The B-zone of the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) and the southern zone of NACOMYO have condemned in strong terms the call and agitation for the creation of Oduduwa Republic.
OYOINSIGHT.COM recalls that in the last few weeks, various ethnic groups have called for the secession of Oduduwa Republic from the country. Foremost among these groups are Yoruba World Congress and Yoruba One Voice.
These groups cited various reasons ranging from the high rate of insecurity and unemployment to low level of economic underdevelopment as the main reason why they are making the call. The groups also scheduled October 1st for a rally to amplify their agitations.
However, MSSN and NACOMYO condemned this move at a Press Conference in Ibadan on Tuesday. The Ameer of MSSN B-zone, Ameer Qaseem Odedeji, who addressed members of the press at the conference maintained that the call does not represent the interest of Yoruba Muslims noting that the agitation is not only unwarranted and uncalled for, it is also ill-motivated and devilish.
He said, “The secessionist groups have not only chosen a name for their proposed republic, they have also designed its currency which has been paraded on social media. In order to gain a global attention for their agitation, Yoruba World Congress has planned a rally to be held on the 1st day of October, the Nigeria Independence Day. It is a good development that many other Yoruba groups and some eminent personalities in Yorubaland have dissociated themselves from secessionists agenda and their planned October 1 rally.
“We however, to make our voice louder and speak in one voice, as the major Muslim Youths of Yoruba extraction, condemn in stronger term any agitation for secession or creation of Oduduwa Republic. It is our considered view that the agitation is not only unwarranted and uncalled for, it is also ill-motivated and devilish. It is a call for war and bloodshed and we, as critical stakeholders will not allow individuals or group of people acting in their own selfish and parochial interest, to drag us into unnecessary war.
“It becomes more worrisome and the need for our intervention when the secessionists, in their cunning way of claiming support of Muslims suddenly gave birth to a “Yoruba Jamatru Islam” a faceless group existing only in the imagination of their fake sponsors.
Odedeji while speaking further added that any Muslim who understands Islam will not fight based on ethnicity.
“Any Muslim who understands what Islam means will not support that agitation. The Holy Prophet (SAW) said that he is not part of us who fights on the basis of ethnicsm. He is not part of us who dies on the basis of ethnicsm.
“In Oyo state, Lagos, Osun, Ogun, Ondo and Ekiti, are our leaders Hausa or Igbo. Is Oyo state better governed, is Osun, Ekiti and other states in the South West better governed? It is some people who are looking for money to eat they are calling for Oduduwa republic. Are we the only group in Nigeria, is Nigeria for only three ethnic groups. If anyone is claiming to be marginalized, it should not be Yoruba.
“Gentlemen of the press, we, like many other Nigerians, are worried and concerned that Nigeria as a nation despite its endowment with human and natural resources, has become beset of poverty and insecurity as evidenced by acts of terrorism, kidnapping, banditry, thuggery, cultism, ritual killing in all parts of the country, we however, do not believe that secession is the answer to our multi-facet problems. Rather, it is capable of throwing the nation into another round of war and bloodshed as the experience of such agitation as recorded in the agitation for sovereign state of Biafra, Soviet Union/Russia and recently the Sudan experience is nothing to write home about. It has always been a bad tale.
“Gentlemen of the press, when we are also not oblivious of the constitutional right to freedom of expression, we also believe it is clearly wrong to speak on behalf of the entire Yoruba people on such a serious issue like secession without the consent and approval of critical stakeholders that our organisations represent.
“We appeal to all Nigerians to put all hands on deck towards ensuring development of one Nigeria. Nations are built on visions, ideals and values while peace is the most desired by us all as violence is too expensive to pay its due. Finally, we call on all Nigerians especially our respected Yoruba brothers and sisters to shun any rally in the name of Oduduwa Republic”.
Another stakeholder who spoke at the event, Barrister Waheed Lawal of the Political Awareness Group echoed the stand of the organizations.
“The position of the Muslims in the southwest particularly Oyo State is that we are not in support of Oduduwa Republic.
“The fact is simple, by virtue of our state as Muslims, we are not expected to fight in the cause of ethnicity and tribalism. The prophet that we follow was recorded to have said whoever fights in the cause ethnicity, tribalism, racism and die in the fight for these causes is not a Muslim.
“We agree that things are not going as expected but we are supposed to sit down and find a solution to these problems because they are man-made and we can resolve them if we decide.
“We Muslims are important part of the Yoruba race and our leaders have told us that nobody has ever invited us to or any of our umbrella bodies to discuss the development of Yoruba and as such, it will be hard to discuss the development of Yoruba without these set of people,” he said.
Speaking further he argued that the current constitutional framework of the country means there must be war before any part can secede.
“Generally, there are two procedures to break out of a state, we have refenredum whch must be expressly provided for by the country and in Nigeria the constitution does not.
“The second one is by war, by violence. So when the first one is not provided for automatically any attempt to do so will be by the second one. So when you now go out agitatng for Oduduwa Republic that means you are calling of war and we are not in support of war,” he added.
Reacting to questions from OYOINSIGHT correspondent about what the stand of the Islamic group is regarding the notion that the country is a “forced marriage”, the MSSN Ameer maintained even within members of the Yoruba ethnic group, various conflicts have existed for years.