Southwest APC leaders denounce secession agitation, backs Asaba declaration
Written by Taiwo Adediran on May 24, 2021
Southwest leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, on Sunday rose from an emergency meeting to denounce separatist agitation by some groups in parts of the country.
They also endorsed the ‘Asaba Declaration’ by Southern governors, particularly the ban on open grazing, which they said would lessen the farmers-herders conflicts.
National leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu convened the meeting held at the State House, Marina, Lagos.
At the meeting hosted by Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu were his Ogun and Osun states counterparts, Prince Dapo Abiodun and Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola; House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila; APC National Leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former APC Interim National Chairman and Convener of the meeting, Chief Bisi Akande, former Ogun State Governor Olusegun Osoba and an APC chieftain, Chief Pius Akinyelure.
Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and his Ekiti State counterpart, Dr Kayode Fayemi, who sent their apologies, were represented by Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Adeniyi Adebayo.
Former Chief of Defence Staff, elderststesman Gen. Alani Akinrinade also attended the meeting.
Akande, former governor of Osun State, who read the nine-point resolution, said the meeting was characterised by open and frank discussions on the difficulties facing the country.
Rising from the three-hour meeting, the party leaders reiterated their belief in the unity, stability and sustainability of the country and urged the individuals, groups and associations behind the clamour for secession and hate speeches to pull the brake.
They asked public office holders to desist from making inflammatory statements capable of heating up the polity.
In the Southwest and Southeast, separatist agitators have been on the prowl, calling for the break up or dissolution of the Nigerian union.
Although, the political class and traditional institution in Yorubaland have never lent support for the agitations, the agitators have not relented.
They have been holding rallies across the states. The last one was in Akure at the weekend.
In the Southeast, the agitations have found expression in the various attacks on police stations and killing of policemen.
Although the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), led by Nnamdi Kanu, has insisted on secession by the region, it has not claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Objecting to the campaigns for disintegration, Southwest APC leaders advised the agitators to desist from the project.
They said: “We express our strong opposition to separatist agitations and hate speeches. While urging those indulging in such to desist forthwith, are renew our belief in the unity, stability and sustainability of the country.”
They also observed that terrorism and violent criminality were threatening many areas and adversely affecting the lives and livelihoods of many innocent and peace-loving Nigerians.
Acknowledging the financial constraints facing the nation, they urged the Federal Government to make necessary expenditures and allocate sufficient resources to enable the military and security agencies to tackle the security challenges the country.
The leaders also called for a unity of purpose and action in a bid to resolve the mounting challenges.
They said why the desire for peace and the chance for a prosperous and just society is universal and transcends all regional, religious or ethnic divisions, many public figures have made statements that sparked division and undermine the unity of purpose.
Urging governments, security agencies, and public leaders to prevent tension and sustain the necessary unity to defeat security challenges, they enjoined Nigerians to speak and act in a manner that strengthens the common cause against the threats to collective peace, justice and development.
They added:”We restate our abhorrence of violence as a means to achieve either political or economic power and influence.
“We strongly condemn violence of any form in any part of the country, regardless of ethnic or regional identity of the perpetrators of the violence or of the victims.
“Government must do all it can to protect potential victims and to assist those who have previously been victimized by terrorism or widespread banditry.”
Reiterating their call for true federalism and state police, the leaders said: “We hold to the view that true federalism where more power and resources are allocated to the states will be an essential part in strengthening society and improving democratic governance so that we beat the present challenges but also engender durable peace and security.
“True federalism and the reallocation of resources and authority that comes with it will empower the states to solve localized issues before they spread and transform into national ones.