Yoruba Nation: UCH denies harbouring agitators, family disowns MKO’s widow

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The management of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, has debunked allegations that its premises were being used as armoury by the Yoruba Nation agitators.

The hospital through its Public Relations Officer, Mrs Funmi Adetuyibi, in a statement in Ibadan on Tuesday, reiterated its commitment to health care delivery, adding that it would not engage in any unlawful dealings.

 

Last Saturday, separatist Yoruba Nation agitators invaded the Oyo State Government Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan.

 

According to reports, the agitators, donning army camouflage and armed with rifles, attempted to hoist their flag on the premises of the Oyo State House of Assembly.

The attempt was foiled by security agencies with 21 of the agitators arrested.

 

A video of how the police arrested some of the agitators on the premises of the UCH also went viral on social media fuelling insinuations that the suspects have their armoury somewhere on the hospital premises.

 

However, the spokesman for the hospital clarified that six of the agitators, while fleeing from the police scaled the fence of the North-West Campus Area of the hospital.

Adetuyibi said on landing on the hospital premises, internal security officials promptly apprehended them and subsequently handed them over to the police.

 

She said, “Upon detection by our vigilant security personnel, the Chief Security Officer swiftly alerted the Yemetu Police Station, and the Yemetu Police Division promptly dispatched a detachment of personnel to arrest the situation.

 

“Upon the arrival of law enforcement agents, the individuals in question hastily discarded and left behind their camouflage attire, berets, and ammunition, and fled the scene. Apparently, two suspects were apprehended, while four escaped arrest.”

 

The UCH spokesperson further said, the hospital stood firm in its commitment to health care provision, research, training, and clinical services.

We categorically distance ourselves from any insinuation that our premises were utilised for unlawful activities. UCH urges the public to exercise discretion and refrain from spreading baseless rumours that can tarnish the reputation of our esteemed institution.

 

“The management of the hospital wishes to reassure the public that operations within the hospital are running smoothly and without any interruption.”

 

Meanwhile, the family of the late MKO Abiola has distanced itself from the declaration of support for the Yoruba Nation agitators by one of the late billionaire’s widows, Dupe Onitiri-Abiola.

Onitiri-Abiola had, in a viral video on social media, called the “Democratic Republic of Yoruba.”

She declared that the Democratic Republic of Yoruba came into existence on Friday, April 12, a day before the agitators invaded the Oyo State Government secretariat in Agodi, Ibadan.

 

Speaking in the Yoruba dialect, Onitiri-Abiola said, “We are indigenous people. We are sovereign people. We are ethnic nationalists. That we should leave Nigeria. Today, April 12, 2024, we leave with the power of God.

 

“I, Modupe Onitiri-Abiola, proclaim the sovereignty of the Democratic Republic of the Yoruba. From today, Yoruba land begins its government. It has become the newest nation. Yoruba became a country that nobody is against. This is hereby established. I, Modupe Onitire-Abiola, am an origin of  Yoruba. I am MKO Abiola’s widow.

But reacting on behalf of the family, one of the late Abiola’s children, Jamiu, told one of our correspondents, that Onitiri-Abiola “is on her own.”

 

Jamiu, who is currently the Special Assistant to the President on Special Duties, urged Nigerians not to take her proclamation as representing the family.

 

He said, “I heard about that, and like almost all Nigerians, I didn’t take her (Onitiri-Abiola) declaration seriously. I have never met her in my life, talk less of knowing her motives. But that is not what is important.

When it comes to Nigeria’s unity, many people know how much my father believed in it. Even after his arrest and incarceration, not once did he advocate for Nigeria’s division. So I don’t believe any Abiola has the right to promote the division of this country.

 

“Particularly now, because if my father were alive today, he would have been so happy that his closest and most highly competent associate, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is doing all he would have wanted to do if he had been allowed to exercise his mandate.”

 

He explained that the late MKO had four official wives “in addition to women who are also known as his wives.”

 

According to Jamiu, the late Abiola adopted certain kinds of relationships as a way of taking care of as many people as possible.

Also, the management of the Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo State, on Tuesday, denied having any of its lecturers among the arrested Yoruba Nation agitators.

 

One of the arrested agitators, Alabi Ogundeji, while being paraded by the police in Ibadan on Monday, had identified himself as a lecturer with the FCE.

 

Ogundeji, who gave his age as 55 years, also said he did not regret taking part in the government secretariat invasion.

 

However, the college, in a statement by its Registrar, J.A. Araoye, said, “The management of the college wishes to state that the said Alabi Ogundeji is not a lecturer in the college. For the avoidance of doubt, ‘Alabi Ogundeji’ is a strange name to the college as no person with such a name has ever been appointed by the college or has any direct or indirect employment relationship with the college.

The Nigeria Police, all the other security agents and the general public are to please, note.”

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