The National Council of Muslim Youth Organisations (NACOMYO) and the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria ( MSSN) in Southern Nigeria have dissociated themselves from the agitation of secession and creation of Oduduwa Republic by some Yoruba ethnic groups.
The two bodies, which represent the entire Muslim Youths and Students in Oyo, Ogun, Ondo,Lagos, Ekiti, Osun and Yoruba parts of Edo and Delta States, stated this in a press conference held on Tuesday in Ibadan.
Speaking on behalf of the two bodies, the Amir of MSSN B Zone , Barrister Qoasim Odedeji, said the call for secession and creation of Yoruba Republic by Yoruba World Congress (YWC) ,led by Prof. Banji Akinloye, was ill-motivated and devilish.
Barrister Odedeji said the agitation by the so called Yoruba group was a call for war and bloodshed and the Muslim organisations would not allow individuals or group of people acting in their own selfish interest to drag the Muslims into war.
” It becomes 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.
” 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 but we do not believe that secession is the answer to our multi-facet problems.
“This agitation is capable of throwing the nation into another round of war and bloodshed as experience in agitation for sovereign state of Biafra , Soviet Union and recently Sudan experience among others,” Barrister Odedeji said.
He said it was wrong for the Yoruba World Congress to speak on behalf of the entire Yoruba people on such a serious issue like secession without the consent and approval of critical stakeholders.
“We on behalf of the entire Muslim Students and Youths of Yorubaland state that there is strength in togetherness, we believe in Nigeria and say no to secession, no to Yoruba Republic,” Barrister Odedeji said.
He appealed to Nigerians to work towards ensuring development of one Nigeria, adding that nations are built on visions, ideals and values.
The Muslim leader called on Nigerians especially the Yoruba brothers and sisters to shun the planned rally slated for October 1 by the Yoruba group in the name of Oduduwa Republic.
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”.
“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 that are calling for Oduduwa Republic. Are we the only group in Nigeria?”
“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”.
Also speaking, Legal Adviser, Political Awareness Group, PAG, Barrister Abdul Waheed Awwal said the position of the Muslims in the South West was that they are not in support of the establishment of Oduduwa Republic.
Barrister Awwal said Islam forbids the Muslims to fight in the context of ethnicity or tribalism.
“The Prophet Muhammed says whoever fight and die on the basis of ethnicity or tribalism is not a Muslim, so we don’t want to lose our faith.
” We agree that there are challenges in Nigeria and this should not be resolved by war ,we have to sit down and resolve it,” Barrister Lawal said.
In a remark, National Secretary- General of NACOMYO, Alhaji Masud Akintola decried the level of marginalisation of Muslims by governments in the Southwest in terms of appointments and other benefits.