Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, has blamed the recent calls for the secession of South-West states from Nigeria on frustration.
Yoruba freedom fighter, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, had last week declared the region as a separate nation and demanded the secession of the South-West states from Nigeria.
During his declaration, Igboho said the major resources of Nigeria were in the hands of Northerners, stressing that Yoruba people were being killed and their land taken over by Fulani herdsmen.
He had said: “If the police attack us for that, we are ready for them. We do not want Nigeria again but the Yoruba nation. There is no essence for one Nigeria when the major resources in the country are in the hands of the northerners.
“Enough is enough. There is no going back… We are not scared of anybody. These killer herders are taking over our land and they are killing our people.”
But in an interview with Arise Television on Tuesday, Fayemi said irrational responses should be expected when the society is agitated.
The governor, however, said he was optimistic that the country would overcome its challenges, adding that those calling for secession were doing so out of frustration.
He added that the government might need to adopt better ways of managing diversity in the country.
Fayemi said, “Frankly when you have stress and laxity in society, you’re bound to find a whole range of responses. Some rational, some irrational, some that speak to the fears of the people, some opportunistic and harebrained. There’s no question that some of the reactions we’ve seen will fall into all of those categories.
“I have gone on record to say that I have unfailing optimism that despite all our challenges, this country will triumph and we’ll survive current challenges. We as leaders must focus on the goal of protecting lives and property, and focus on safety and security as the primary responsibility that we have.
“The people who are talking about secession frankly, some of them are doing it out of frustration. I don’t think that’s the solution to the Nigerian predicament right now.
“In matters of economic development, we may need to begin to look at other ways of managing diversity and difference in our country and that devolution of power is an idea whose time has come.”