The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi has spoken out about the crisis in the country, stating that ethnic and religious suspicion is behind most of the problems Nigeria faces. He added that a return to true federalism is the only thing that can fix the current challenges the country is facing.
The Monarch shared this in a statement titled “A Nation on Trial of Survival” which he forwarded to the press today. In the statement, the Alaafin stated his belief that all patriots in the country need to first confess the truth to themselves about how badly Nigeria is doing before the hard work to restore our beloved country can begin.
In his words: “The greatest act of patriotism to save the country from imminent collapse is the courage to confess the truth that this is not the best moment for the country politically, economically and indeed security-wise.”
“The problem, unfortunately, has degenerated to the level of both ethnic and religious suspicion to levels that had been unprecedented in the history of the country.”
“The situation in the country is so fragile that one can hardly see any genuine intention in the security agencies including the Customs Service without reading bias into it.”
“I make bold to say that return to true federalism today is a necessary national imperative. Hence, I personally see a return to federalism that will devolve power to the states as another word for restructuring which is gaining currency across the country at the moment.”
“Going back to the principal history of the country before and after amalgamation, the Alaafin remains a major stakeholder on behalf of the Yoruba nation. Because as the reigning Alaafin, I cannot fold my arms and see that beautiful structure called Nigeria collapse.”
The Alaafin mentioned the principle of self-determination that was the foundation on which Nigeria was built, citing how certain crucial issues like agriculture and Chieftaincy affairs were left to states to decide, leading to greater prosperity in the States/regions and the country.
He also used an example of Cocoa house and the Ahmadu Bello Stadium to buttress his point, pointing out that the proceeds of The Cocoa plant and groundnuts in Oyo and Kaduna States respectively made it possible for those magnificent edifices to be built. This, he said, was proof that competitive development was the bedrock of self-determination
“Suffice to recall that the principle of self-determination by the federating units was the pillar on which the country was built. Especially at the London pre-constitutional conference in 1959, that was the proposal of Chief Obafemi Awolowo and the Action Group which the Sardauna, Sir Ahmadu Bello shared with him.”
“The principle was that sectors like agriculture, local government and chieftaincy affairs should be left to the state to develop their regions. It proceeded from agricultural resources that led to the famous Cocoa House, Liberty Stadium and the first television station in Africa, among others.”
“The North later too diverted the groundnut proceeds to build the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Northern Nigeria Television among others at that time. In other words, competitive development was the bedrock of self-determination.”
To round up his statement, he bemoaned how badly things have gotten that the same self-determination that formed the principles this great country was built on is now viewed suspiciously by many Nigerians.
He called for Federal balancing, equity and justice in national appointments, especially in the security agencies and demanded an equal representation of all the tribes and religions that make up our country in Federal positions as that would be a big step in restoring the confidence of the people in Nigeria.
“Unfortunately, things have degenerated at the moment to the level of seeing any call for self-determination as an act of felony by some people. In fact, what had heightened the call for restructuring, self-determination and true federalism in recent time is the general suspicion of either religious or ethnic in some public appointments.”
“In this respect, the call for federal balancing, equity and justice in national appointments including the security agencies can never be overemphasized. This is the only thing that can restore our confidence in the country of our political fore-bearers dream,” the statement finished.