The Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has again urged agitators for an independent Yoruba Nation to perish the thought.
The governor, who is also the Chairman of South West Governor’s Forum, said South-west states will not allow the agitators to undermine the sacrifices of those who fought to keep Nigeria one.
Mr Akeredolu spoke on Friday at the launching of Emblem Appeal to flag off the 2023 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebrations, held at the State Internal Revenue Service (ODIRS) Hall, Akure, the state capital.
The event also had in attendance the Acting Chief Judge of Ondo State, Olusegun Odusola; members of the State Executive Council led by the Secretary to the State Government, Oladunni Odu; heads of security agencies; representative of the Deji of Akure, legionaires and widows of fallen heroes, among others.
Mr Akeredolu stressed that no sit-at-home order will be tolerated in any state in the South-west.
“Those clamouring for Oodua Nation will not succeed,” the governor said.
“People have not laid down their lives for this country for unscrupulous individuals to scuttle it. This country is very important to some of us.
“We recognise the right of the people to protest or agitate. But if the police feel your actions are treasonable, they will arrest and prosecute you.
“It is not at this stage in the history of this country that we will repeat IPOB in Yoruba land. Opportunity beckons at us. We cannot afford to throw away that opportunity.
“We must work to ensure that there is power shift. The opportunity for presidency to come to the south, especially the South-west, is around the corner.
“We will not sit down and support anyone clamouring for Oodua nation. We will not support it. We have fought for this with everything we had. Nigeria will be good.
“The security agencies will checkmate these unscrupulous enemies embarking on such frivolous activities. We have responsibilities now to soberly reflect on the plight of those who have laid down their lives and those who are still laying down their lives for the unity and peace of this country.”
The governor particularly saluted the selfless and sacrificial services of the “fallen heroes” who had laid down their lives in wars and peacekeeping missions around the world, and those currently serving, day and night, to guarantee the peace and unity of the country.”
He said special recognition and appreciation must be accorded the gallant military men fighting Boko Haram, other terrorists, bandits and insurgents in the North-east, North-west and other parts of the country and who had in the process, paid the supreme sacrifice.
He reassured that his administration would continue to work with governmental, Non-Governmental Organisations, officers and men of the Armed Forces and the Legion to improve the welfare of legionnaires, widows and dependants of departed ones in the state.
The governor equally used the opportunity to appreciate the Nigerian Legion for their steadfastness, perseverance and exemplary conduct as they continue to make meaningful contributions to the growth and development of the country, particularly in the area of security.
“Without the sacrifice and commitment of these officers and men of the Armed Forces, it would have been a matter of time before the whole country is overrun,” he said.
“The month-long Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration is, therefore, a golden opportunity for government and the society at large to empathise and associate with widows and relations of our fallen heroes, especially those that were cut down in their prime.
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“The onus is on us to soberly reflect on the plight of these categories of people and resolve to ensure that they live socially acceptable lives.
“There is nothing too good or too much that we can offer that could replace the precious lives lost or remedy the deprivations and untold hardship suffered by the dependants of these heroes.
“We must, however, at all times and at every opportunity, give our financial and moral support so that those still alive and serving will be encouraged to give their best in the service of our dear fatherland.”
Mr Akeredolu, had over a year ago, declared his stand against the call for Yoruba Nation, for which Sunday (Igboho) Adeyemo, was arrested in Benin Republic while fleeing from the Nigerian government.
The Yoruba self-determination group last week appointed Wale Adeniran as its new leader following the resignation of Banji Akintoye from the position.
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