The Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria has condemned the plan by a group of Yoruba people to secede from the Federal Republic of Nigeria and create an Odùduwà Republic.
MUSWEN’s reaction was contained in a statement signed by its Media Consultant, Alhaji Femi Abbas and Alh Femi Abbas MUSWEN Media Consultant and Prof. Muslih Tayo Yahya, the Executive Secretary /CEO, on Wednesday September 30, 2020.
“The attention of the Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN), has been drawn to an alleged plan, by a group of Yoruba people from the Southwest of Nigeria, to secede from the Federal Republic of Nigeria and declare a separate nation to be named ‘Oduduwa Republic’,” the statement reads.
The statement notes that the execution of that plan, according to information reaching MUSWEN, from certain quarters in the region, is scheduled to commence with a rally on October 1, 2020.
“Although this allegation has been rumored for quite some time, MUSWEN had chosen to ignore it, not only to avoid reacting to frivolous and unfounded rumour, but also to prevent any uncheckable reaction that could heighten unnecessary tension in the region.
“However, with the current foraging apprehension being furiously generated by that seemingly sectarian agenda which is threatening the peace of the region psychologically and spiritually, MUSWEN became forced to come up with a statement of caution if only to calm down some agitatedly charged nerves within the Ummah.
The statement adds that the Yoruba people are wiser and much more calculative than “to want to put the cart before the horse in a situation that requires a very deep thought and clear foresight.”
MUSWEN, the apex body of all the Muslim Communities/Councils and Organizations with demographic majority in the region, maintained that if any such alleged move to rebel against the Federal Republic of Nigeria, were true, at all, it could not have been initiated by a particular group with an exclusively peculiar agenda.
It further explains that Yoruba would not want to embark on any serious action of that magnitude without wide consultations based on due process and precautionary measures.
MUSWEN asserted that from the time of colonial rule, the Yoruba people of the Southwest region of Nigeria have been playing a front line role in making Nigeria the champion of the course of the black race globally, through legal means.
“It is also on record that the wisdom of Yoruba people, as accentuated by the reality of today, was mostly responsible for facilitating Nigeria’s return to democracy, about two decades ago (1999).
“At least it can still be recalled that after a long time of military rule that climaxed in a threat of disintegration precipitated by the notorious annulment of June 12, 1993 Presidential election which made the winner of that election, Chief MKO Abiola, a sacrificial lamb for the country’s democracy, it was the same Yoruba people, with their wisdom, that paved the way to the achievement of the fourth republic.
“A part of the uniqueness of that wisdom is the exemplary religious harmony that has subsisted for centuries and made the Southwest region of Nigeria a model of interreligious coexistence in Nigeria,” MUSWEN said in a statement.
“Nigeria as a country did not come into existence by mere fortuity or by the whim of any particular clique with a hidden agenda.
“Historically, it took series of constitutional negotiations, based on patience, tolerance and remarkable endurance in the 1950s, to make Nigeria a foremost independent African country that is now globally respected in the comity of nations. And, the Yoruba ethnic group was in the forefront of that process which still remains the foundation of Nigeria as a country till date,” it added.
It said if any idea of getting a country like Nigeria disintegrated can be seen as a political fashion at any time, this, is, surely, not the time.
It stressed that employing rebellion as the means of achieving any political agenda that may be devoid of peace and tranquility has become unprofitably anachronistic.
“Besides, it is quite unfathomable that a reputably educated tribe like Yoruba of the Southwest of Nigeria will ever want to toy with such a crude method of imitating a failed rebellion that once subjugated another tribe, without considering its entailed repercussion for today and tomorrow.
“MUSWEN thinks that there are better options of righting any perceived wrong than to throw a troubled pebble into a pacific brook as a way of compounding the restive situation in which Nigeria finds herself today.
“If this kind of proposal had been embarked upon, exclusively, by Muslims in the region, the usual noise of ‘islamization’ would have uncontrollably throbbed the media waves by now.
“It is easy to initiate the beginning of war and trumpet its sadistic lyrics, but what may eventually be the end of such a war is quite beyond the predictability of any individual or group.
“As the apex body of millions of Muslims who love and adhere tenaciously to the chord of peace, MUSWEN would rather admonish against any clandestine action that can snowball into disharmony as now being planned by some groups, who are desperately propelling their own docket to the detriment of others.
Based on the above highlighted facts, therefore, MUSWEN hereby declared that the Muslims of the Southwest of Nigeria reject any idea of ‘Oduduwa Republic’ or any other act that may amount to secession from the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“If there are any national issues that require resolution, in Nigeria, at this time, the only path to tread is that of dialogue.
“Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!” the statement concludes.