Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, says those promoting secessionist idea “are on their own”.
He declared this on Monday at the swearing-in ceremony of the new Secretary to the State Government in Akure, the state capital.
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The governor said: “Ondo State remains part and parcel of the entity called Nigeria and no parcel of our land shall be ceded to any succession promoter under any guise.”
According to him, the noise generated by seeming inaction or passive indifference on the part of elected and appointed representatives of the government at all levels appears to be responsible for the growing disaffection in the land.
He said: “Why some have been measured in their reactions to these problems, others have been less diplomatic. It is not uncommon to find groups and individuals purporting to act or speak on behalf of the rest of us.
“While it is the right of citizens to discuss, agitate and even fight to right perceived wrongs, culminating in self-determination, this must be done within known and acceptable parameters.
“All concerned must be ad idem, that is, agree to pursue the same objectives to achieve a desirable or desired end.
“There must be a common platform through which the demands, from the most mundane to the sublime, must be presented.
“There must be a general consensus, articulated and presented after rigorous engagements on the level of intellection as the agendum for action.
“The reasons for the declaration of hostilities must not be fleeting fancies of disaffection engendered by perceived politics of exclusion for personal benefits. Self-determination must be a collective programme of action.
“I state, unequivocally, as the governor of Ondo State, elected by the people to serve them and protect their interests that our people have elected to stay in the Federal Republic of Nigeria as constituted at present.
“We recognise that there are reasons to demand that certain anomalies be put right. We will continue to encourage dialogue as an effective tool in resolving disputes.
“We will also not shy from joining others to insist on socio-economic justice. We will, however, not subscribe to banditry and recklessness in putting forth our demands.
“Consequently, no part of the entire state, known and delineated as Ondo State, shall permit any gathering or agitation which may suggest, however remotely, that we are in support of unthinking rabble-rousing.
“We will not be led to assured annihilation by anyone or a group of people, still smarting from the electoral defeats of recent times and presumed exclusion from the process of decision-making.
“Our people are knowledgeable enough to determine their interest at any point. If and when they consider self-determination as an option, they will not depend on external promptings to act.
“That is why we are different. That is why we are who we are. And that is the way it is going to be”.