Oduduwa Republic October Rally: YWC, Akintoye caution protesters
By Samuel Ogunsona
Renowned Emeritus Historian and President-General of Yoruba World Congress (YWC), Professor Banji Akintoye has described the Interview Published by The Sun Newspaper on Saturday 26th September 2020 as a deliberate attempt to discredit him, saying “some of the words published in my name did not emanate from me”.
In a statement personally signed by him and made available to Irohinoodua on Sunday, Akintoye, a member of the Nigerian Senate in the second republic, said though he maintained his position that Nigerians have constitutional rights to organize peaceful protest over the state of the nation and have the right to demand to leave Nigeria, however, his organisation, the YWC, has cautioned the Yoruba people against the use of force or violence.
“I have said in meetings, messsges and other interviews that our youths should be peaceful and law abiding in all their actions. I have never said anything about October 1st other than that if anybody insist on rallies in Nigeria on October 1st, they should observe uttermost peace and respect for the law.
“That they must not regard law enforcement agents as enemies. That if the police order them to disperse, they should do so and never argue with the police. That we Yoruba should show maturity and not appear like people who want to disrupt the peace.
“Therefore, it is with utmost shock that I say very expressly that the statements credited to me by The Sun Newspaper about President Buhari’s likelihood to be Nigeria’s last president, and that the Yoruba nation will take its self determination on October 1st are not my words.
“All who have come close to me know that I stand only for peaceful negotiations out of Nigeria’s present situation. I have usually granted interviews with sun and the Nigerian media. I have the greatest respect for the media as key factors in democracy and progress. I am surprised that words that are not mine should be smuggled into my responses to questions asked me at a media interview. I am shocked.
“There are suggestions that some persons who are bent on discrediting me in order to destroy the YWC and stop the Yoruba aspirations are behind these distortions, but I will review contacts with some media outlets to unmask these cowards.
“I am deeply disappointed about what Nigeria has now become. I am sincerely convinced that we cannot continue like this. But I am consistently of the opinion thay change can, and must be accomplished peacefully.”