The Aare Onakankafo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, has said he is in full support of self-determination and not restructuring as is being propagated in some quarters.
Adams was speaking at a conference as seen in a video that has now gone viral on the internet.
According to him, a major step in moving the country forward could be on either self-determination or regionalism.
He referred to the Republican Constitution of 1963 which, he said, allows for federating units to develop at their own pace.
He said, “The constitution that presents Nigeria as a country in 1960 and the republic constitution that our forefathers wrote politically in 1963, this gives room for federating units to be uninterrupted, this gives room for regionalism, this gives room for every federating units to develop at their own pace.
“We have six federating units that were agreed in the constitutional conference in 1995/96, Abacha government, the six zones can be changed to the region and each region can develop at their own pace. That’s the minimum demand for determination. I don’t want our people to misquote me that I’m coming back to restructuring, my own position now is self-determination.
“When you are fighting a war, maybe intellectual war or psychological or political war, you’ll prepare for a negotiation. After everything, you will now come to the table and negotiate. I believe that will be the best of interest for the Yoruba people because this is about interest.
“Some people will talk about unity when you are talking about unity, you don’t want me to talk about the influence on my own locality, you don’t want me to talk about the influence on my local government, my community and my own region. Politics is purely a local interest and everything that happened is local, from the community to local government, state and federal government.
“I believe it is highly imperative to move this country forward. If you want to move this country forward, it should be on two sides, either self-determination or regionalism and the for regionalism in the constitution, the powers are now concentrated in the confederacy. Assuming we allowed confederacy in our constitution, our brothers in the North will not do what they have done to us in the course of almost 60 years.
“We know how the Yoruba nation started, when Obafemi Awolowo left government, took over self-government in 1959, we know what we achieved within the period of five years of self-government and we know what happened to us in Yorubaland between 1960 and 1966 before the military came and concrete our federalism on January 15, 1970, by Aguiyi Ironsi and since then, the centre could not hold.
“So far, we have been living together in mutual suspicion. Like what Prof Banji Akintoye said, we are a country, not a nation because when you are living on the basis of mutual suspicion, you’re not a nation.”
SaharaReporters, New York