Olayomi Koiki, the spokesperson for Yoruba freedom fighter, Sunday Adeyemo (Igboho), has warned Nigerian journalist, Reuben Abati to stay off conversations that have to do with Yoruba sovereignty.
Koiki spoke on Monday while reacting to a claim by Abati that the ongoing clamour for Yoruba secession was a treasonable felony.
Abati, who was a special adviser on media and publicity to a former president, Goodluck Jonathan, had criticised the calls for secession in the South-West.
Speaking on Arise TV Morning show, Abati had said there was no basis for calls for secession as that the South-West had no clear leadership.
He also noted that Nigeria has been kind to Yoruba people.
He said, “Nigeria has been very kind to the Yoruba people, are they not the ones that dominate the economy? Are they not the ones who produced a president twice in the person of Olusegun Obasanjo, did they not also win the election in 1993 through Bashorun M.K.O. Abiola? Is there any section of the Nigerian community where Yorubas have not been well served?
“Going to the full extent of saying Yorubas should secede, may need the consensus of the people in form of a referendum. If you put it to vote among Yoruba people, I’m not too sure that the majority of the Yoruba will want to leave Nigeria so I don’t think we should have any heartache over Yoruba secession from Nigeria.
“They did not secede in 1967 when the people of the East spoke about secession, they didn’t secede at that time, is it now when there is no clear leadership in Yorubaland that they want to secede. And none of the people who are calling for secession is known, it amounts to a treasonable felony.”
But reacting to this, Koiki said, “I want to respond to what Dr Abati said, they think we are joking. It seems the Federal Government thinks the Yorubas are joking. Dr Abati said what we are doing is a treasonable felony, yes, let it be a treasonable felony, Nigeria will go to war, we know that already, that there will be no war is a lie.
“But they should know that every single one of them will also be held responsible because those that are lying to Nigerians, one of whom is Dr Reuben Abati, are comfortable in their cocoon. You see, all those you refer to as elites, are now telling us that what we are doing is a treasonable felony. Let it be a treasonable felony, let it even be more. We told you we will not relent, it does not matter how many times they come on air because they believe they are the voice of Nigerians, they are no longer the voice of the Nigerians, we are now the voice of the Yoruba people, and we must determine and decide how we want to be governed out of this contraption called Nigeria.
“Nobody will tell us how and when it will be in the best interest of the Yoruba people. Abati said a Yoruba man has once been a president, who has that helped? When Olusegun Obasanjo was president, what was the benefit? This country was merged, we were never Nigeria and that has been the point they refused to discuss with Nigerians outside and inside Nigeria. Why do they continue to lie to Nigerians as if Nigeria was something created from the creation. Why do news media lie to Nigerians as if the Yoruba kingdom had not been in existence before the creation of Nigeria?
“When was Nigeria created? Let’s go back and ask questions, so when we are saying we want to part from this contraption called Nigeria, why must they force us to stay? Who are the beneficiaries of this country?
There is no job, no industry, the economy is completely flawed, they are now saying they want to use $1.5 billion for a refinery that has not worked for a long time. Do you know what that amount of money will do if we invest into the local government areas in Nigeria, the 774 local government areas where the hospitals are not functional?
“You think we are joking? For every day we wake up, we wake up with different spirits, we are not the ones who’ll fight this war, you think you want to fight with me? Abati was talking about treasonable felony, we will see to that when we get there. People woke up this morning, some have died because of the negligence of this ‘shithole’ country, people have no comfort in this country anymore, people are dying every day, a governor was about to be killed. If a whole governor was about to be killed, why then are we talking about staying as one? Nigeria will divide very soon by God’s grace. They say we are in one unity, which unity?
“Unity that does not give an average Yoruba man access to the port authority, immigration and Chief of Defence, a position that should be spread around. This nepotism has been going on for too long and they keep telling us the unity of Nigeria is not negotiable, who said so? You don’t know what we will do, you will all run, including the British.
“Young kids are on the streets, is that not enough for you to weep? They have no school, food, nothing and you ask us to be patient, Nigeria is not working. Go to Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Ekiti and Ondo, people are suffering there, you think we are joking. God will fight, even idols will fight.”
SaharaReporters, New York