Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, on Sunday, distanced himself from secessionist agitation by some group of person who held a rally in the state last Saturday, saying he has never gave his blessings for the rally and would not support the secession plans being promoted by some Yoruba leaders.
Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Richard Olatunde, Akeredolu maintained that he neither believes nor supports the quest for a Yoruba nation out the present Nigeria.
According to Olatunde, who said the statement became necessary to correct the erroneous impression created by the secessionist that the governor was in support of the agitation for a Yoruba nation and had the governor’s blessing on the rally.
Olatunde said though the governor acknowledged the right of individuals and groups to organize rally but it must not be misunderstood to be support and said the promoters of the rally are on their own.
It will be recalled that agitators of Yoruba nation under the auspices of Ilana Omo Oodua, on Saturday, organised a rally in Akure, the Ondo state capital, saying no going back on the demand Yoruba nation.
The group led by popular Yoruba rights activist, Sunday Adeyemo also known as Sunday Igboho, said the people and group had received the blessings of governor Akeredolu and other south west goverors in the region.
“We have the support of our governors in the southwest, and I want to assure them that this rally across the southwest region will not lead to violence,” Igboho said.
But Akeredolu in the statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary said: “It has come to the knowledge of the Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, that some group of persons who held a rally under the cover of what they term ‘secessionist agitations’ in Akure, on Saturday, May 22, 2021, erroneously claimed to have had his support for the rally.
“Governor Akeredolu wishes to state clearly that while he acknowledges the right of individuals and groups to hold peaceful rallies, it must not be misconstrued to mean support for secessionist agenda and or balkanization of the nation. Far from it.
“Unequivocally, the Governor’s opinion on the Akure rally or any other of its ilk, is only to the effect that he is not opposed to any civil protest which is not in breach of the extant laws of the Nation.
“He neither believes, nor supports the quest for the Yoruba Nation outside of Nigeria in the manner canvassed. Governor Akeredolu stands by a virile, united and indivisible Nigeria as demanded by the Southern Governors’ Forum.
“Therefore, the vigour, zeal, leadership and candour displayed by Governor Akeredolu for a just and fair Nigeria is altruistic, and borne out of patriotism for the Nation as well as love for his people, the Yoruba ethnic nationality.
“It is important, therefore, to state without any equivocation that the Yoruba Nation secessionist promoters do not enjoy any lending hand in Governor Akeredolu.”
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