A delegate to the ongoing national conference in Abuja and the national coordinator of the Oodua Peoples Conference, OPC, Chief Gani Adams has said that the Yoruba nation cannot be threatened with secession. This is just as he expressed disappointment with the utterances of Lamido of Adamawa, Muhammadu Bakindo Aliu Musdafa on the floor of the conference on Wednesday.
Speaking with airport correspondents on arrival from Abuja at the Murtala Mohammed Airport Two, MMA2, Lagos, Thursday, Adams said that the Yoruba nation can develop independently without relying on the federal government, but noted that the nation would only move forward as one entity.
He recalled that the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo with funds realised from agricultural produce developed the South-West, adding that 80 per cent of developments in the South West were due to individual efforts and not government.
He also emphasised that he was ready to die, rather than betray the Yoruba cause at the ongoing national conference and challenged the Yoruba people to put their delegates on the watch list, alleging that a few of the delegates from the region were there on selfish interest.
He said, “We the Yoruba people want to remain in Nigeria, but we shouldn’t be threatened. We didn’t have oil in 1954 to 1959, but we all know what Chief Obafemi Awolowo did for this nation through the western region government and when you study the Yoruba very carefully, our developments usually come from 80 per cent individuals and not government.
We don’t rely on any development from government and we will not rely on the government for developments.”
He also expressed dismay at the Lamido of Adamawa’s statement on the floor of the conference, saying that as one of the most respected emirs in the North, such comment ought not to have emanated from him.
The Lamido of Adamawa had on Wednesday on the floor, said if Nigeria breaks up,he has an alternative place to go to in Camaeroun unlike those who are making unnecessary threats.
Adams said, “I was highly disappointed about his statement; an eminent royal father like the Lamido of Adamawa ought not to make such a statement. He’s one of the most respected emirs we have in Nigeria today. He should be number five most recognised emirs in the country. I seize this opportunity to appeal to the royal fathers including the emir to watch their statements. Nobody should threaten the unity of Nigeria, we want Nigeria,
but we should not be threatened.
“We the Yoruba people want to remain in Nigeria, but we shouldn’t be threatened. It is the North that depends on the government, they don’t need Nigeria more than us, but we all need Nigeria because we have inter-married, done businesses together and Abuja solidify us. There is a lot of interest between the six geo-political zones and Abuja and Lagos. It will be better for us to have one Nigeria so that our population can speak for us wherever we are.”
On the no-go areas, Adams said that the delegates agreed with President Goodluck Jonathan on this and insisted that the unity of the country must be sustained by all means. He however noted that for Nigeria to remain as an indivisible entity there was a need for negotiation and restructuring of the entire system, stressing that anyone who says the status quo should remain was an enemy of the country.
“Nobody will want Nigeria to break, but we have to negotiate Nigeria. When you have a relationship with some people for 100 years, you are not moving forward and you are gradually becoming a laughing stock in the comity of nations, you need to negotiate your existence. How do we move forward if we want to remain a Nigeria? What kind of system must we use to remain a Nigeria?
“But anybody who says the status quo should remain does not want the unity of Nigeria. We must learn to leave on the principle of justice, equity and not be selfish. We have equal citizens in USA, but the reverse is the case here. If you go to some places in this country, if you don’t speak their language, you can not get a job or even get promoted. All our appointments are usually lopsidedness.”