From Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
Yoruba leaders in Kwara State are not of the same mind on the issue of agitation for the Oduduwa Republic being canvassed by some South West leaders.
Some prominent Yoruba leaders in the state said those agitating for a separate sovereign state for the Yoruba should tread cautiously, noting that Nigeria could not afford any form of disintegration now.
Justice Solihu Muhammed told Saturday SUN in Ilorin that the current insecurity situation in the country calls for caution saying that this will cause distraction for the government.
“Our forefather’s fought for unity of Nigeria and would not be happy to see the country disintegrated. The amalgamation of 1914 has come to stay, because it is over 100 years now that we have been living together, so we have come a long way.
“If there are differences, it will be better we sit on a round table to resolve all issues bordering on our existence as a country. We have intermarriages, which have produced children. As such, where do you expect a Yoruba mother who married a Hausa man to stay if the country is divided? Former Vice president Atiku married from Yoruba land. Will he send his wife away?”
Mallam Modibbo Kawu, in his response, said Ilorin is not a Yoruba town and will not go with Oduduwa Republic. He described Ilorin as a multi ethnic settlement and a Muslim town.
“So, as far as Yoruba communities are concerned here in the North, we are not behind the agitation for Oduduwa Republic. The agitators should rule us out of it; we have not had any discussion with anybody about Yoruba secession and therefore we are not supporting it,” he reportedly said adding that they were better off in Nigeria.
But Mr Oni Martins, who said the fear of being in the minority are disturbing the Ilorin from wanting to go with the South West, said out of the Baloguns in Ilorin, about two or three are Yoruba. He said Balogun Alanamu, Ajikobi, and another are Yoruba settlement while the other sub ethnic settlements are in the minority, such as Balogun Fulani and Balogun Gambari.