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We won’t give up agitation for Yoruba Nation even if Tinubu wins — Akintoye

Professor Banji Akintoye is the leader of Ilana Omo Oodua, a self-determination group agitating for the actualisation of Yoruba Nation.

 

Akintoye, who speaks in Benin Republic, says the Yoruba may pull out of Nigeria before the 2023 general elections. He adds that his group won’t stop agitation even if Bola Tinubu becomes Nigeria’s next President.

 

The creation of Yoruba Self-Determination Movement is causing controversy among other self-determination groups…

 

People are saying that leaders and members of the Yoruba self-determination struggle are in disarray. We are not in disarray. What is happening among us is natural. Our young people want their country now and they cannot wait. I am a historian and I know that young people want to jump now but their elders hold them back.

 

We are making progress but there are certain things people don’t know.

 

The first is to clarify the Yoruba self-determination movement and Ilana Omo Oodua. We have many self-determination groups which are up to 200. We deliberately did that from the beginning so that the authorities will not be able to decipher it.

 

That was why we encouraged and assisted our youths to establish their organisations. It was clear from the beginning that we will need to have one central voice representing the Yoruba people in certain situations.

 

In the beginning, we felt we needed a Yoruba national fund that will be in existence for centuries to come and will be a major part of the Yoruba nation-state just as the Jewish National Fund is to the state of Israel.

 

We the Yoruba want and desire a fund like that. We needed a body that could do it for us. That was what informed the creation of the Yoruba Self-Determination Movement. It is a service centre for all Yoruba self-determination groups. There is no confusion at all.

 

One of the presidential candidates, Bola Tinubu, is a Yoruba man and you are agitating for Yoruba Nation. Where does that leave your agitation?

 

The overwhelming majority of Yoruba people want their country now because they are tired of Nigeria.

 

Some of our people may be running around with politicians but we know they want their separate country. That is why we must be careful not to hurt their feelings.

 

Our attitude is this: Our brother, Bola Tinubu, is struggling to become President of Nigeria. There is nothing wrong with that but we will not abandon our struggle for the Yoruba Nation because of him. Also, we cannot ask him, Tinubu, to collapse his campaign for the Yoruba Nation.

 

We have two parallel lines in the same country and among the same people. We must be thoughtful in handling the matter.

 

We don’t believe we will be in Nigeria in 2023 and by the grace of God, we are not going to be in Nigeria in 2023.

 

 

So, we won’t hurt our brother, who wants to be President of Nigeria and he must not try to hurt us.

 

We have devised sophisticated ways of getting our messages across to our youths.

 

Our youths will not hurt the campaigns of our brethren who want to become one thing or the order in 2023.

 

What we are asking for is that our kinsmen must not attempt to hurt the Yoruba self-determination struggle. The two streams must flow freely and leave it to our people to divide.

 

How do you intend to get Yoruba Nation before 2023?

 

We are working from many angles, especially from the diplomatic angle. Nigeria is virtually dead. It is the stubbornness of those who rule that is still keeping Nigeria together.

 

According to important people in the government, Nigeria will soon be incapable of paying the salaries of public officials.

 

According to the International Monetary Fund , IMF, Nigeria is expending 92.6 percent of its annual income to service debts and the IMF says it may reach 100 percent soon. If it reaches 100 percent, it means there is no country.

 

There is the security situation which is getting worse. Even the President cannot travel to some parts of the country without being endangered.

 

We are asking our brethren who are running around seeking political offices in 2023 to be careful. A lot of informed people in the world doubt there will be elections in 2023.

 

Will you stop the agitation for Yoruba Nation if Tinubu emerges as President of Nigeria in 2023?

 

We will not stop the agitation because nobody, no matter how patriotic you may be, can make Nigeria beneficial to the Yoruba Nation.

 

If the Federal Government reverts to the 1963 Constitution, will your organisation take a second look at the self-determination struggle?

 

The possibility of those who control Nigeria restructuring Nigeria does not exist. There is no such possibility. I want you to know that the Fulani believe Nigeria is a conquered territory. The goal has been achieved under this present administration.

 

From what you are saying, who is going to convince the conqueror to give up his conquest? That is what people don’t know. These people have resolved to keep the people of Nigeria as conquered people.They have put enough effort into conquering Yoruba people but it won’t work.

 

Recently the Court of Appeal dismissed Sunday Adeyemo’s N20 billion suit against federal government and the Department of State Security Services , DSS. What is your take?

 

That judgement is one of the reasons we should get out of Nigeria. Everything that was said in the judgement is a pervasion and they brought that judge to do the task.

 

He was not on the case before.

 

We have asked our lawyers to go to the Supreme Court but the important thing is that we have got another reason to take our people out of Nigeria.

 

How soon will Sunday Igboho be returning to Nigeria?

 

Igboho is coming home soon. The young people know that their hero is coming home soon. He will come like a thief in the night.

 

On Amotekun and arms

 

I was one of the people who contributed to the founding of Amotekun.

 

We were all hopeful that we were going to have an orderly response to terror in Yorubaland. We expect that government will create Amotekun and give them resources.

 

It was a good idea that our governors created Amotekun but the conquerors of Nigeria said we have no right to do that and they made Amotekun impotent. That is it. I don’t think we should have an illusion about this that we are a conquered people.

 

We, the Yoruba, had better look carefully at what we are doing. Nobody is free anymore in Yorubland.

 

 

(Sunday Vanguard)

 

 

 

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