popular support for the separation from Nigeria.
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