In what appears to be a brewing controversy, one of the frontline agitators for an Independent Yoruba Nation, Prof. Banji Akintoye, has resigned as the Chairman of the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (NINAS).
Ilana Omo Oodua (IOO), the umbrella body of Yoruba Self-Determination Groups, also cut off from the NINAS Alliance with immediate effect. Akintoye, a renowned Historian hails from Ado-Ekiti.
He represented the Old Ondo State in the Senate from 1979 to 1983. NINAS is the umbrella body of leading regional self-determination groups in the South and Middle Belt of Nigeria.
In NINAS, Akintoye, until his resignation, represented the South-West and Yorubaland; the Lower Niger Congress under the leadership of Tony Nnadi is representing the South-South, South-East and Middle-Belt Renaissance Movement under the leadership of Professor Yusufu Turaki is representing the Middle Belt.
In a statement on Tuesday obtained by The Nation, Akintoye and 44 other leaders who signed the release, stated that the reason for quitting the alliance, is to preserve the integrity and reputation of the Yoruba Nation agitation for Self-Determination.
The statement reads: “In the light of the current development in the Yoruba Self-Determination struggle, especially, in Ilana Omo Oodua, it has become very necessary for the Yoruba people to dissociate themselves from the Alliance known as NINAS with immediate effect.
“It is our well-considered opinion that some of those we align with in NINAS do not want the kind of SELF-DETERMINATION that we the Yoruba people want.
“Therefore, we the leadership of Ilana Omo Oodua, wish to inform the general public that the Yoruba Bloc under the leadership of Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide has moved out of the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (NINAS) with immediate effect in order to safeguard the integrity and honour of our agitation for Self-Determination.
“We thank the Leader of LNC, Mr. Tony Nnadi, for his inputs to the NINAS struggle since inception. However, it is now obvious to most people in the Yoruba Self-Determination struggle that the LNC is not working in tandem with our objective in Ilana Omo Oodua.
“The implication of this development is that the prestigious leadership that Professor Adebanji Stephen Akintoye, has provided for NINAS as Chairman since inception has now come to an end from today Tuesday 30th November, 2021.
“Furthermore, Ilana Omo Oodua hereby withdraw its membership of NINAS with immediate effect. All the Yoruba People Worldwide that believe in the agitation for Yoruba Nation Self-Determination at home and abroad are, by this statement, notified to comply.
“We are, however, pleased to inform you that a more productive Wide-Alliance to be known as the South and Middle-Belt People’s Sovereign Movement (SOMPSOM) will be officially inaugurated after the completion of the ongoing consultations with likeminds across the South and Middle-Belt Regions.”