Sir Olaniwun Ajayi, a member of the Obafemi Awolowo political family in the First Republic and the chief of the Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere has said that former president Olusegun Obasanjo denied being a Yoruba man at one time.
Sir Olaniwun Ajayi
Speaking in an interview, the Yoruba elder said when the Egbe Omo Yoruba (a cultural group) invited Obasanjo, he said, No, he was not a Yoruba man, adding that the former president did not like the Yoruba and had done a lot of bad things to them.
“Obasanjo had said that he was not a Yoruba man. Apart from that, he had not done well with our circle. He didn’t like us politically. He took a very prominent part in seeing to it that Awolowo did not win the presidential election against Shehu Shagari. The Yoruba did not like that and they did not vote for him during his first term (1999 to 2003). Since he was in charge of the caliphate, he used all the skills and strategies that he had to make himself president for the second term, irrespective of the feelings of the Yoruba people,” Olaniwun said.
He added that he had no knowledge if Obasanjo has shown any interest in the affairs of the Yoruba since then.
Speaking on speculations that Nigeria would disintegrate, Sir Olaniwun said we were never one in the first place and it was the British who put us together.
“Lord Lugard did a lot of evil to this country. After all, before 1914 we were not one; we were different countries. We had the Oyo Empire, the Benin Kingdom, Sokoto Empire, Ijebu Kingdom etc. They were what we had at that time. It was Lugard who put us together. We were just like Yudoslavia and the USSR.”
He explained that the proper thing for the nation to do now is to go confederation as our education, health care system, agriculture and road networks have suffered and we have lost enough since we were put together, adding that it has never paid off being together and it is by sheer act of patience and understanding that we remain in this country.
On whether the North does not add any value to the country, he said they have enjoyed what has been bequeathed to them by the British so much that it is very hard for them to let go.