By Seyifunmi Odunuga
IBADAN – Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) and the National Council of Muslim Youth Organizations (NACOMYO) on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 said that Muslims in the South West region are not part of the recent call for Oduduwa Republic.
Some Yoruba leaders among whom are Professor Banji Akinyoye had said that Yoruba ethnic group was ready to take its own country out of Nigeria.
But, the Muslim students and Muslim youths while speaking on Tuesday in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital noted that Muslims in the South West will not be part of any agitation for the creation of Oduduwa Republic and the planned protest slated for October 1, 2020.
MSSN B-Zone Amir, Barrister Qaasim Odedeji while speaking at a press conference jointly organised by MSSN B-Zone and NACOMYO Southern Nigeria, appealed to all Yoruba to shun any rally in the name of Oduduwa Republic.
Odedeji who condemned agitation for secession or creation of Oduduwa Republic added that “agitation is not only unwarranted and uncalled for, it is also ill-motivated and devilish.”
He said, “The secessionist groups have not only chosen a name for their proposed republic, they have also designed its currency which has been paraded on social media. In order to gain a global attention for their agitation, Yoruba World Congress has planned a rally to be held on the 1st day of October, the Nigeria Independence Day. It is a good development that many other Yoruba groups and some eminent personalities in Yorubaland have dissociated themselves from secessionists agenda and their planned October 1 rally.
“We however, to make our voice louder and speak in one voice, as the major Muslim Youths of Yoruba extraction, condemn in stronger term any agitation for secession or creation of Oduduwa Republic. It is our considered view that the agitation is not only unwarranted and uncalled for, it is also ill-motivated and devilish. It is a call for war and bloodshed and we, as critical stakeholders will not allow individuals or group of people acting in their own selfish and parochial interest, to drag us into unnecessary war.
“It becomes more worrisome and the need for our intervention when the secessionists, in their cunning way of claiming support of Muslims suddenly gave birth to a “Yoruba Jamatru Islam” a faceless group existing only in the imagination of their fake sponsors.”
Odedeji while speaking further added that any Muslim who understands Islam will not fight based on ethnicity.
His words, “Any Muslim who understands what Islam means will not support that agitation. The Holy Prophet (SAW) said that he is not part of us who fights on the basis of ethnicsm. He is not part of us who dies on the basis of ethnicsm.
“In Oyo state, Lagos, Osun, Ogun, Ondo and Ekiti, are our leaders Hausa or Igbo. Is Oyo state better governed, is Osun, Ekiti and other states in the South West better governed? It is some people who are looking for money to eat they are calling for Oduduwa republic. Are we the only group in Nigeria, is Nigeria for only three ethnic groups. If anyone is claiming to be marginalized, it should not be Yoruba.”
He stated further, “Gentlemen of the press, we, like many other Nigerians, are worried and concerned that Nigeria as a nation despite its endowment with human and natural resources, has become beset of poverty and insecurity as evidenced by acts of terrorism, kidnapping, banditry, thuggery, cultism, ritual killing in all parts of the country, we however, do not believe that secession is the answer to our multi-facet problems.
“Rather, it is capable of throwing the nation into another round of war and bloodshed as the experience of such agitation as recorded in the agitation for sovereign state of Biafra, Soviet Union/Russia and recently the Sudan experience is nothing to write home about. It has always been a bad tale.
“Gentlemen of the press, when we are also not oblivious of the constitutional right to freedom of expression, we also believe it is clearly wrong to speak on behalf of the entire Yoruba people on such a serious issue like secession without the consent and approval of critical stakeholders that our organisations represent.
“We appeal to all Nigerians to put all hands on deck towards ensuring development of one Nigeria. Nations are built on visions, ideals and values while peace is the most desired by us all as violence is too expensive to pay its due. Finally, we call on all Nigerians especially our respected Yoruba brothers and sisters to shun any rally in the name of Oduduwa Republic”.