Abiola’s presidential mandate should unite and not divide us, Abiodun tells secessionists
...as Yoruba nation agitators protest in Ogun
Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun state has warned secessionists and agitators for the Biafra, Yoruba nation or any other nation to desist from and not put the country on fire by the unpatriotic and destructive action, but should work towards unity and peace in the country.
The governor of Ogun state, the state that hosts Abeokuta, hometown of late Abiola, said the circumstances that surrounded June 12th, 1993 annulled Presidential poll, denial of late Moshood Kashimawo Abiola as duly-elected President and his untimely death in 1998, should be the centripetal and not centrifugal force against Nigeria and Nigerians.
Governor Abiodun, while speaking at the special celebration and parade at the MKO International Stadium, Kuto in Abeokuta on Saturday, said, “MKO Abiola and his mandate should serve as a reminder to all of us that we are stronger together as a Nation.
“He broke all barriers such as religion and ethnicity that are being used in Nigeria today to divide us. He won across the length and breadth of this country, even in the backyard of his main opponents. It was a phenomenon that should remind us that we are greater than our challenges.
“Unless and until we embrace the essence of the MKO persona, internalize belief in self, faith in a united country and other initiatives that help to engender a sense of shared heritage amongst Nigerian people, we will continue to be a country in search of Nationhood.
“Let us push all the negative and divisive forces and policies on the back-foot and embrace the symbolism of June 12. Let us join hands to make Nigeria work for all Nigerians. This will end all quest for self-determination and other sectarian agitations and calm frayed nerves.
“June 12 represents what will strengthen the country’s unity, indivisibility and oneness. Therefore, we must not forget that, as individuals, we can also change the course of history, like MKO did, even at this point in time. We must all note that each and every one of us, our actions and inactions, will either propel the country forward or fuel the already tense situation.
“Our country should rise and fulfill its full potentials in the comity of nations. The best way to immortalize and celebrate MKO Abiola and June 12, particularly, at this time of our national life, is to build bridges and demolish fences. We should think Nigerian and not sectarian. We should not limit that mandate and success to 1993. We must ensure that hope is kept alive. We cannot afford to bring down our country or show despair in our future. Truly, Nigeria shall rise again.”
Meanwhile, some Yoruba nation agitators and youths on Saturday joined June 12 protests in Abeokuta, Ijebu-Ode and other parts of Ogun state, armed with placards bearing various inscriptions, including #BuhariMustGo and #YorubaNation, among others.
This prompted the closure of major markets and shops as traders and residents stayed back home for the fear of backlash.
Speaking in Abeokuta, the state capital, a Co-ordinator of Oduduwa Nation agitators, Sola Kogbodoku, said the protest was meant to intimate the World that Yorubas are ready for secession.
She said “We are here for a peaceful protest to let the whole world know that we, Yorubas in the country called Nigeria, are ready for freedom. We are ready to self determined our lives, what we do, how we do it and where we do it. This is a rally without fight, without war, without killing and without any atrocity.”
Another Yoruba nation agitator, Azeez Suleiman, said “We are here today to let everybody throughout the whole world know that Yoruba is a typical nation created by Almighty God. All our resources should not be taken away from us. The Yoruba are being treated like a slave on their father’s land which is not supposed to be.”