The Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, has vowed not to allow agitation for secession in any part of the state, stating that packs of unelected jokers won’t be allowed to declare sovereignty on behalf of the state.
The governor, who is also the Chairman of the South West Governors’ Forum, spoke on Thursday through his Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties and Strategies, Doyin Odebowale while reacting to a statement credited to the leader of the Ilana Omo Oodua, Banji Akintoye, over the governor’s stand on secession.
Akeredolu slammed Akintoye for criticising him after he (the governor) declared that the state would not support the secession plan as canvassed by Yoruba agitators
Akintoye had earlier tackled Akeredolu, noting that the governor was speaking for himself and not the people of the state.
But in a statement titled: ‘Grandstanding for relevance: A historian’s burden’, Akeredolu warned that there will be no agitation for secession in any part of Ondo State, adding that Akintoye should submit himself to the people if he is so desirous of representing them.
The statement reads in part: “It is presumptuous, denigrating and condescendingly spiteful for a group of hustlers, living largely in anonymity but struggling for relevance, to keep proclaiming and legislating on issues which affect the destiny of a whole people, without the faintest suggestion of paying even scant regard to their feelings or extending due courtesy to the real representatives of the people whose opinions they discount as unimportant.
“The people are discerning. They know the impostors. They have not forgotten the activities of the suborned agitators, the presumed penitent activists.
“The Ondo people, and indeed Yoruba are the easiest to lead but the most difficult to deceive. With them, sophistry and demagoguery have their limits.
“If the governor cannot speak for his people, is it a pack of unelected jokers who will declare sovereignty on their behalf?
“If an elected governor represents himself, on whose behalf are these people agitating? Who appointed Prof Akintoye as the leader of the Yoruba? How many people participated in the sham?
“It is very saddening to note that some of those who pretend to be the custodians of the pristine philosophy of value propounded by the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, SAN, fail to see the connection between the Livestock Transformation Programme and the attempts by the current administration in Ondo State to resuscitate the Akunnu and Auga Ranches.
“Those who cannot look beyond the parochial prism of ethnicity and prebendalism cannot appreciate the genuine efforts of the Akeredolu’s administration to make the people of the state the centre of all activities.
“The governor’s speech was clear; no part of Ondo State will be ceded to any foreigner under whatever guise. Only a mischievous person will twist the fact.
“Responding to a statement such as this one should have been unnecessary but for the mention of the name of the self-styled Yoruba leader, Prof Banji Akintoye.
“The contents credited to the Professor are typical. His scholarship of the discipline tilts heavily towards rabid irredentism. He seems to have great difficulty in viewing everything beyond ethnicity.
“Prof Akintoye sure knows so much about ancient history. He should tell us of any transitional society whose constitution has been drafted, solely, by the people since the emergence of democracy as a political system.
“He was in the US throughout the military era when patriots fought for the disengagement of the military. It is opportunistic and wicked, now at twilight, to attempt to drag the country into a state of anarchy to assuage vaunting narcissism.
“Akeredolu has emerged victorious in two referenda conducted in Ondo State. Members of the opposition party still smarting from the crushing defeats at both periods must learn to live with the fact.”
SaharaReporters, New York