Rotimi Akeredolu, the governor of Ondo State, says his domain prefers to be part of Nigeria rather than belong to the Oduduwa nation declared recently by Yoruba activist Sunday Adeyemo.
Mr Adeyemo popularly known as Sunday Igboho pronounced the breakaway of the Yoruba nation from Nigeria last week, advising Yorubas in the Northern region to return home.
He also said there are plans to reopen land borders in the Southwestern part of the country closed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
But reacting yesterday in Akure while swearing-in some government officials including the new Secretary to the State Government, Oladunni Odu, the governor said his state should be excluded from the new nation as his people prefer to belong to Nigeria.
“To comment on the current agitation by some people who express grievances arising from the challenge of nationhood. The noises generated by seeming inaction or passive indifference on the part of the elected and appointed representatives of the government at all levels appear to be responsible for the growing disaffection in the land,” Mr Akeredolu said.
“There is problem, no doubt. While some have been measured in their reaction to this problem, others have been less diplomatic. It is common to find groups and individuals purporting to act or speak on behalf of the rest of us. Did you ask them to speak for us? People just stand up and say they are speaking for a people.
“While it is right for citizens to discuss, agitate, even fight to right perceived wrongs and even people for self-determination. I don’t think there is anything wrong with this but this must be done within an acceptable parameter. We cannot continue the way we are going, all of us must be concerned and agree to achieve a desirable end.
“There must be a common platform through which the demands for the most mundane to the sublime be presented. There must be general consensus. This must be articulated and presented after rigorous engagements on the level of intellection and agendum for the action.
“Self-determination must be a collective programme of action. Nobody can speak when others are not part of it.
“Let me state unequivocally that Ondo State under my watch will stay in the Federal Republic of Nigeria as constituted.
“We recognise that there are reasons that certain anomalies be right. Nobody is running away from it but we will continue to encourage dialogue as an effective tool in resolving disputes. We will also not shy from joining others to insist on socio-economic justice.
“We will, however, not subscribe to banditry and recklessness in putting forward our demands. We will not in Ondo State subscribe to that. So, if people are shouting out there at this time, Igboho will speak for you. It is not going to work and those who have not been speaking for us will not speak for us. Let us be clear on it. We will stay in Nigeria. We are not running away,” he added.