Leader of the umbrella body of Yoruba Self-Determination Groups, Ilana Omo Oodua, Professor Banji Akintoye, has dismissed media reports that he has left Nigeria to escape attempts to arrest him.
Akintoye said that he is in the Republic of Benin.
In a statement by his Communications Manager, Mr. Maxwell Adeleye, the Emeritus Professor of History said he is in the Francophone country to coordinate and supervise how to legally rescue the detained Yoruba Nation Activist, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, fondly called “Ighoho”, from government remand as soon as possible.
Akintoye vowed to return to Nigeria as soon as Ighoho is released by the government of Benin Republic to continue the struggle for the actualisation of Yoruba Nation, saying “it is no retreat, no surrender.”
He said, “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 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 to anywhere. I am in Benin Republic running your errands. The struggle is no retreat, no surrender.”