Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has denied claims that he supports a Yoruba nation.
He did, however, express his commitment to a vigorous, united, and indivisible Nigeria, as the Southern Governors’ Forum has demanded.
Governor Akeredolu’s position was made clear in a statement issued Sunday following a rally in Akure, the state capital.
According to Olatunde, some participants in Saturday’s rally claimed to have received support from the governor for the march calling for the restoration of the Yoruba nation.
He explained that the governor’s recognition of the right of individuals and groups to hold peaceful rallies was interpreted incorrectly as support for the secessionist agenda, emphasising that this was far from the case.
The governor’s aide stated that the governor’s position on the Akure rally was solely to demonstrate that he was not opposed to any form of civil protest that did not violate the law of the land.
He insisted that Governor Akeredolu, who is also the Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum, has never endorsed the quest for a Yoruba nation outside of Nigeria, and that secessionist promoters lack the governor’s support.
At the rally, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, a Yoruba rights activist, was reported to have stated that Governor Akeredolu was aware of and supportive of their agitation for Yoruba nation.
The following is the complete statement from the governor’s aide:
Yoruba Nation Agitators On Their Own – Akeredolu
It has come to the knowledge of the Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin 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 balkanisation 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.
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Ondo State.