PROF. Banji Akintoye, the eminent Historian, elected Leader of the Yoruba nation in Ibadan on August 22, has directed the postponement of the press conference that he was scheduled to address in Lagos on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019.
A statement by Tola Adeniyi, ,the Jagun Oodua of Yorubaland noted since his election in Ibadan on Aug. 22, Prof. Akintoye has been in contact with a wide spectrum of Yoruba leadership at home and abroad – with leading traditional rulers, political leaders, public opinion leaders, youth leaders, and with Yoruba organizations in the Diaspora.
According to the statement, Prof. Akintoye has consulted with, or received counsel from His Royal Majesty the Alaafin of Oyo, His Royal Majesty the Ooni of Ife, President Olusegun Obasanjo, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Aare Afe Babalola, and leaders of various Yoruba Diaspora organizations.
It added that Prof. Akintoye is also reaching significant leaders in the rest of the Yoruba homeland in Benin Republic and Togo Republic.
“Professor Akintoye has received countless thousands of congratulatory messages from Yoruba people in Nigeria and abroad. He is responsibly aware, however, that while all media commentators on the Ibadan election have stated warmly that he is indeed very deserving of the position to which he was elected, some have criticised some aspects of the Ibadan election.
“While he is very humbly grateful for his election and to the countless persons who have congratulated him, his greatest concern now is that his Yoruba people at home and abroad desperately need to be united regardless of political, religious, social and economic persuasions, so as to be able to mobilize the needed strength to face and quench the grave dangers that now threaten Yoruba peace, security and prosperity in Nigeria.
“Viciously armed sleeper cells from all over West and Central Africa have entrenched themselves in many Yoruba forest areas. Other innocent-looking cells are entrenched inside Yoruba cities and towns. There is very good reason to fear that all these may be unleashed in a massive attack on Yoruba rural communities, highways and city streets at a time probably not far in the future. Some observers are already saying that the day of these attacks on Yorubaland and on Igboland, on the homelands of the peoples of the South and the Middle Belt, could come as early as January 2020,” the statement said.
It noted that Prof. Akintoye has written a very informative report on these dangers for the leading Yoruba civic organization, Afenifere. “He has given many lectures on the subject to audiences at home and in the Diaspora. After his lecture to the prestigious Diaspora organization, Egbe Omo Yoruba of United States and Canada, in their conference in Baton Rouge, Louissiana, USA on July 19, 2019, he was given a special Award by the organization. To prepare Yoruba people for the challenge that may soon come, he has circulated his report and his many lectures widely among Yoruba people. One major Nigeria newspaper, the Tribune, has recently patriotically serialized one of the lectures”.
According to the statement, Prof. Akintoye is working on other writings by which the necessary information, and guidelines for preparedness, will be made available to Yoruba people in their rural communities and in their cities and towns. People who are close to him know that he is always working, even though he is an old man of 84 years of age.
“He usually wakes up as early as 3am every morning to research and write. In recent months, he has travelled to the areas of Yorubaland that are most threatened – areas such as the Yewa province of Ogun State, the Oke Ogun area of Oyo State, the Ife-Ijesa zone of Osun State as well as Akoko area of Ondo State – in order to obtain first-hand information about the dreadful threat. He has even cautiously spoken directly with some of the leaders of these cells who are being sent from other countries of West Africa to take positions in various parts of Yorubaland.
“He says that it is easy to tell that these are not Nigerians. They speak no Nigerian language such as Hausa and English. But very obviously, somebody has instructed them precisely about where they are to go in Nigeria, and somebody has taught them that, to establish themselves in their Nigerian destinations, they must intimidate the people there by killing and destroying the indigenes in order to seize the land.
“In recent months also, Professor Akintoye has been working on the creation of a movement that will unify all Yoruba in the Yoruba homeland in Nigeria, Benin Republic and Togo, the old Yoruba Diaspora in countries of the Americas and the West Indies (Brazil, Cuba, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Jamaica, Grenada, Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Vincent, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Panama, Bahamas, Suriname, the United States, etc), and the new Yoruba Diaspora in many countries across the world. To promote this effort, “Professor Akintoye has visited Benin Republic and Togo Republic to discuss with leading Yoruba citizens there. He has contacted several key Yoruba persons in many countries across the world. He was a keynote speaker at a huge ceremony in January 2019 in Porto Novo in which the Yoruba people of Benin Republic founded an Egbe Omo Oduduwa Benin Republic. The first planning meeting on this movement, chaired by Professor Akintoye and attended by delegates from Benin Republic, was held in Lagos on August 12, 2019.
“Professor Akintoye is very dedicated to the unity, strength and prosperity of the Yoruba nation. At this critical moment actions are more pertinent than words. As he said in a lecture some months ago, “The Yoruba nation was obviously destined for greatness in the world by the Great Creator of all nations. The thousands of years of Yoruba history that we have studied point completely to that. The present generation of Yoruba people and Yoruba descendants all over the world must rise to the task of achieving that greatness,” the statement added.
_AUG 30, 2019 @15:35 GMT |