Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has disclosed that despite the security challenges bedeviling the country, particularly brewing ethnic crisis in the Southwest region, Ondo would not be a party to secessionist agitation.
He added that though some non-state actors have been taking steps in demanding for Yoruba nation, Ondo state under his government would remain in Nigeria.
Akeredolu said that rather than applied the wrong approach in correcting perceived anomaly and proffer solution to lingering insecurity crisis, his administration would continue to encourage dialogue as an effective tool in resolving disputes.
Akeredolu made the call on Monday at the swearing-in Oladunni Odu, the first female Secretary to the State Government, SSG, since the creation of the state, and four Special Advisers in Akure, the state capital.
The governor, who is also Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum, insisted that non-state actors, including rights activist, Sunday Adeyemo also known as Sunday Igboho cannot unilaterally speak for Yoruba people.
According to him, we will not be led to assured annihilation by anyone or a group of people, still smarting from the electoral defeats of recent times and presumed exclusion from the process of decision-making.
He stated that as part of its opposing stance, no part of the state would permit any gathering and agitation that would suggest his administration was in support of unthinking rabble-rousing.
“While it is the right of citizens to discuss, agitate and even fight to right perceived wrongs, culminating in self-determination, this must be done within known and acceptable parameters.
“l state, unequivocally, as the Governor of Ondo State, elected by the people to serve them and protect their interests, that our people have elected to stay in the Federal Republic of Nigeria as constituted at present.
“We recognise that there are reasons to demand that certain anomalies be put right. We will continue to encourage dialogue as an effective tool in resolving disputes. We will also not shy from joining others to insist on socio-economic justice. We will, however, not subscribe to banditry and recklessness in putting forth our demands. ”
“Our people are knowledgeable enough to determine their interest at any point. If and when they consider self-determination as an option, they will not depend on external promptings to act. That is why we are different. That is why we are who we are. And that is the way it is going to be,” Akeredolu said.