The Muslim Ummah of Southwest Nigeria (MUSWEN) has reacted to the proposal of a sectarian Oduduwa Republic by some Yoruba figures, noting that it is ill-timed and unprofitably anachronistic.
The umbrella body of all Muslims and Muslim Organisations in Southwest Nigeria strongly rejected the move, saying that its rejection becomes necessary due to the foraging apprehension and threat to regional peace.
In a statement jointly signed by its Executive Secretary/CEO, Prof. Muslih Tayo Yahya and Media Consultant, Alhaji Femi Abbas, a copy of which was received by Muslim News, the Islamic body wrote, “The attention of the Muslim Ummah of Southwest 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 execution of that plan, according to the 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 rumoured for quite some time, MUSWEN chose to ignore it, not only to avoid reacting to frivolous and unfounded rumour, but also to prevent any uncheck-able 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 also made allusions to past events, arguing that the Yorubas are a set of calculative and wise people who have played several Frontline roles in sharing the socio-political sphere of the country through wide consultations with relevant stakeholders.
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Ibadan, 30 September, 2020
MUSWEN’S REACTION TO ALLEGED PROPOSAL OF ‘ODUDUWA REPUBLIC’
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 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 rumoured 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.
It is an undeniable historical fact that 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, believes 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.
At least, it ought to have been assumed that a tribe to which wisdom is globally ascribed would not want to embark on any serious action of that magnitude without wide consultations based on due process and precautionary measures.
It is a fact historically attested 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. That role, according to archival records, has been fervently acknowledged by Nigerian history.
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.
It is therefore curiously odd that such a tribe that is universally acknowledged as a signpost of wisdom and peace would now choose to be the cause of national disharmony where it can easily midwife peace with its wisdom.
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.
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. And, going by the 21st century political trend globally, today, it should be clear 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.
From all indications, the timing, method and modality of the alleged proposal of ‘Oduduwa Republic’ (if it is true), is tendentiously suspicious especially when virtually all the proponents of that idea are from a particular religion.
Such a move only has the tendency to give an impression that a hidden agenda to establish a theocratic republic, in Yoruba land, with the aim of engendering an unwarranted sectarian war against adherents of a perceived discordant faith is in the front burner waiting execution at an unpredictable cost.
Much as MUSWEN does not want this suspicion to germinate and grow sprouting foliages of fright among the millions of Muslims in the Southwest of Nigeria, the peculiarity of its design, as well as the seeming impunity with which its proponents are going about it may open door for distrust and spark off unpredictable sectarian hostilities within the same tribe.
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 declares 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!
PROF. MUSLIH TAYO YAHYA FAR, FASN
ALH. FEMI ABBAS , MEDIA CONSULTANT
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