Review of 1914 Amalgamation of Nigeria is Long Overdue, Says OPCI


Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
The National President of a pan Yoruba socio cultural group, Oodua Progressive Care Initiative (OPCI), Maruf Olanrewaju, yesterday disclosed that unless Nigeria embraces the principle of restructuring, the current spate of killings in some parts of the country and other various issues facing the country would not abate.

He said the forceful marriage of 1914 between the northern and southern protectorate of the country is long overdue and the people cannot continue to live together by force.

Olarenwaju disclosed this in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, during the formal launch of the group in state Cultural Centre, Ilorin.
According to him, “Any step taken to remedy the spate of killings and other various challenges facing the country in the absence of a concrete restructuring will amount to exercise in futility.”
He lamented that Nigeria today is being ruled by incompetent people who prefer to sit tight in office even when there are weighty allegations against them.

Olarenwaju said: “The killings of innocent people will continue in Nigeria until those in authority listen to our call, and our call is for restructuring-it is overdue.
“Anything apart from restructuring is a waste of time. Earlier, we had Boko Haram, and they were saying they want to islamise their area. If that is the case, instead of wasting innocent souls, let’s sit down at the table and discuss the way out.

“Just recently, we heard of IPOB. They also want to pull out. If that is the case, let’s sit down and discuss the way forward. The forceful marriage of 1914 is overdue; we can’t continue to live together by force. If we sit down round the table and get restructured, every state will be able to develop at its own pace; have its own police, monitor its citizens and control its recourse.”

He added: “We entrusted incompetent people with sensitive position, and we are praying for miracle.  Most of our so called leaders today have failed to understand what the people want, and even if they understand, they have failed to make it happen.

“Until every individual knows his or her right, understand our community culture and become honest with ourselves, that is when we can expect change. Nigeria’s challenges can’t be solved over night because it is long and complex. But restructuring will resolve it for us.”
The OPIC leader also condemned the recent call by National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomole, asking former President Olusegun Obasanjo to account for some projects undertaken during his regime.

Olanrewaju argued that such call was not only condemnable but also beyond Oshiomole to make.

According to him, “It’s an insult of the highest order. I also read it. I don’t want to delve into how he became chairman but he is too young to utter such statement. In Yoruba land, we have respect for age and even if Obasanjo has questions to answer on his administration, it should come from the EFCC or ICPC, not Oshiomole.”