Former Nigerian Minister of External Affairs, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, has blamed the agitations for secession in some parts of the country, including the South West on the “faulty federalism” of the country. Akinyemi spoke via zoom on Friday as a guest on a breakfast programme; “The Morning Show” on Arise TV, which was monitored by Saturday Telegraph. The former Director General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) said that the secessionist demand in the South West is a manifestation of the alleged disagreement in the region, which he said began in 1963 because of the alleged conspiracy between the North and the East, when the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo was jailed. The Professor of International Affairs recalled that an emergency was declared in the South West then.
“The nation’s federalist structure has since been destroyed and I keep saying that one of the fundamental agreements of our founding fathers in Nigeria was a federalist structure, and a federalist country. There are sufficient statistics that the structure produced results between 1940 and 1950s. “We need to look at the way the regions developed then. The destruction of that federalist foundation has led us to where we are because of the refusal to go back to it. “People initially thought that the rain would only fall on the South West, we can now see that the rain is falling on the whole country due to the refusal of our leaders to go back to that federalist structure agreed to by our founding fathers. “Power is sweet and nobody wants to give up power voluntarily.
Those who are benefitting from it want to hold on to it. It is evident to the deaf and the blind that the rain is falling now on all our heads.’’ Akinyemi, however, wondered why “those in authority cannot see that even the space of their authority is shrinking per day.” He emphasised that the nation’s federal authority does not operate where the Book Haram members operate, and where the herdsmen, bandits and the secessionists or self – determination movement operate.