BY CHUKWUMA NNAM
Professor Banji Akintoye, the leader of Yoruba Self-Determination Groups, Ilana Omo Oodua, who has been away for weeks said he was never on the run, as many insinuated, adding that he is in the Benin Republic in solidarity with Yoruba Nation Activist, Chief Sunday Adeyemo.
Speaking in this regard, Professor Banji Akintoye’s Communications Manager, Mr Maxwell Adeleye debunked the claim, adding that Akintoye is truly in the Republic of Benin, but not on the run.
“Akintoye, a member of the Nigerian Senate in the Second Republic like Ighoho has committed no offence against the Nigerian Laws to warrant being arrested, intimidated or harassed.
“Like a valiant soldier, Akintoye vowed to return to Nigeria as soon as Ighoho is released by the government of Benin Republic to continue the struggle for the actualisation of Yoruba Nation, saying “it is No Retreat, No Surrender”
“Myself, the President-General and Professor Wale Adeniran (Chairman) of Ilana Omo Oodua are currently in the Republic of Benin as reported, but not on the run.
“We are here to supervise and coordinate, by all legal and other means, the struggle for the release of our son and patriot, Sunday Adeyemo Igboho, detained by the Government from custody.
“By demanding peaceful self-determination for the Yoruba Nation, I am not breaking any law, since self-determination is recognized by the International and Nigerian laws to be an inalienable right of every Nationality, large or small, in the world.
“Irrespective of what the Nigerian Government may be planning against me, I want to say without any fear or intimidation that I will be returning to Nigeria immediately Ighoho is released from custody. I can’t be intimidated because I’ve not committed any offence, just like Sunday Igboho.
“Let me tell all Yoruba People across the world that there’s no cause for alarm. I didn’t flee anywhere. I am in the Benin Republic running your errands. The struggle is no retreat, no surrender.
According to him “socio-cultural and self-determination groups within and beyond the shores of Nigeria under my supervision paid for every dime spent in Cotonou, Lagos and Abuja respectively till date on the court cases.”
He said “the only court case not under my coordination and supervision, and which the Yoruba socio-cultural and self-determination Groups are not paying for is the one in Ibadan High Court, Oyo State.
The statement added that “The Lawyer handling the Ibadan case, Chief Yomi Aliyu, SAN, said we should leave it to him, and that we should not bother on the funding, but the Yoruba Groups and Patriots under my supervision are completely responsible for the funding of the court cases in Abuja, Lagos and Cotonou”.