Olufemi Atoyebi, Ibadan
The General Overseer of Latter Rain Assembly,
Pastor Tunde Bakare, has flayed Northern elders
who are opposed to the call for Nigeria’s
Bakare spoke on Friday in Ibadan at an event
organised to mark the 50th year anniversary of the
assassination of the first military governor of the
defunct Western Region, Lt.-Col. Adekunle Fajuyi.
He said any anti-restructuring position taken by
the North would bring to the court of historical
opinion the sincerity of the motives of the
perpetrators of the counter coup that led to the
death of Fajuyi in 1966.
Bakare said, “The elders of the North, who today
are opposed to the call to restructure Nigeria, have
deviated from the ideals of the founding fathers of
Northern Nigeria like the late Sir Ahmadu Bello and
Tafawa Balewa. They were forerunners of Fajuyi in
the Nigerian hall of martyrdom.
“Lest we forget, these great Nigerian leaders from
the North made it clear in the series of
constitutional conferences that heralded Nigeria’s
independence that true federalism with regional
autonomy was the only condition under which they
would exist within a Nigerian nation.”
The cleric added that the call for restructuring was
a demand for true federalism.
He said, “It is inconsistent with the interest of the
North or the South for the current pseudo-federal
structure to persist. If the elders of the North are
true elders in this generation, I charge them with
the words of the wisest king to ever live which
says ‘do not remove the ancient landmark which
your fathers have set.’
“Our current leaders must find courage in heroic
deeds of Fajuyi, they must find courage to
restructure and to reconcile aggrieved sections
within the nation.”
Guest lecturer, Prof. Niyi Osundare, described
Fajuyi as a quintessential Omoluabi and a vessel of
He called Fajuyi martyr of democracy, saying the
late MKO Abiola was his worthy successor.
Osundare also urged President Muhammadu
Buhari to identify “implementable” parts of the
recommendation of the 2014 National Conference.
“Fajuyi and Abiola were icons of gallantry and
extra-ordinary sacrifice whose light shone beyond
their ethnic base,” Osundare said.
The poet, who cast doubt on Nigeria’s unity, said,
“Those who talk glibly about Nigeria’s unity are
under the perilous impression that there is a unity
to negotiate in the first place. But a closer look
tells us that we are still a thousand miles and a
moon from that unity.
“As yet, Nigeria has no unity to negotiate or not to
negotiate, which is why President Buhari must not
only read the report of the 2014 National
Conference, he owes himself and the country a
critical duty to read, digest, deliberate on and
identify its implementable parts, beyond all
partisan and ethno-regional considerations.”