Dr Wale Adeniran is the National Chairman, Ilana Omo Oduduwa, IOO, the umbrella body of Yoruba self-determination groups.
In this interview, the former Commissioner for Education in Osun State speaks on burning national issues ranging from the state of insecurity in the country, the controversial grazing routes, and his optimism that Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo fondly called Sunday Igboho, will be released by Benin Republic. Excerpts:\
The state of insecurity in the country is becoming worrisome, from your point of view, who should be blamed and how can it be addressed?
President Muhammadu Buhari and his acolytes should be held responsible for the terrible state of insecurity in Nigeria today.
It will be recalled that some time ago, El-Rufai, the Kaduna State Governor spoke of how he was sharing money to non-Nigerian Fulani to get them to return to where they came from.
One would have thought that the solution lies with the man who created the problem in the first instance. But it appears the situation, for now, defies any immediate solution, especially if one considers the fact 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 funalise and islamize Nigeria. Do you agree with this submission?
There is nobody who has been living in Nigeria in the past six years who would not admit to the fact that Nigeria is being Fulanized. General Obasanjo, a former president has shouted it. General T.Y. Danjuma, a former Chief of Army and former Defence Minister, has cried out about it. Virtually all key defence positions are being occupied by Fulani officials. What further evidence of Fulanization does one require?
In terms of Islamisation, that started when General Babangida ignored the fact that Nigeria is meant to be a secular state, and dragged the country into the organisation of Islamic Countries, OIC. I understand OIC flags are now displayed in government offices in Abuja.
The former Emir of Kano, Emir Sanusi has appealed to secessionists to come on board to rebuild the country, would you and other agitators accept this appeal?
Did the former Emir of Kano, Sanusi, appeal to self-determination agitators? No.
On the other hand, he accused us of being ignorant in his usual arrogant fashion. For me, it is too late to listen to any appeal or chastisement from any quarters. What people fail to realise or admit is the fact that too much damage has already been done to the unity of Nigeria over the years.
Look at the discriminatory system of admission into institutions, the federal character or requirement which is skewed against the South. It is an unfair and unjust system that prevails in virtually all departments of life in Nigeria.
To crown it all, you have the fraudulent 1999 Constitution which is at the root of all the problems in Nigeria today. There is too much mistrust and mindless exploitation of the South by the North. How do you redress all of these? My take is that the various units should just go their separate ways as there is no basis for keeping the country one.
What is your take on the creation of grazing routes by President Buhari and what is your advice to Southern Governors on this?
The creation of grazing routes by President Buhari is another manifestation of the impunity that characterises the conduct of the Northern ruling elite. President Buhari has no such powers under the Land Use Act. Therefore, the Southern Governors should just ignore him and stand their ground in the interest of the lives and means of livelihood of their people.
What is the update on Sunday Igboho’s case in Benin Republic and the move to explore a political solution to his ordeal?
I believe Sunday Adeyemo’s (Igboho) case is purely judicial. As soon as the court resumes from vacation in the Republic of Benin, his case will be expeditiously resolved.
Do you think agitation for the Yoruba nation is still feasible?
Oh yes, the agitation for Yoruba self-determination is not only feasible, but it is also on course and it is gathering momentum amongst the Yoruba at home and in the Diaspora. To the extent that we are going about our agitation peacefully as directed by Ilana Omo Oduduwa worldwide leader, Professor Banji Akintoye, and under the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, UNDRIP, to self-determination, we are sure that the Yoruba Nation will attain autonomy and sovereignty very soon.
One of our demands will be a request to the UN to come to Nigeria to conduct a referendum in the four zones mentioned above to determine the level of the people’s support for separation from Nigeria.
Vanguard News Nigeria