Secession: A number of our people are becoming impatient – Gbenga Daniel
Former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel says the lack of equal opportunities in present-day Nigeria is fuelling secessionist agitations in the South-West geopolitical zone.
The APC chieftain emphasised that Yoruba people do not want to secede from Nigeria but explained that nobody wants to feel like second-class citizens in their own country.
However, Daniel said that since the 1999 constitution has been identified as a leading cause of the nation’s challenges, a lot of people in the zone have grown impatient with the delay in amending it to better reflect their aspirations as a people.
Daniel, therefore, called on the authorities to meaningfully engage such people so that “they will be happy”.
“Ordinarily, nobody wants to pull out of Nigeria. I believe very strongly that our people are united in their aspirations.
“I think the difference is the level of expectations and the people you can describe as extremists are doing what they think is the best way to go.
“If our people have a choice and the choice of everybody is to be part of a united Nigeria, where there is equity, there is justice and there is fair play. That for me is the expectation of our people.
“If you look at all our leaders, they are saying the same thing. The Afenifere Leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo was quoted to have said a few days ago that, ‘our people are not looking for secession, but they are looking for a truly federal republic where there is equity, where there is fair play and where there is justice; where everybody has the potential to achieve their aspirations.’
“Legal people have pointed out that the constitution is the problem, and so what moderates are saying is that it should be possible to modify or come up with the people’s constitution. It is what I can call the fundamental.
“However, one must agree that a number of our people are becoming impatient and that is the expression you find in some other people, who feel that it is not going to happen the way they expect it to happen. Then, ‘to your tent O Israel.’
“I do feel that all those people who feel that way, if they are properly engaged by all the people who are supposed to do what they need to do, they will be very happy.
“What everybody is saying is that, ‘we do not want a nation where we will be second class citizens.’ They want a state where they have equal opportunities; where we are treated as human beings. That for me is what everybody appears to be talking about,” Daniel said.