Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), through its National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, has said that the Yoruba nation can survive on its own should Nigeria break up or be restructured.
Odumakin who said this in a reaction to the statement credited to former interim Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande that the South West should not break away from Nigeria and that if it does, it will be at war for 100 years. Also, Akande said that the Yoruba breaking away may lead to bloodshed and avoidable civil war that would further decimate the people.
“Those agitating for a Yoruba nation should have a rethink. This country must remain united to save it from war,” he said. But Odumakin said that the Yoruba nation would have become a first world country but for Nigeria which is pulling her back. He said: “If Nigeria pushes the West to go, we can survive on our own.
That is why we want Nigeria to be restructured so that every region can develop at its own pace,” Odumakin said in a telephone interview with Sunday Telegraph on Friday evening. He continued: “What Afenifere wants is restructuring where everybody can develop at its own pace. In a situation where Nigeria pushes the West to go, we can survive on our own. As a matter of fact, we would have become a first world country, but for Nigeria which is pulling us back.
We have demonstrated this before. “The first tallest building in Africa – Cocoa House was built in the South West. What is today known as the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) used to be Western Nigeria Television (WNTV) was also the first in Africa.
“In education, the West established the first regional university – University of Ife, Ile – Ife, which has also been taken over by the Federal Government. The Ikeja industrial layout was built by the West under the Western region are all testimony to what the Yoruba nation can do.
“We can replicate this if allowed to determine our own rule under restructuring of our polity by devolution of power to the federating units.
This we can achieve under the Parliamentary System of Government which was practiced in the First Republic. It is not as expensive as we have now. We should go back to the regional arrangement. We are in total agreement with it.”