People’s Democratic Party politician and former Minister of Transportation, Chief Ebenezer Babatope has criticized the current agitation in many quarters for an independent Yoruba nation.
The PDP chieftain made this statement when he appeared on the popular weekly radio show; Ayekooto at Lagelu 96.7 FM, Felele, Ibadan on Tuesday.
He disassociated himself from talks to create an independent Yoruba nation and said: “I am not part of those calling for the emergence of an independent Yoruba nation, it is an extreme measure to call for that, it is an extreme measure which will not stand.”
“We have passed that stage in Nigeria and anybody that thinks he can carry power on his head will destroy himself. What we should be fighting for is for a Nigeria that guarantees fairness and freedom of expression, where all tribes will have equal rights and opportunities.”
He stated that restructuring properly and redefining true federalism in Nigeria is the way forward for the country and called on President Buhari to rise above partisan politics and encourage fairness to all tribes in his administration.
While he was on the show, he fielded questions from listeners via telephone and in reply to one of the questions asked, he charged the current Nigerian ruling class to remember that they work for the people who elected them into power and to remember that they are accountable to the electorate.
He also addressed politicians that rig elections and warned them to desist from the act saying that one day, they would reap the reward of their misdeeds.
“Nigeria politicians should ensure that they meet the aspirations of those who voted them into power. They should respect the wishes of Nigerians. Election riggers never end well. There are so many examples to confirm this.”
Speaking on the current state of the nation, he highlighted how badly things have gone as elections are not trusted and most of our security apparatus have failed to protect the people.
“Nobody is happy with the situation of things in the country because things have gone really bad, elections have been so badly organized and there is apparent problem with our security and nobody is safe in the country”.
Chief Babatope charged President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that justice and equity should be the pillars of his administration going forward if Nigeria is to improve saying; “Interestingly I and President Buhari are of the same age, generation. He is one month and some days older than myself. I will tell him to be fair to all tribes at all times.”
He also stated that lessons could be learned from the June 12, 1993 annulment saying “the importance of June 12 is that democracy is the best form of government that can give permanent peace to Nigeria and Nigerians. Tampering with democracy is tantamount to tampering with the principles behind June 12 struggle in Nigeria”.