Fresh crisis has engulfed secessionist agitators in Southern Nigeria and the Middle Belt as one of the arrowheads of the self-determination coalition, Prof Banji Akintoye, resigned as the Chairman of the group known as the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination.
Until his resignation, NINAS was the umbrella body of self-determination groups in the South and Middle Belt Regions of Nigeria with Ilana Omo Oodua representing the Yoruba bloc, Lower Niger Congress representing the South East and South South, and the Middle-Belt Rennaissance Movement representing the Middle-Belt Region
But Akintoye, on Tuesday, accused some leaders of NINAS of having objectives which conflict with self-determination, adding that his resignation was with immediate effect.
In a statement on Tuesday, Akintoye and 44 other leaders said it was very imperative for the Yoruba bloc to quit the alliance in order to preserve the integrity and reputation of the Yoruba Nation agitation for self-determination.
The statement was titled, ‘South/Middle Belt Alliance: Akintoye Resigns as Chairman, as Ilana Omo Oodua Quits NINAS’.
The statement read in part, “In the light of the current development in the Yoruba Self-Determination struggle, especially, in Ilana Omo Oodua, it has become very necessary for the Yoruba people to dissociate themselves from the alliance known as NINAS with immediate effect.
“It is our well-considered opinion that some of those we align with in NINAS do not want the kind of self-determination that we the Yoruba people want.
“Therefore, we, the leadership of Ilana Omo Oodua, wish to inform the general public that the Yoruba bloc under the leadership of Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide has moved out of the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination with immediate effect in order to safeguard the integrity and honour of our agitation for self-determination.
“We thank the Leader of LNC, Mr. Tony Nnadi, for his inputs to the NINAS struggle since inception. However, it is now obvious to most people in the Yoruba self-determination struggle that the LNC is not working in tandem with our objectives in Ilana Omo Oodua.
“The implication of this development is that the prestigious leadership that Professor Adebanji Stephen Akintoye has provided for NINAS as Chairman since inception has now come to an end from today, Tuesday, November 30, 2021.
“Furthermore, Ilana Omo Oodua hereby withdraws its membership of NINAS with immediate effect. All the Yoruba people worldwide who believe in the agitation for the Yoruba Nation Self-Determination at home and abroad are, by this statement, notified to comply.
“We are, however, pleased to inform you that a more productive wide-alliance to be known as the South and Middle-Belt People’s Sovereign Movement will be officially inaugurated after the completion of the ongoing consultations with likeminds across the South and Middle-Belt regions.”
Akintoye, 86, is an arrowhead of the Yoruba Nation agitation, championing the secession of the South-West zone from the Nigerian entity.
The Professor of History is currently in Benin Republic to oversee the release of embattled Yoruba Nation campaigner, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, who has spent over four months in a prison in the Francophone West African nation.
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