Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun state has described those agitating for a Yoruba Nation and the Biafra Republic as “unserious” people.
The governor, who says he was not for the breakup of Nigeria, was a guest on Sunday at the NAN Forum, the flagship interview platform of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He says he believes in the economic restructuring of Nigeria, for more economic and political powers to get to state governments, rather than a total breakup of the country.
“What I believe in is that for us to live together as a people, every unit of the enclave should have rights and responsibilities clearly defined. To me, restructuring does not mean that people should separate. Whoever is thinking along that line is not serious,” he said.
“We have come a long way, and it is togetherness that can make us get to where we are supposed to be within the space in the world.
Mr Oyetola said the world’s poverty capital “have all the resources to be great”, and asked that Nigerians not focus on fault lines, “rather let’s look at what binds us together.”
The number one citizen in Osun said rather than stakeholders give in to calls for the country’s breakup, his state and the other 36 state governments that make up Nigeria should get more powers.
“I believe in devolution of power to the states, let the states have more power to do most of the things they have been doing.
“Give the states more support, and I believe we should look at the issue of revenue allocation. We should allow the states to have more funds to develop some of the things they have,” Mr Oyetola said.
In recent years, stakeholders have called for Nigeria to restructure to address the glaring lopsidedness in the system and ensure equity, justice and fair play in the country.
Former colonial power Britain amalgamated ethnic nationalities 107 years ago to give birth to Africa’s largest nation. The arrangement, however, appears to have raised many problems that are endlessly tearing the country apart.