Reports have emerged that the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government is plotting to arrest the leader of the Yoruba self-determination group known as Ilana Omo Oodua, Prof. Banji Akintoye.
Recall that Akintoye and embattled Yoruba nation agitator Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho, have been arrowheads for the campaign to secede from the Nigerian state and establish Oduduwa Republic.
A top source told ThePUNCH that security forces had plotted Akintoye’s arrest before the raid of Igboho’s residence in the Soka area, Ibadan, Oyo State.
However, the source said the 86-year-old scholar left Nigeria to the French-speaking West African country three months ago because he needed to be “faster than his enemies.”
According to a top source close to Akintoye, the professor left Nigeria “about three months before Igboho was arrested.”
The source said, “It is true that the Federal Government wants to arrest him (Akintoye), they want to intimidate him and detain him.
“There were plans to pick him up and intimidate him and put him behind bars in an attempt to kill the struggle but the plot was uncovered and he left. He didn’t step out of Nigeria for more than five years before he left some three months back when the plot to arrest him was uncovered.
“But what has Baba done if not only that he is agitating for Yoruba Nation? He is agitating for the sovereignty of Yoruba Nation which is a fundamental human right. They want to charge him for treason. But it is not a crime to ask for self-determination or dissolution of a country.”
“Baba is not hiding; he left Nigeria for Republic of Benin months back. He is not hiding, but you need to be faster than your enemies.”
When contacted, the Communications Manager of the Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide, Maxwell Adeleye, declined immediate comments on the matter. “I will get back to you,” he told our correspondent on Saturday but he had yet to do so as of press time.
The DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya, neither took his calls nor responded to a text message seeking confirmation on the matter.
The Department of State Services (DSS) on July 1, 2021, had raided Sunday Igboho’s home before he was later arrested in Cotonou, Benin Republic on July 19, 2021.
The DSS had admitted killing two of Igboho’s associates and arresting 12 others who have since been arraigned in court.