Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State on Sunday, May 23, denied supporting agitators for the secession of the Southwest from Nigeria, saying he only believed in the rule of law.
He also noted that the fact that he didn’t prevent the rally; which held in Akure, the Ondo State capital, on Saturday, didn’t mean he gave them support.
This was in reaction to the claim by one of the leaders of the groups, Sunday Igboho; calling for the secession of the Yoruba from Nigeria, Ilana Omo Oodua; that all governors in the Southwest likewise supported their agitations.
A statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde, stated that “It has come to the knowledge of the Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, that some group of persons who held a rally under the cover of what they term ‘secessionist agitations’ in Akure, on Saturday, May 22, 2021, erroneously claimed to have had his support for the rally.
“Governor Akeredolu wishes to state clearly that while he acknowledges the right of individuals and groups to hold peaceful rallies, it must not be misconstrued to mean support for secessionist agenda; and or balkanization of the nation. Far from it.
“Unequivocally, the Governor’s opinion on the Akure rally or any other of its ilk; is only to the effect that he is not opposed to any civil protest which is not in breach of the extant laws of the Nation.
“He neither believes nor supports the quest for the Yoruba Nation outside of Nigeria in the manner canvassed. Governor Akeredolu stands by a virile, united, and indivisible Nigeria; as demanded by the Southern Governors’ Forum.
“Therefore, the vigour, zeal, leadership and candour displayed by Governor Akeredolu for a just and fair Nigeria is altruistic; and borne out of patriotism for the Nation as well as love for his people, the Yoruba ethnic nationality.
“It is important, therefore, to state without any equivocation; that the Yoruba Nation secessionist promoters do not enjoy any lending hand in Governor Akeredolu.”