Chairman of the Southwest Governors’ Forum and Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu Aketi, SAN, CON, on Friday warned those agitating for Oodua Nation to perish the thought.

Governor Akeredolu said many lives have been laid down for the unity of the country, vowing that states in the Southwest will not allow any agitation that will scuttle the sacrifices of the Nation’s heros.

The Governor spoke at the Launching of Emblem Appeal to flag off the 2023 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebrations held at the State Internal Revenue Service (ODIRS) Hall, Akure, the state capital.

The event also had in attendance the Acting Chief Judge of Ondo State, Justice Olusegun Odusola; members of the State Executive Council led by the Secretary to the State Government, Princess Oladunni Odu; heads of security agencies; representative of the Deji of Akure, legions and widows of the fallen heroes among others.

Arakunrin Akeredolu, who stressed that the country is too important to him and his administration, said no sit-at-home order will be tolerated in any state in the Southwest.

He said: “Those clamouring for Oodua nation will not succeed. People have not laid down their lives for this country for unscrupulous individuals to scuttle it. This country is very important to some of us.

“We recognize the right of the people to protest or agitate. But if the police feel your actions are treasonable, they will arrest and prosecute you.

“It is not at this stage in the history of this country that we will repeat IPOB in Yoruba land. Opportunity beacons at us. We cannot afford to throw away that opportunity.

“We must work to ensure that there is power shift. The opportunity for presidency to come to the south, especially the Southwest, is around the corner.

“We will not sit down and support anyone clamouring for Oodua nation. We will not support it. We have fought for this with everything we had. Nigeria will be good.

“The security agencies will checkmate these unscrupulous enemies embarking on such frivolous activities. We have responsibilities now to soberly reflect on the plight of those who have laid down their lives and those who are still laying down their lives for the unity and peace of this country.”

At the ceremony, Governor Akeredolu particularly saluted the selfless and sacrificial services of the fallen heroes who had laid down their lives in wars and peacekeeping missions around the world, and those currently serving, day and night, to guarantee the peace and unity of the country.

Governor Akeredolu also expressed his belief that special recognition and appreciation must be accorded the gallant military men who had been involved in the war against Boko Haram, other forms of terrorists activities, banditry and insurgencies in the Northeast, Northwest and other parts of the country and who had in the process, paid the supreme sacrifice.

He reassured that his administration will continue to work with governmental, Non-Governmental Organisations, officers and men of the Armed Forces and the Legion to ensure an improved welfare for Legionnaires, widows and dependants of departed ones in the State.

The Governor equally used the opportunity to appreciate the Nigerian Legion for their steadfastness, perseverance and exemplary conducts as they continue to make meaningful contributions to the growth and development of the country, particularly in the area of security.

Governor Akeredolu disclosed that the current daring posture of the enemies of the country, which has cost the nation the lives of many of our gallant soldiers, is highly condemnable, stressing that the sustained effort of the officers and men has greatly checkmated the threat by the unscrupulous elements.

“Without the sacrifice and commitment of these officers and men of the Armed Forces, it would have been a matter of time before the whole country is overrun.

“The month-long Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration is, therefore, a golden opportunity for government and the society at large to empathise and associate with widows and relations of our fallen heroes, especially those that were cut down in their prime.

“The onus is on us to soberly reflect on the plight of these categories of people and resolve to ensure that they live socially acceptable lives. It should be noted that the major reason for the Emblem Appeal Fund is to provide financial and material support to families of the fallen heroes as well as veterans who survived various military operations with some sustaining varying degrees of injuries that had rendered them incapacitated.

“There is nothing too good or too much that we can offer that could replace the precious lives lost or remedy the deprivations and untold hardship suffered by the dependants of these heroes. We must, however, at all times and at every opportunity, give our financial and moral support so that those still alive and serving will be encouraged to give their best in the service of our dear fatherland,” he added.

Governor Akeredolu enjoined all Local Government Councils to celebrate the 2023 Armed Forces Remembrance Day by purchasing and selling the emblems and equally donate generously to the cause.

He also urged government functionaries, corporate organisations, good spirited individuals and Non-Governmental Organisations in our dear  Sunshine State to donate generously towards this noble cause and purchase the remembrance emblem.

Olabode Richard Olatunde
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Ondo State.
December 23, 2022.

📸 Olawale Abolade