Yoruba political activist Sunday “Igboho” Adeyemo has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of nepotistic practices of favouring people of his Fulani stock for key federal portfolios.
Mr. Adeyemo said at a press conference in Ibadan on Wednesday that the Yorubas chose “a wrong leader” who only considers Fulani in key positions.
A video clip of Mr. Adeyemo’s press briefing was published by Lagos-based P.M. News on Wednesday afternoon.
Mr. Adeyemo said all critical federal agencies, especially the Tin Can Ports in Apapa and other maritime infrastructure, are controlled by elements from Mr. Buhari’s northern region.
The president has been warned repeatedly to desist from his clearly sectional agenda of packing federal agencies with people of his region.
National voices including Wole Soyinka and Matthew Kukah have also warned separately and repeatedly that Mr. Buhari’s partisanship could further worsen the country’s fragile cohesion as it would inflame ethnic and religious sentiments.
The president, however, ignored the warnings, saying he would not be lectured on how to govern the country.
The administration’s disregard for ethnic and religious balance in federal appointments has left several separatist groups rising up across the country.
On the East, Nnamdi Kanu has been leading a secession on the back of raw sentiments against Mr. Buhari’s nepotism.
Recently, Mr. Adeyemo and Asari Dokubo, both key voices in southern Nigeria, have started asking their respective ethnic groups to prepare for secession from Nigeria’s constitutional republic.
At his press briefing on this afternoon, Mr. Igboho said the Yorubas cannot be slaves in their own land, agitating for an exit because they “are no longer interested in being part of Nigeria.”
Mr. Adeyemo gained media fame when several weeks ago he gave Fulani herdsmen a seven-day ultimatum to vacate Oyo, a campaign he later expanded to cover the entire Yorubaland.
Speaking in the Yoruba language, he said “Why are we being slaves in our fathers’ land,why are we being enslaved in our own land? The people that call themselves senators and leaders will be going in traffic and see four and five year olds selling popcorn and puff-puff and they will buy and eat, have you seen that they are not worthy to be called leaders, therefore we reject them as leaders.
“The Yorubas that are everywhere are larger than most countries,” he said, just as he called on “the global community and United Nations to come and separate us, we are no longer interested in being part of Nigeria.”
Threatening that the non-separation of the zone from Nigeria may lead to war, the activist said that the UN needs to intervene, noting that “As it stands now, we are no longer under Nigeria. If they don’t intervene, it will go beyond control.
“We have gone beyond the point where we keep quiet, we are no longer scared to voice out,” he said.
He had accused the Fulani herdsmen in Oyo of perpetrating crimes such as abduction, rape and deadly attacks.
“We are not safe anywhere, we can’t sleep in peace, we can’t travel in peace, what have we done? Are we slaves?
“We don’t do wrong by existing, we only chose wrong leaders and we are saying enough is enough! Tin Can in Lagos, Apapa, the directors are Fulani,” he said.
He emphasised Mr. Buhari’s nepotism in favour his cronies and tribesmen, saying “the two ports we have, the controllers are Fulanis we don’t want them anymore! Seme borders we don’t want Fulanis there anymore.”
Mr. Igboho also threatened to open borders shut by the current administration, just as he reiterated that the “Yorubas are no longer interested in being part of Nigeria!”
“Whatever you want to do to us, we are ready! I’m talking to Yoruba indigenes! You can stand aside and say there is no unity among us, but touch a single Yoruba man, you will see that we are united.
“All our Kings are solidly behind us, any of them that want to deny is should make a press conference, let’s see He won’t see the light of the next day,” he said.
He further advised Yorubas residing in the north to “find your way back home. Start coming home, it is time!
“We have suffered enough, let’s not fight among each other, let’s unite for a common cause, it is time to come home. That’s all I have to say,” he said.
Mr. Adeyemo’s call mirrored widespread sentiments over Mr. Buhari’s failure to see Nigeria as an entity.
Abubakar Dangiwa Umar, a former governor of Kaduna, in an open letter to the president in 2020, said: “Nowhere is this more glaring than in the leadership cadre of our security services.