Bode George’s “Why Tinubu should revisit the 2014 confab report”

Apr 22, 2024 | Politics | 0 comments

Is the concern for the Yoruba right now secession from Nigeria, and where does this come from as a Yoruba elder statesman?

I wish our nation well. When one of my political sons in Oyo State sent me a clip, I thought it was a scene from a Nollywood movie. But when I listened to the comments made by the lady dressed in white and the one talking, I knew something terrible had gone amiss. It is part of the teaching of civics and history in schools. You don’t just incite people to take up arms against your government. It is treason, and they were even fortunate to have called Amotekun first before the police arrived.

If it had been people from my profession who saw them as enemies, they would have fired at them. I was very angry because that is not the way you communicate with your government. It is the government of the people, by the people, for the people. The lady who was talking about secession comes from a well-known family in the western part of this country. So, what could have driven them to that point? You are not in the country, and you are declaring the freedom of Yoruba. I thought it was a joke and a bad dream.

The Attorney General of the Federation is from Oyo State, and the President of Nigeria today is also from the South-West. So, what on earth could have driven them to do that? My conclusion is that they are not that educated, but when you listen to them, I know the Onitiri family very well. The second son of the former politician was my classmate in secondary school. So, listening to that and hearing what she is saying, you don’t take up arms against your nation.

Let her come back home because these individuals who have been arrested are going to be treated like criminals. Well, we pray for them, but it is unimaginable. Were they dreaming? It is unacceptable because it is the highest breaking of the law of the land. You can speak out because you have that freedom of speech, and you can express your opinion, and we have been doing that because that is the most sensible way to approach this problem.

Everybody, including me, knows, as a matter of fact, that the constitution we are running is not working. It is more like a defined paperwork for a military organization. Why should everybody head to Abuja every month to collect their allocations? It is not working. What has the president got to do with my local government, with the local government in Sokoto, or the local government in Bayelsa?

Politics is local, and we want to see that the restructuring everybody has been talking about is the path we should take. But to start taking up arms and shooting people is insanity. I want to plead with everybody that the investigation will go on, and they must get to the end of it. What surprised me was the fact that this attack didn’t leak to our intelligence department. They went in their military uniform, and nobody stopped them on the road.

You see the urgent need for state police because they could have been meeting somewhere before the attack. If we were well organized with state police, they would have picked up and then prevented it, but now they have carried out the attack. I don’t know when they are going to be prosecuted, but for real, it is treasonable, and the consequences for treasonable offenses are very damning.

How could this group of people attack the government house, and where did Mrs. Onitiri’s formation come from?

What happened confirms that we have a personnel shortage in terms of policing and intelligence gathering. What is the total population of the Nigerian police? What is the total population of the intelligence department at the national and state levels? Every political discussion is local, so there is an urgent need to establish state police because state police would be people drawn from the area.

They know the culture and norms, and information gathering would be much faster. Where did they get all the weapons they collected from them? Look at the number of cutlasses in their vehicle. Where did they come from? I’m sure they would be interrogated. There was even a young lady who was part of them, and the woman who was talking, if she truly believed in this concept of the operation, she should head home from her base.

We must find out who organized this, and until they got there, they started shooting with their flag, which attracted the attention of the public. First of all, when we were in primary school, civics and the responsibility of the nation were taught to us as individuals and to our general area. We learned basic things, but now I don’t wonder whether they teach civics or not. I’m sure they don’t teach civics and history. So, how would these young men be able to handle such discussions, and it would only leak to the government in the late hour?

Something is amiss, so we need to revisit ourselves as a country and the programs we have for these children. If they had been taught history, they would have known the consequences. When we had a crisis in Yoruba land between Baba Awolowo and Baba Akintola, everybody knew how we handled it. So, I want to advise that Mr. President should wake up.

Why is it that anybody who needs fame or fortune is so quick to use the issue of secession? I am trying to figure out what the government is doing about educating society. Teach and educate them. History is a subject that educates and strengthens your knowledge about your relationship with your fellow Nigerians. Nothing is happening now that hasn’t happened before. This person would have thought about the consequences, and these are the things the teachers would have taught them in the class.

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