Politics

Yoruba want to secede from Nigeria, we don’t want restructuring – Prof Akintoye

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Professor Banji Akintoye, a prominent leader of the Yoruba secessionist movement, has countered leaders of the pan-Yoruba sociopolitical organisation, Afenifere, on restructuring, maintaining that the Yoruba want self-determination not restructuring.

Akintoye who took the stance when he featured on Arise television’s ‘The Morning Show’, said the goal to achieve his Yoruba Nation dreams will surely come to pass.

He argued that if restructuring is implemented, the same Fulani herders who have allegedly killed more than 29,000 Yoruba will remain in Nigeria and continue their atrocities.

The professor of history wondered why there was so much noise about agitation for Yoruba Nation and people look away from Fulani who threatened to take over the seat of power.

“Our fathers in Afenifere are doing the right thing talking about restructuring so that we can go back and live our own life the way we used to live it prosperously,” he said.

“But we, another group of people larger than they are now saying self-determination is the answer not restructuring why because when you restructure you’re still in Nigeria and those people who are killing, maiming and raping our women and daughters remain in Nigeria.

“The only solution to that is to separate from them; to have our own country where we can make laws and determine who to admit. But if we restructure, they still have the right to come to Nigeria and still perpetrate the evils they do.”

Akintoye, however, condemned the violence displayed by Onitiri-Abiola’s group, who invaded on the Oyo State Government House recently.

“The ideas of the self-determination movement and Yoruba Agitation led by Modupe Onitiri-Abiola are not the same. We started the movement for the liberation of the Yoruba Nation under the existing law of the international community,” he said.

“People don’t seem to recognize the rights of indigenous people that there is a law that every nation that permits any nation that wants to separate from a nation they belong to now to do so.

“The movement that I lead is intellectually sophisticated. No single member of the movement, even though we are in millions, will do what Mrs Abiola-Onitiri did. She and her people are on their own. They are not part of us and we are not part of them. Our struggle for self-determination has been pursued peacefully. We started in 2019 and this is 2024. That is roughly five years now and no single record of violence. We’ll achieve self-determination peacefully.”

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