Afenifere, the Yoruba socio-cultural organisation has cautioned Acting President Osinbajo not to try in any way to denigrate or twist the meaning of Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s statement that Nigeria is not a nation, but a mere geographical expression.
Mr. Yinka Odumakin, the National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere said: “It appears that Osinbajo is seeking some endorsement of would-be appointees by dumping Nigerian patriots, who have been in the agitation for the restructuring of the country, to please the owners of the current game.”
“The Acting President, in seeking to advance the position and interests of his current central-government power constituency, has in a recent public speech, dismissed the decades-old clamour for a restructuring of the Nigerian polity by some of Nigeria’s best and most-respected personalities.”
“Osinbajo in that same speech has also, rather strangely, and in a way that dishonours the opinion and memory of Awolowo, gone ahead to disingenuously lend himself to the propagation of historical and intellectual sophistry, regarding the imposed unity of Nigeria. His demeaning and dismissive comments on Awolowo’s famous reference to Nigeria as not being a nation, but a mere geographical expression, the third time in three months, are strange, misguided and unfortunate on a number of fronts.”
“If the Acting President is still in doubt, let him check why a super minister would disown him openly on the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu. He should look closely at the seat of another super Minister, which has been vacant at Federal Executive Council (FEC) since President Muhammadu Buhari left the country over 90 days ago.”
“How come it took Osinbajo several weeks before he was allowed to sign the 2017 budget? Should it have taken him over 70 days to be allowed to swear in ministers cleared on the eve of the President’s departure, if this were a nation already? Why has he been holding meetings to deal with the fallouts of Arewa youth’s threat to the Igbo leaving in the northern region to quit without the gut to arrest them, if he were not presiding over a ‘mere geographical expression?”
“Afenifere is waiting for the day Osinbajo would repudiate the statement credited to the first Prime Minister of the country, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa in 1948 on Nigeria around the same time with Awolowo that:
“Since 1914 the British Government has been trying to make Nigeria into one country, but the Nigerian people themselves are historically different in their backgrounds, in their religious beliefs and customs and do not show themselves any signs of willingness to unite … Nigerian unity is only a British invention.”