Yinka Odumakin. credit: the interview

Spokesperson for Yoruba sociocultural group, Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin has said President Muhammadu Buhari is no longer portentous about running a Northern government.

Odumakin who took exception to the president sending key officials of his government to a meeting of Northern governors in Kaduna on Monday during which they called for regulation of social media, said the recommendations of the meeting was provocative as according to him, it is unacceptable to sit at a sectional meeting and dictate to the whole country.

“It is provoking. How can you go and sit down as a sectional group and say you are setting up committees, and you are talking about federal executive council,” Odumakin said while appearing as a guest on Channels TV Sunrise Daily on Thursday.

“Are we running a government of the North or a government of Nigeria? Are the rest of us serfs in the country? If you have respect for us, if you are treating us as fellow Nigerians, you won’t do that.

“You know it’s very easy to take undue advantages, sit on the neck of others and say Nigeria is indivisible. But the moment things are not going your way, you say oh, Araba (let’s separate), making all kinds of provocative statements. We were not born last night. And I think also it’s time for the president to think. How can you say that you are the president of united Nigeria, but you allow your chief of staff, the IG, all the top Northerners in government, to go and sit at a sectional meeting?

“I remember in 1999, we invited President (Olusegun) Obasanjo to an Afenifere meeting in Surulere, in the house of late Pa Adesanya. Obasanjo came to that meeting, but when he came, the first three people that arrived were Fulani.

“Perhaps he was trying to show that he was not coming to plot against Nigeria. That’s why he came that way. But for you as president to sit in Abuja and allow your top officials to go and sit in a sectional meeting, and you come out to say that the unity of Nigeria was won at great cost. It is conquest you are talking about. You are behaving as if you have conquered the rest of us, and you are now saying that that conquest which you pass off as unity must stay.”

Odumakin said the Buhari government and the North don’t see the rest of Nigeria as equal partners in the Nigerian project.

According to him, it was unfortunate that during the EndSARS protest that rocked the country recently, the region was only concerned about ‘regime change’ which the protest was never about.

“They don’t see the rest of us as equal. It’s only when they need something around the revenue, or for the rest of the people to carry brooms with them, that’s when they think they need others. But when they get power, it is their power. You can see that during the EndSARS protests, all that they were concerned about was regime change; that they want to take our power. What does that mean? That’s the fundamental issue in this country,” he said.

According to Odumakin, “It is so clear that today, the government that we have does not pretend that it’s a Northern government. Look at the security sector, we have been talking about it all these years. You have a situation where the Chief of Army Staff, the IG of police, and so all are coming from the core North. Look at the critical sectors, you have positioned your own people. We say we have character, is that federal character that we have been running?”


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