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Agitation for Yoruba nation has great consequences, scholars warn

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[files] Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, addressing Yoruba Nation agitators during a rally at Nelson Mandela Freedom Park, Osogbo, Osun State.

Some eminent scholars have warned against the clamour for the Oduduwa Republic, saying the old wars and rivalry among the micro-Yoruba ethnic groups will be revived, which may lead to catastrophe.

The scholars include a professor of Sociology at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Lai Olurode; a professor of History at Kennesaw State University, Akanmu Adebayo and a member of the Governing Council of the University of Port Harcourt, Alhaji Kola Uzamot.

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They spoke during the event organised by The Wings Schools, Iwo, Osun State, to commemorate the 2021 Children’s Day celebration.

Olurode, a former National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said: “The current structure is not working for any of the interest groups. It is not delivering on all the promises. We have experimented with regionalism before; it is less expensive and delivered more. There is more autonomy. We can have a better Nigeria without the Oduduwa Republic. What we need to do is to bring up what I will call elite consensus. Let people come to the table and say what they want. We can’t begin to go to war after over 50 years of marriage. What kind of divorce? It is not going to work. It is going to be a massacre and very costly to do.

“We don’t want war. There are people that are good in the North and there are people that are bad even among the Yoruba race.

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“I don’t see Oduduwa Republic flying high. The deep-seated prejudices among the micro-ethnic groups in Yoruba will resurface.

Akanmu, a former Director of the Centre for Conflict Management, who spoke on the theme: “Leadership in Comparative Perspective,” said: “It won’t be better if we go our separate ways. Oduduwa Republic is utopian. It is impractical. Goodwill and reality are two different things. People have goodwill and they want this thing to happen but in reality, the old wars are there. Though they have been buried, they can still be exhumed.

“Those clamouring for Biafra, Oduduwa, Arewa Republic and others need to know that the Nigerian Constitution was not set up that way. I don’t support separation. I support restructuring. We never had a confederation. We may form a confederation.

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“I do not see anything yet to indicate that things will get better if we separate. In Yorubaland for instance, where do we put the monarchs? We are not talking about what role the Obas will play. The so-called national government will play. Is it going to be diverse? They are not talking about the diversity in religions.

On his part, Uzamot said: “I am for meaningful restructuring. I am always conscious of the repercussions of separation.”

In recent time, some countries have tried it yet they did not receive the desired result. Take, for example, Southern Sudan was separated from main Sudan but the situation of the country has worsened off. The country has started its ethnic cleansings within itself. Up till now, they have not been able to get it right.”

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