Tinubu, APC South-West Leaders, Govs Reject Yoruba Nation
National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), South-West APC governors and leaders of the party in the zone have rejected calls for the separation of the various ethnic groups in the country.
The South-West APC leaders, at a meeting held in Lagos, on Sunday, instead of separation, called for what they described as ethnic and religious.
At the meeting, hosted by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, were Tinubu, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and former APC interim national chairman Chief Bisi Akande, among other prominent leaders of the party in the zone.
Also present were the governors elected on the platform of the party in the South-West, including Sanwo-Olu and Governors Dapo Abiodun and Gboyega Ibitola of Ogun and Osun states, respectively, while Governors Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti State) and Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (Ondo State) were absent.
The APC leaders were unanimous in rejecting the calls for separation and rather expressed their deep commitment to the unity of the country, adding that secession would not be in the best interest of the nation.
They however also expressed their support for the call for a ban on open grazing in Southern Nigeria, as canvassed recently by southern governors.
A communiqué issued after the meeting read in part: “Concerned about the state of the nation particularly the serious security challenges facing the country, All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders in the South-West met in Lagos on Sunday, 34 May, 2021.
“The meeting was characterised by open and frank discussions of the difficulties now facing Nigeria.
“The leaders commiserate with and condole the President and Commander-in-Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari, the military authorities, families of the Chief of Army Staff and other officers who died, and indeed the entire nation over last Friday’s tragic plane crash in Kaduna.
“They express their strong opposition to separatist agitations and hate speeches. While urging those indulging in such to desist forthwith, they renew their belief in the unity, stability and sustainability of the country.
“We endorse the position of the Southern Governors taken at their 11 May, 2021 summit in Asaba, Delta State, regarding ranching.
“We do so because such a decision will lessen tensions between farmers and herders while also helping the long-term economic viability of both the farming and herding communities.
“We are mindful of the short-term dislocation this might cause but are also mindful that this position is in the best interests of all parties concerned.
“We, therefore, recommend that the federal and state governments cooperate fully with each other to enact the necessary measures to encourage the more effective and modern method of cattle-rearing.
“[This is] so that both farmers and herders can pursue their livelihoods with greater productivity and in a more cooperative relationship that minimises the friction between these two important pillars of our agricultural economy.”
The APC leaders condemned the use of violence to achieve political power or advantage, saying: “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 victimised by terrorism or widespread banditry.”