Former Governor of Oyo State, Rashidi Ladoja, on Thursday, said the people in the Southern part of the country talk so much about self-determination while the Northerners are secretly working to leave Nigeria.
He backed up his points by asking of the relevance of the railway constructed in the North to link the Niger Republic and talks of building a refinery in Daura in Katsina.
The former governor also appealed to Nigerians to have more tolerance, adding that the current ugly experience would pass in the next two years.
The elder statesman said while the South-West and South-East were more vocal in demanding Oduduwa Republic and Biafra Republic, the North had been working silently for the possibility of having Arewa Republic. According to him, talks of secession can lead to war, such as it is in Syria today.
Ladoja said this in an interview with journalists in his residence at Bodija, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital after observing the Eid-el-Fitr prayer at the University of Ibadan Central Mosque.
“Let us start with tolerance. At a certain level, people will be talking, but we only know the beginning of a war, not the end. Nobody would remember how the war in Syria started and it is still on for years. And everything they built is being destroyed. So, I think we have to do it softly. We have started democracy. We are not happy with the way it is going.
“But even Quran says there will be a time when God will give you good leaders; there will be a time when the leaders that you are given by God are not as good because He wants you people to see the difference. We should assume that this too will pass. It started six years ago. In another two years, it will go.
“If you are saying because of that you want to go or you don’t want to go, who even tells you that the North is not even getting ready to go? Let us look at it, people in the South are talking too much, and people up North are acting too much.
“In Yorubaland, we talk too much. The North is also preparing to leave and they are working at it. Do you think it is a mistake that they are constructing a railway to the Niger Republic when we have not built a railway from Ibadan to Kano, not even Abuja, and they said it is the first place we are going to spend our money?
“Can’t the refinery in Kaduna be repaired? Why are they saying they would build another refinery in Daura (Katsina State)? And they would be bringing crude oil from the Niger Republic to the place. Don’t let us deceive ourselves, maybe a time will come when all of us will sit down together and separate peacefully.”