The President-General of the umbrella body of Yoruba Self-Determination Groups, Ilana Omo Oodua, Prof. Banji Akintoye, has dismissed reports that he fled Nigeria in a bid to escape arrest by the Federal Government.
There were reports last week that Akintoye and the Chairman of the Ilana Omo Oodua, Prof. Wale Adeniran, had escaped from Nigeria after they uncovered a plot by the federal government to arrest them over their involvement in the Yoruba Nation struggle.
The varsity don, who reacted to the reports in a statement issued by his Communications Manager, Maxwell Adeleye, said he is not on the run.
Akintoye said he is in the Benin Republic to coordinate the process for the release of detained Yoruba Nation promoter, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Ighoho who is facing trial for alleged illegal possession of the Francophone nation’s passport and other charges.
The activist said just like Ighoho, he has not committed any offense against the Nigerian nation to warrant arrest, intimidation, or harassment.
He said: “Myself, the President-General and Prof. 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 aka Sunday 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 have 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 the Benin Republic running your errands. The struggle is no retreat, no surrender.