Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife, has said the Yoruba nation agitators are demanding for fairness in the country and that he would not blame them for their agitations.
Speaking in a wide-ranging interview, Ogunwusi said the best scenario for Nigeria is to be a united country but noted that when various people, including those in northern Nigeria, are agitating, then there must be an existential problem that must be resolved.
According to the monarch, the complaints of the Yoruba people were not on a large scale when former president Olusegun Obasanjo, himself a Yoruba man, held sway as the country’s president from 1999 to 2007.
He urged the Federal Government to resolve the issues of banditry and insecurity, which he said are the reasons for agitations by the Yoruba nation advocates.
“What are the people agitating for? They are agitating for fairness; they are saying what is sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander. The best bet for us is to have one country, but when people are feeling otherwise, there must be reasons they are agitating,” Ogunwusi told the Punch.
“Fifteen to 20 years ago, was it like that? When Yoruba people were in power, were there agitations? There must be reasons and we all know the reason has to do with banditry and insecurity. Even in the north, some people are also kicking.
“What is important now is for us to adequately separate the grain from the chaff. I am not going to blame the agitators. There must be a reason why they are agitating. I will suggest we talk to them; let’s bring them on board, deliberate with them.”
The first-class traditional ruler also insisted that Nigeria’s corporate existence must be debated, describing it as critical.
He said: “Let’s debate. It is very important for us to debate and debate on our corporate existence, for things to be right. It is very critical. For me, that is my own approach. Even when you go to war, at the end of the day, you must sit down to negotiate. So, why not have the roundtable discussion now? Why not go through that route? Why must you go through hot agitation and try to destroy things? The best approach has always been the peaceful approach.”