Former presidential liason officer, Tanko Yakasai, says breaking up Nigeria will not solve the problems of its people.
The Kano State- born elder statesman said secession being clamoured for in some parts of the country will only lead to wars as a result of the various ethnic groups scattered in all the regions.
“Breaking up Nigeria wont’ solve our problems. With my experience in this country, the moment you break up Nigeria, every region will resort to fighting one another,” Yankasai said in an interview.
“In the North, we don’t have one language. We have Hausa, Fulani, Kanuri, and so on. In the entire West, everybody is a Yoruba speaking tribe from Oduduwa. I knew when Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Chief S.L Akintola quarreled, leading to the infamous Operation We ti e in West then,” he added.
Asked on his take on the 2023 presidential ambition of former Lagos Governor, Bola Tinubu, the prominent northern leader said the All Progressives Congress (APC) leader has the capacity to properly govern the country.
“I read about his ambition on the pages of newspapers, but I have never heard him say it. I will wait for him until he makes a declaration to that effect. But I can tell you I made a public statement widely published that I believe two people in Nigeria – Tinubu and Alhaji Abubakar Atiku – will do something better if either of them gets the chance to rule the country. I have seen what Tinubu did in Lagos. I believe in Atiku because Atiku has a programme. But let’s wait for them to declare their ambition,” he said.
Yankasai, who expressed concerns over renewed agitation for secession from parts of the South, described those behind the call as noisemakers.
“Can you tell me the names of those who are advocating the break-up of the country? How many of them? Have they ever contested elections and won? Anybody can make claims, but are these agitators supported by the people they claim to represent? Let them contest elections and get people to vote for them first. How many of them can be voted for by the people in their areas? If you tell me their names and I don’t know them, I can Google to search for them.
“They are mere noisemakers. You will get them everywhere. In a democracy, people have right to speak, whether they are right or wrong with their views. This is a country of 200 million people. Every market day in every part of the country is holding. Offices are working; the private sector people are working. The National Assembly is working, just as state assemblies and government offices all over. People are doing their businesses and are making their profits.
“Do you know how much Aliko Dangote makes in a year? He makes billions of naira as profit. Tony Elumelu makes billions of naira as profit as well and it is the same story for other moneybags. If the country is not peaceful, how can they make such huge profits? It is you people in the media that want the country to break and if the country breaks, where are we going to?
“I insist why do you people in the media want this country to break, particularly those of you in the South-West? Do you have another country? In Nigeria of today, the area that is benefitting the most is the South-West. The area that is not benefiting is the North and yet northerners are not asking for the country to break up, despite being the least to benefit from the country,” he said.