A foremost legal luminary and founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola (SAN), has urged the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, to use his vantage position to rally round other traditional rulers in the country to support restructuring as the only solution to separatist agitation in Nigeria.
Babalola, who spoke during a courtesy visit to the Ooni in his palace at Ile-Ife, said: “I want to plead with your imperial majesty to use your vantage position to galvanise other Yoruba Obas and Leaders of Thought to join other counterparts in other parts of the country to actualise the restructuring of the country. That is sure end to agitation of separation.
He, however, blamed the agitation on the “quassi unitary constitution foisted on us by the military government.” The founder of ABUAD, who was accompanied by his wife, Yeye Aare Modupe; the Ogunsua of Modakeke, Oba Francis Adedoyin; his chiefs and senior management members of staff of ABUAD led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Michael Ajisafe, said he specifically visited the palace in the company of Oba Ogunsua and a retinue of Modakeke chiefs to celebrate the peace that is existing in the town after the crisis that saw many killed and property razed.
Meanwhile, a group, South-South Patriots (SSP), has disassociated the people of South-South from Biafra agitation, saying what the country needs now is total restructuring.
At a one-day executive meeting in Calabar yesterday, the group said: “The territories of South-South are not part of Igbo agitation and self-determination of a country called Biafra.”
In a 12 point communique signed by the leader of the group, Mr. Kingsley Ndedu; the Secretary, Mr. Joseph Udoh; Chief Mobilisation Officer, Mr. Aigberemhon Moses and three others said: “It is on the record that in 1966, the Igbo derailed the first democratically-elected government through a coup led by Chukwuma Kaduna Ezeogwu in an attempt to suppress Nigeria and Nigerians. The Igbo domineering tendencies they attempted on Nigeria in 1966 that could not be achieved is now tilted towards the South-South geo-political zone, which is totally not acceptable.
“Self-determination can actually be achieved in two ways mainly; peaceful means, through referendum and war, which is the most painful with loss of lives. Eritrea achieved theirs through war.
In the case of Southern Sudan, the country has seen no peace after the peaceful separation from North, as the country is now in civil war.
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A legal luminary and the founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola, SAN has charged the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja 11 to extend his peace and unity advocacy to other parts of Nigeria.
He also said the only solution to solve the country’s multi-various problems is to restructure the nation along all the ethnic nationalities.
Restructuring Chief Babalola spoke yesterday in Ife against the backdrop of hate speeches and quit notice issued by Northern youths to the indigenes of South East, resident in the North, According to him, Ooni’s intervention become imperative, with a view to protecting Nigeria’s unity and corporate existence.
He said drastic measure must be taken by the Ooni as the leading monarch in Yorubaland to galvanize peace and tranquillity in the country. Chief Babalola, who spoke during a courtesy visit on Oba Ogunwusi in his Ile-Ife palace before he proceeded to Obafemi Awolowo University where he delivered lecture said taking the challenge to meet with relevant stakeholders in the North and East would go a long way in dousing the tension generated by the quit notice issued to Igbos in the North.
He described the threats over the quit notice as parts of the failure on the part of government to accede to clamour for the restructuring of the country. His words: “I have been an advocate of restructuring of the country for decades.
I am happy many leaders in the North, the South South, the East and West are now asking for restructuring of the country, which will no doubt bring about self determination, rapid development, employment and safety of lives and property.
“Since the air of self determination is almost everywhere, in the North, East and West, I want to plead with your Imperial Majesty to use your vantage position to galvanize other Obas and leaders of thoughts to join their counterparts in other parts of the country to actualise the restructuring of the country”, Babalola remarked. “I want to specifically commend Ooni’s effort and at preaching peace and unity first among Obas od Yorubaland and secondly among all the tribes in Nigeria.
This search for peace and unity has seen you visiting Oyo Alaafin and embracing the Alaafin, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi 111, on January 17, 2016, the first of such in 79 years, thus thawing the near four decades of thick and foggy ice of impasse between the two powerful and leading thrones in Yorubaland.” Babalola stated further that “I was in this palace 27 years ago. What I came for then was different.
At that time, there was war between Ife and Modakeke. The people of Modakeke hired me as lawyer, but we later came back to a round-table to resolve the internal crisis.”
He recalled that he visited the Ooni palace 27years ago during the war between Ife/Modakeke communal war adding that; “Today Modakeke and Ife people are now one. No more war between the two communities as there is inter marriage between their sons and daughters.”
In his remark, Oba Ogunwusi said he had started plans to visit other parts of the nation to preach unity and peaceful co-existence among all tribes in Nigeria, stressing that the country cannot afford to fight another civil war.