How Abacha, Buhari fuel Yoruba agitation for secession
By Prof Femi Olufunmilade
This morning in an exchange with a highly placed Fulani friend, he deposed that Nigeria can never break, there are no clear boundaries among Nigerians, we can only have chaos that would cause everybody to suffer.
He further said Yoruba people had always wanted to break but haven’t been able to figure out how. He added that the appointment of Gani Adams as Aare Ona Kakanfo was to further the cause of Oduduwa Republic.
As you know, I like to clarify such errors. Below is my rejoinder:
Post-independence, Yoruba never thought of having an Oduduwa Republic. Recall they played a leading role in fighting against Biafra till it was defeated in 1n 1970.
Abacha was the first to provoke the thought of secession in the Yoruba and it soon fizzled away with his demise. Presently, however,, many Yoruba are rooting for a separate country in their wisdom!
Now, let me inform you factually that the post of Aare Ona Kakanfo is historical. It’s been there and it wasn’t just created and handed out to Gani Adams to lead the march to Oduduwa Republic.
The founder of Ilorin, Afonja, lured into a false sense of security by his guests, led by the jihadist called Gere Alimi, was an Aare Ona Kakanfo too. Let me leave the old history at this well known example.
Now, to the contemporary examples. Chief SL Akintola and MKO Abiola were Aare Ona Kakanfo. Gani Adams was installed Aare, not to lead anyone into Oduduwa Republic but for the bravery he demonstrated during Abacha’s reign of terror.
That title is not awarded frivolously. Akintola died in 1966 coup. There was over 20 years interval before Abiola got the title. Abiola died in 1998. Gani Adsms got the title approximately 20 years after. So, that’s that.
Unfortunately, you think no matter the level of mismanagement of Nigeria’s diversity, a break up is impossible, even when, territorially, there are ethnic boundaries. You believe there would only be chaos nationwide. I think you are too fixated to the military perspective of looking at the matter, a military that was the first to implode as a prelude to the last civil war and has suffered serious internal haemorrhage on account of a litany of coup, open and suppressed.
Should we have a civil war today, note that Niger Deltans, Igbo, Yoruba, and the Middle Belt would be on the same page. And, with the massive diaspora these areas have, expect that the international community wouldn’t permit a long-drawn war.
You underestimate the damage Buhari and cohorts, whoever are his advisers, have done to the unity of this country. Excusing it wouldn’t help anyone. If you know the caliber and size of diasporan forces provoked into secessionist mobilisation abroad, you would be at the vanguard of a national peace talk.
On October 1st 2020, there was an unprecedented protest in world capitals by thousands of Biafra and Yoruba Republics’ agitators, marching side by side. These are the things they did in the open. Who knows what they do behind the doors?
With an unending insurgency and pervasive banditry across the north, will this country’s military be able to handle a multi-frontal secession in the south? Is the military the only tool for uniting a country?
You were in service when Niger Delta militants reduced oil export volume per day from 2.5 million barrels to 800,000, with the prospects of reducing it to zero, before President Yar’Adua deployed diplomacy, acknowledging the young fighters had cause to be angry. We enjoy his leadership in terms of peace in the oil-producing communities till date.
A country doesn’t die in a day. It does by instalments.