FACT CHECK: Did former Military Governor of Western State, General Adebayo write an open letter to Tinubu?

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CLAIM: An open letter purportedly from a former Military Governor of the defunct Western State, General Adeyinka Adebayo, to the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, is being circulated on Social media.

VERDICT: False!

FULL TEXT

The letter has been shared by many individuals and pages on Facebook. It was also found on the Nigerian microblogging platform, Nairaland. Hundreds, if not thousands believe the letter to be authentic.

The letter purportedly from General Adebayo expressed concern for the state of Yoruba speaking states, otherwise known as the South-West region. The writer argued that the Yoruba Nation has been relegated, a situation blamed on Nigeria’s unitary, quasi federal system.

While comparing Tinubu to the late sage, Obafemi Awolowo, the writer enjoined the President-elect to uplift the Yoruba Nation, and restore progress and development to the region.

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Part of the ethnocentric piece reads: “Instead of feeding others like we once did, others now feed us. We plant no tomatoes, no pepper and the basic food that we require. The Indians have bought the large expanse of water body that we have in Onigambari village.

“The water body in Oke Ogun of Oyo State can provide enough fish to feed the whole of the South West. From being a major cocoa exporter many years ago, one can point to just a few vestiges of factories that still deal with Cocoa in the Yoruba nation.

“80% of Cocoa processing industries in the South West have been shut down. The Chinese have taken over the cashew belt at Ogbomoso in Oyo State. They have even edged out the indigenes as brokers.”

VERIFICATION

Ripples Nigeria found that the letter could not have emanated from General Adebayo as he died in 2017.

General Adebayo Adeyinka, a native of Iyin-Ekiti, in present day Ekiti State, was former Military Governor of the defunct Western Nigeria from 1966 to 1971. Before then, he was the first indigenous chief of staff of the Nigerian Army (1964-1965).

After the Nigerian Civil War, he was appointed by the head of state, General Yakubu Gowon, as the chairman of the committee on the reconciliation and integration of the Igbos (Biafrans) back into the Nigerian fold.

He retired from the Nigerian Army with the rank of major-general in July 1975, and co-founded the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) ahead of the 1979 election. He was the chairman of the Yoruba Council of Elders around 2011.

His eldest son, Otunba Niyi Adebayo would later become governor of Ekiti State from 1999 to 2003.

General Adebayo died on March 8, 2017 in his Lagos residence.

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