Emeritus Professor Banji Akintoye, leader of the umbrella body of Yoruba Self-Determination Groups, Ilana Omo Oodua, has debunked reports that he fled Nigeria to Benin Republic in a bid to prevent the Federal Government from arresting him over his Yoruba Nation agitation.
According to a statement issued by his Communications Manager, Maxwell Adeleye, on Sunday, Akintoye disclosed that he is in Benin Republic to facilitate the release the detained Yoruba Nation activist, Sunday Adeyemo, fondly called Sunday Ighoho, from the Francophone’s government custody.
The professor of history stated that he has committed no offence against the Nigerian laws to warrant being arrested, intimidated, or harassed, adding that he would return to Nigeria as soon as Ighoho is released by the government of Benin Republic.
The statement read: “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.
“I have earned a solid reputation as a highly respected advocate of a peaceful self-determination struggle. I have even written a book on the subject which is already being used as a manual by Yoruba self-determination advocates and organizations.
“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 offense, 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 Benin Republic running your errands. The struggle is no retreat, no surrender.”