Yoruba groups deny disowning Akintoye as leader
The Assembly of Yoruba Groups Worldwide has denied reports that they disowned professor Adebanji Akintoye as the leader of the Yoruba ethnic group.
The group which declared Akintoye as Yoruba Leader on 22nd August 2019, said the emeritus Professor of History was being disowned because he (Akintoye) has left the Yoruba World Congress (YWC) which the Assembly of Yoruba Groups transformed to in October 2019 to form another umbrella body of Yoruba Socio-cultural and self-determination Groups known as ILANA OMO OODUA.
“The purported communiqué disowning Akintoye as Yoruba leader has now been described as untrue, fabricated and concocted to embarrass Akintoye by some fifth columnists who want to cause disunity in Yoruba Land,” the group said in a statement.
The convener of the meeting, comrade Victor Taiwo, has also apologised to some leaders whose names were mentioned in the communiqué and took responsibility for the report.
“In spite of this, I take full responsibility for the whole embarrassing situation and please in the name of God that you pardon the error. Our apology is unreserved,” Taiwo said in the letter of apology to the group.
Meanwhile, the leaders of the self-determination groups who attended the October 29th Ibadan Conference, in a statement on Sunday 1st November, reaffirmed Akintoye as the Yoruba leader and equally passed a vote of confidence on the leadership of the emeritus professor.
The group leaders said the statement was meant to formalise the voice vote that reaffirmed Akimtoye as Yoruba Leader at the October 29th meeting.
“Sacrilegious! No Yoruba leader since Obafemi Awolowo had ever been chosen by an assembly of Yoruba people to be removed later. Chief Obafemi Awolowo was Yoruba leader until he peacefully passed away. Chief Adekunle Ajasin, who succeeded the sage, died as Yoruba leader.
“Senator Abraham Adesanya, equally, was called to the great beyond while he was the leader. Professor Banji Akintoye’s case will not be different!
“We must note that these great leaders had led Yoruba in times of crisis and succeeded in steering Yoruba people through those turbulent periods with a strong hand of leadership. Right now, Yoruba is facing an existential threat as a people within the contraption of a country called Nigeria. Our people are being killed, raped, kidnapped and disgraced all over the polity. There is no better time than now that Yoruba need a strong, steady, committed, bold and courageous leader to steer its ship through the stormy and turbulent waters of today’s Nigeria.
One of the leaders whose name appeared on the reported communiqué removing Akintoye as Yoruba Leader, Dr. Tunde Amusat, had, in a public memo addressed to Taiwo, dissociated himself from the communiqué. Amusat said the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the progress of Yoruba Land and reaffirm Akintoye as Yoruba Leader.
He said the failed attempt to remove Akintoye has inadvertently robbed the conference of its dignity.
“The communiqué purportedly suspending or removing our Leader was motivated by vindictiveness and an attempt to personalise the collective efforts of majority of the Yoruba Self Determination Groups that abinitio elected Prof. Akintoye as Leader. Any attempt to remove him is therefore dead on arrival.
“I take personal exception to addressing the Leader in an uncouth manner. Recall, my attempts through working behind the scenes to have a rancour-free conference. As an Elder in Yoruba land, I cannot be anywhere and tolerate anybody reduce your personality to the micro dot of a sentence without censuring such a person is reprimanded.
“When has it become a crime for anybody to form any organization? Up till Monday, I thought we were still on the same page along with our people in UK and USA that Prof. Akintoye shall be reaffirmed as leader at the conference. Of course, the last straw that broke the camel’s was the treachery mischievously hatched to remove the leader. This inadvertently robbed the conference of dignity, trust and patriotic tendencies.”