A socio-cultural group, the Yoruba for One Nigeria Forum (YONF), has slammed former President Olusegun Obasanjo over his involvement in the trial of Yoruba Nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo better known as Sunday Igboho.
Recall that the former president had travelled to Benin Republic to seek soft landing for Sunday Igboho, and shield the separatist from facing prosecution.
It was also learned that the former President asked the Beninese authorities to grant Igboho asylum, and not to return him to Nigeria.
But in a statement on Monday, signed by its National President, Seun Adebayo Lawal, the Yoruba group asked Obasanjo to clear his name over the report.
The group noted that the former President is a beneficiary of a united Nigeria, and should not be seen supporting Sunday Igboho, who is bent on breaking up the country.
It asked Obasanjo to utilise his international contacts in creating a sustainable and united Nigeria, which would benefit the Nigerian State and its people.
The statement reads, “The attention of our organisation has been drawn to media reports that former President Olusegun Obasanjo has embarked on a mission in Benin Republic to shield Sunday Adeyemo popularly known as Igboho, who is currently facing multiple criminal charges in the country and on DSS wanted list in Nigeria from being prosecuted. Recall that the self-styled violent agitator has been on the run following his invitation by the Department of State Services (DSS).
While we hope that this unpatriotic move is not true, we expect the former President to issue a clear statement on the allegations to inform Nigerians of his position. This is important because of the imminent misconceptions his silence is generating on this matter. It is our position as a native Yoruba indigenous organisation that the alleged move by Obasanjo needs to be censored so as to set records straight for posterity and history.
The Nigerian history, in its present form has recorded the Yoruba nation as the greatest beneficiaries of Nigeria’s unity since independence. Ironically former President Olusegun Obasanjo is a Yoruba man who has benefited the most from whatever gains Nigeria made of her unity. Obasanjo is the only Nigerian of pure Yoruba descent who has ever ruled this country under the military and civilian dispensations.
“What more could Nigeria have offered to him or the Yoruba nation? What dues were deserving of the Yoruba nation that Obasanjo could not make up during his time as Head of State and President?
“He does not need to be reminded of the role Nigeria’s unity played in his rise, both as a military and civilian President thus, the least he owes this nation is to preach peace, promote and advocate for a one united and indissoluble Nigeria.
“If Obasanjo is desirous of creating a sustainable and one united Nigeria, he should utilise his international contacts in the overall benefit of the Nigerian State and its people.
“Any attempt by Obasanjo or any group to scuttle legitimate efforts by the Nigerian government to ensure that Igboho faces justice would not be forgiven by patriotic Nigerians.
“The resistance of such moves, no matter how clandestine will be equally resisted by the Nigerian people.
The group added that “as a Yoruba indigenous group, we will not look the other way when those who have exploited the most of Nigeria’s unity turn to sabotage government peace efforts.
“We call on former President Olusegun Obasanjo to utilise his international privileges to champion the unity of this country. After all, he got those privileges from the benevolence of Nigeria’s unity.
“It is perhaps too late for any individual in the echelon of former President Olusegun Obasanjo to contemplate a divided Nigeria at this moment.
“We must therefore make this Clarion call to all Yoruba indigenous people to show solidarity with the Nigerian government to achieve the long-desired hope of one Nigeria built on unity, peace and progress.”