Posted by News Express | 27 March 2014 | 4,558 times
About a decade and a half after he made ostensibly anti-Igbo utterances, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi’s past today returned to haunt him as the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has demanded his resignation from the on-going National Conference in Abuja.
A statement issued in Abuja by APGA’s Publicity Bureau said that “after a review of Professor Bolaji Akinyemi’s speeches,” the party had decided to call on him “to withdraw himself from acting as the Deputy Chairman of the current National Conference, holding in Abuja, Nigeria.”
The party recalled that Prof. Akinyemi in an address delivered in the late 1990s, made the following comments: “The only groups that can secede from Nigeria are the North-East and the South-West. The Igbos are going nowhere, they are landlocked.”
APGA, according to the statement, “is of the opinion that an influential personality who holds such strongly biased and insensitive opinion should not be allowed to play a role in the management, leadership and outcome of the affairs of a plural body such as the Nigerian National Conference, which may determine the future constitution and direction of our nation.
Professor Akinyemi’s comments are not of the frankly naïve, but of a pre-disposed bias, which is the product of a well-thought out position by an intelligentsia vested in not allowing the emergence of a strong and structured Igbo national influence.”
The party further noted that ‘being landlocked’ “has never deterred any groups, ethnicities or nations from achieving their ideals, including quest for nationhood. Numerous nations in the world are landlocked nations and maintain effective international relations in that geographical capacity. The latest landlocked nation to be admitted into the comity of nations is Kosovo.”
APGA reminded Prof. Akinyemi “that ‘landlocking’ is a geographical feature and not a psychological presentation, and cannot be used to deny any group or groups their wish of achieving political, social, economic autonomy or nationhood, as desired.”
Continuing, the statement said: “It is our opinion that the Professor’s contentions are insidious, and may rather influence the position of any outcome in the National conference.
“APGA will further note that Professor Akinyemi has never apologised or withdrawn his comments, but has rather stood by them.
“APGA calls on Professor Akinyemi to withdraw himself forthwith from the Deputy Chairmanship and the leadership group in the conference, as his clear bias already taints any resolution for or against the ethnicities, especially the Igbo, in the National Conference.
“Professor Bolaji Akinyemi should resign. Now.”
•Photo shows Prof. Akinyemi.
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