By Kehinde Akinpelu, Ilorin.
The National President of the Oodua Progressives Care Initiative (OPCI), Dr. Maruff Olarewaju, has blamed Nigeria’s seemingly intractable security challenges on what he referred to “as the forceful marriage of 1914 called Amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates by the British colonial masters”, saying the country had since then been built on a keg of gun powder by the British and it was waiting to explode anytime.
Olarewaju, who was fielding questions from journalists in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, on the sidelines of a security round table, said: “The structure of Nigeria was deliberately built on falsehood by the British colonial masters to satisfy their selfish interest, they knew it was a time bomb that could explode anytime.
“The crises facing Nigeria today were long planned and planted by the British, they gave us what we cannot manage, they sidelined our culture and imposed theirs on us, including religion. It is unfortunate that our traditional values have been jettisoned and people just behave anyhow now to the detriment of our collective interest.”
Proffering solution, OPCI President said: “We need to sit at a round table, very urgently, to re examine our coexistence since the fraudulent amalgamation of 1914 is not doing us any good now. We need to ask ourselves, are we compatible to be together any longer or not? Proffering genuine answer to this question is the only panacea for peace and peaceful coexistence.”
Stressing the need for the restructuring of the country, Olarewaju said that it was obvious Nigeria is in a state of comatose now, adding that “we cannot continue to fold our arms and be watching helplessly; if restructuring is not the solution, then let us dismantle the 1914 amalgamation.”
Noting that the Yoruba are in the majority in Kwara state, the OPCI President said Kwara Yoruba should be allowed to be with their kith and kin in the Southwest. Kwara state, he opined, has no business being zoned to the northern region, arguing that Kwara Yoruba, clearly in the majority in the state, differ in language and culture from the people in the north.
He advocated the establishment of community policing, with a caveat that traditional rulers would be given more power and greater role in that dispensation, being at the grassroots, and more familiar with the terrains of their respective communities.
He said: “We have been advocating returning of security back to traditional rulers, they are the community leaders and they know the terrains. We can’t have a reliable organised security at the local level without the involvement of traditional rulers, who are the custodians of our custom and tradition.
“It is high time we went back to our roots, we have the mechanism, the spiritual power is in us, let’s embrace our culture and cough out the spiritual power in us to find a lasting solution to the issue of insecurity bedeviling the country.”