The Yoruba self-determination group known as Ilana Omo Oodua headed by Professor Banji Akintoye had stated that they are not terrorists.
Anaedoonline.ng reports that the group made the clarification following reports that the federal government was plotting to proscribe the group.
Recall that the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami and the then Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Dayo Apata, had in September 2017 approached the Federal High Court in Abuja to give judicial backing to the Executive Order of President Buhari, outlawing IPOB and its activities in every part of Nigeria.
Speaking on Saturday the office of the AGF stated that it was open to all option to put a stop to calls for Nigeria’s break up.
Akintoye’s Communications Manager, Maxwell Adeleye, told PUNCH that the Buhari government won’t want to descend low to outlaw the group.
According to him, the Ilana Omo Oodua was not a terrorist group but a peaceful self-determination association with a belief in referendum and sensitisation through rallies.
He said, “There is no basis for the proscription of Ilana Omo Oodua. The government can only proscribe a terrorist group and not a peaceful group like Ilana Omo Oodua. All our members arrested in Ojota (area in Lagos), were charged with disturbance of public peace but later released. Why weren’t they charged with treasonable felony or murder?
“If the government proscribes us, we are going to challenge it in the court of law because we have committed no offence. It is an organisation that believes in peaceful agitation for self-determination. We even released a manual on peaceful agitation for self-determination as authored by our Leader, Emeritus Professor Banji Akintoye.
“I do not think the Nigerian government will descend so low to proscribe a peaceful organisation like Ilana Omo Oodua. Professor Akintoye has released a formal statement that he is not afraid of arrest and that he is coming to Nigeria soon.”
While insisting that the group has no association with IPOB, Maxwell pointed out that they do not believe in the sit-at-home order issued in the South-East.
“Sit-at-home is never in our plan. Ilana Omo Oodua has no association with IPOB, so comparing IPOB methodology with ours is heretical. Our modus operandi is totally different. With all due respect to the members of IPOB, the only thing we have in common is that they want Biafra Nation and we want an independent Yoruba Nation.
“We are for peaceful self-determination; we believe in referendum, we don’t want war, we are not going to shoot a gun or carry a cutlass to attack anyone. We do not have any military wing. We are for peace and we believe the best way to achieve this is by NINAS (Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination) strategy of referendum and that is why we have been holding rallies to sensitise our people,” he said.