Aremo Olusegun Osoba
Veteran journalist and elder statesman Aremo Olusegun Osoba spoke with reporters in Lagos on the agitation for restructuring, clamour for presidential zoning and other national issues.
The newspot is publishing excerpts of the interview.
Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo recently accused you of being a sell out on restructuring. How will you respond to that?
Chief Ayo Adebanjo accused me of being a sellout. I have not sold out on restructuring. I have consistently campaigned for a Canadian or Australian model of true federalism. His attitude is that you must always agree with his own definition. This rigid attitude is contrary to the attitude of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who encouraged debates.
I have over time tried hard to give him respect because of the difference in our ages as a senior brother. I will now come out forcefully, to reply Chief Adebanjo any time he speaks. We were together on a programme about a month ago where he accused me of being a sellout and I challenge him that he knows me long enough to know that I have an impeccable character in terms of integrity and he admitted that he did not say I am corrupt but that I am not reliable as I sold out on the issue of restructuring. It is the likes of Adebanjo that made Afenifere to break into different groups. Let us first of all unite all the different groups within the Yoruba race. Can we go into war with these different groups? We have about 12 groups in Yoruba race today. Yoruba are intellectually endowed.
What is wrong in getting all the big brains in diaspora forming a strong intellectual group to write a paper on restructuring and the roadmap to arrive at self-determination? Who is against self-determination? Awolowo was able through regional system to create first class region in Nigeria. We should have sat together to organize an intellectual group to write different reports on Yoruba self-determination; that is what we should be doing.