Professor Banji Akintoye, the leader of Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide, the umbrella body of Yoruba self-determination movements, has urged Yoruba people around the world not to lose hope in the realization of the planned Oduduwa Republic, a sovereign nation for Southwestern Nigerians.
This was said by Mr Maxwell Adeleye, the Self-Determination Movement’s Communications Secretary, in a statement made accessible to the press on Saturday by the renowned historian and Second Republic senator.
Akintoye, who celebrated his 87th birthday yesterday, said he had pleaded with his faithful not to celebrate his birthday anniversary, claiming he couldn’t do so while Igboho, the founder of the liberation movement, was still imprisoned.
The Nigerian government, he claims, lacks the capacity to criminalize the struggle, emphasizing that the agitation is outside the current government’s control.
The statement reads in part, “My message to all Yoruba people across the world who are passionate for the country of their own is not to lose hope.
“I am very much convinced that we are on our way to freedom. Our agitation is an idea whose time has come.
“We shall keep the struggle alive, and beyond the manipulation of the Nigerian government.
“We won’t allow the Federal Government of Nigeria to criminalize our struggle. The Yoruba people worldwide are urged never to be deterred in the struggle.
“Many Yoruba patriots worldwide planned to celebrate my birthday but I pleaded with them not to do so in honour of my son and one of the heroes of our struggle, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, fondly called Sunday Ighoho, by all of us. I cannot be celebrating a birthday when Igboho is in detention”.