The Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, has condemned the continuous agitation for a Yoruba nation by some groups in the South-West, saying such agitation would thwart the efforts of those who had laid their lives for the unity of Nigeria.
Akeredolu, who is the chairman of the Southern Governors Forum, vowed that no state in the South-West region would allow any agitation that would scuttle the sacrifices of the nation’s heroes.
He made this declaration at the inauguration of the emblem appeal to flag off the 2023 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebrations held at the Ondo State Internal Revenue Service Hall, Akure, the state capital.
The governor said,
“Those clamouring for Oodua Nation will not succeed. People have not laid down their lives for this country for unscrupulous individuals to scuttle it. This country is very important to some of us.
“We recognise the right of the people to protest or agitate. But if the police feel your actions are treasonable, they will arrest and prosecute you. It is not at this stage in the history of this country that we will repeat IPOB in Yoruba land. Opportunity beacons at us. We cannot afford to throw away that opportunity.
“We must work to ensure that there is power shift. The opportunity for presidency to come to the south, especially the Southwest, is around the corner. We will not sit down and support anyone clamouring for Oodua nation. We will not support it. We have fought for this with everything we had. Nigeria will be good.
“The security agencies will checkmate these unscrupulous enemies embarking on such frivolous activities. We have responsibilities now to soberly reflect on the plight of those who have laid down their lives and those who are still laying down their lives for the unity and peace of this country.”
According to the governor, the current daring posture of the enemies of the country, which has cost the nation the lives of many of our gallant soldiers, is highly condemnable. He stressed that the sustained effort of the officers and men of the military had greatly checkmated the threat by the unscrupulous elements.
“Without the sacrifice and commitment of these officers and men of the Armed Forces, it would have been a matter of time before the whole country is overrun.
“The month-long armed forces remembrance day celebration is, therefore, a golden opportunity for government and the society at large to empathise and associate with widows and relations of our fallen heroes, especially those that were cut down in their prime.
“The onus is on us to soberly reflect on the plight of these categories of people and resolve to ensure that they live socially acceptable lives. It should be noted that the major reason for the Emblem Appeal Fund is to provide financial and material support to families of the fallen heroes as well as veterans who survived various military operations with some sustaining varying degrees of injuries that had rendered them incapacitated.
“There is nothing too good or too much that we can offer that could replace the precious lives lost or remedy the deprivations and untold hardship suffered by the dependants of these heroes. We must, however, at all times and at every opportunity, give our financial and moral support so that those still alive and serving will be encouraged to give their best in the service of our dear fatherland,” the governor added.
Governor Akeredolu enjoined all local government councils to celebrate the 2023 Armed Forces Remembrance Day by purchasing and selling the emblems and equally donating generously to the cause.