The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, on Wednesday, said that ethnic and religious suspicion are fueling crisis in Nigeria, saying the return to true federalism remains the only panacea to insecurity and other socio-economic challenges.
In a statement titled “A Nation on Trial of Survival” forwarded to journalists in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, the monarch lamented that “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.”
According to the statement, “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”
“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”
“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 overemphasised. This is the only thing that can restore our confidence in the country of our political fore-bearers dream,” the statement concluded.