The Pro National Conference Organisations (PRONACO) and followers of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the national leader of All Progressive Congress (APC) on Thursday opposed the choice of Prof. Adebanji Akintoye as the new Yoruba leader.
Akintoye have been adopted as the fourth Yoruba leader coming after late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Pa Adekunle Ajasin and Senator Abraham Adesanya, at an event in Ibadan on Thursday.
According to a release by PRONACO’s spokesman, Olawale Okunniyi, the decision reached at the national conference organised between 2005 and 2006 was that whoever is the leader of the pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, is the leader of the Yorubas.
But Okunniyi said Akintoye’s emergence was contrary to that agreement which he said still subsisted.
He, however, said PRONACO would watch how event unfolds to gauge the mood of the people and Yoruba leaders on the development.
•Prof. Adebanji Akintoye
He said, “The Pro National Conference Organisations is a pan-Nigerian movement initiated by late Chief Anthony Enahoro and Prof Wole Soyinka as the sole umbrella for all ethnic nationality platforms seeking and organising for a democratic people’s Constitution for Nigeria.
“Our position is that our record still clearly shows the assertion of Yoruba delegation at the Peoples’ National Convention organised by PRONACO between 2005 and 2006 was that whoever is the leader of Afenifere is the undisputed leader of the Yorubas.
“So, until a contrary memorandum signed by not less than 12 respected elders of the Yoruba nation is presented to the national secretariat of PRONACO, the resolution of the Yorubas at the PRONACO national convention subsists with us.
“However, we shall watch keenly how event unfolds in succeeding days to gauge the mood of the people and leaders of the Yoruba nation about this uncertain development.”
Meanwhile, the Yoruba groups under the aegis of Assembly of All Yoruba Groups Worldwide at the meeting in Ibadan chatted way forward over ensuing herdsmen’s killing and banditry in Yorubaland.
At the meeting, the groups bemoaned the lack of a central leader in Yorubaland which they averred was the reason Yoruba race is suffering from herdsmen’s and bandits’ threats for not having a common front to take decisive steps against the crisis.
Speaking at the meeting held in New Bodija Estate, Ibadan, the convener of the meeting, Comrade Victor Taiwo said Nigeria’s governance under President Mohammadu Buhari has literally lost control of the country’s navigation and the ship is fast sinking, saying there’s need for everybody to strive for safety from drowning.
He cited a story of how a Fulani man in Ijebu Ode requested for sex from a woman who is a nursing mother and because she refused, he cut her sleeping baby in two saying Mr. Yinka Odumakin can bear witness of the recounted horrible story.
Mr. Taiwo noted that after late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Adekunle Ajasin and Senator Abraham Adesanya who are late now, there had not been any leader in Yorubaland, saying it is the reason the race is suffering now.
The group therefore conducted an election where Prof. Banji Akintoye emerged a new leader in the land. But there was hullabaloo after nomination of Akintoye as followers of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu protested for not choosing the National leader of All Progressive Congress (APC).
In her reaction, the founder of Ojulowo Omoyoruba (True Sons and Daughters of Yoruba) Group, Princess Oyeronke Bolajoko Akinlolu said Yoruba race can not continue to live in disunity saying other races in the country are united and do enjoy it.
She said Tinubu suppose to be in position to end crises in Yorubaland as a presumed leader but he is not portraying himself as a true leader they expect.
Also, Baale of Ekotedo, Elder Taiye Ayorinde said Yoruba must cease to be in disarray noting that everybody is in divisive including the royal fathers.
He said over fifty Yoruba groups have nominated Professor Akintoye as new Yoruba leader saying the new nominated leader is known to be a respected and person of integrity. He said the groups called Chief Adebanjo but said he’s too old to be a leader saying they thought due to what happened to Reuben Fasoranti over his daughter’s killing, he would not honour their call, a reason Prof. Akintoye was chosen.
However, a group named Yoruba Council of Youth’s Worldwide has denied the report that it nominated Asiwaju Bola Tinubu for the post of Yoruba leadership post saying the group was absent at the meeting in Ibadan.
In a release signed by Aare Oladotun Hassan, the group said: “I am seized of an online post tagged: Breaking News on the election of New Central Coordinating Leader for Yoruba Land held in Ibadan, Oyo State on 22nd August, 2019 organized by Mr Victor Taiwo and Dr. Amusat and other persons and groups.
“Most disappointing was the fictitious mentioning of the first nominee: Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu by a person far away in London, United Kingdom, currently facing charges in a London court: Adeyinka Grandson’s led Young Yoruba for Freedom, seconded by Dotun Hassan led Yoruba Council Of Youth, wherein i am not physically at the venue but in Lagos today 22nd August, 2019.
“I am equally informed that the orchestrated shenanigan wherein one Sheik Abdulrahem Aduranigba of United Yoruba Kingdom nominated Emeritus Professor and Second Republic Senator, Banji Akintoye, seconded by Prof. Kayode Ogundoro of Alliance for Yoruba Unity and Integration, as declared in their report is a total lie from the pit of hell, most unforgiving to see our elderstateman name being dragged into this primordial mud of shame, this is highly disrespectful and inimical to the Yoruba Culture and tradition.
“Perhaps, for an election to be conducted to deciding who the Yoruba central leader will be is rather unprecedented and moronic.
“In Yoruba Land, leadership is inferred and preserved to the knowledge of everyone. Pa Awolowo, Pa Ajasin and Pa Adesanya were never elected Yoruba Leaders but renowned globally as our true leaders.
“I want to clarify that Yoruba Council of Youths Worldwide was never a part of this crudity and recklessness perpetrated by the organizers of the unimaginable crime, aimed at discrediting my person and pitching our Council against Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and other quintessential yoruba leaders, we respect all our elders dispassionately, while we are well informed not to descend so low to be part of this cruel misdemeanors.
“I wish to sound it clear that if the organizers failed to retract this libelous and defamatory posts and write an apology statement in 5 National Dailies and 5 Electronic media each(Radio, Tv and Online Bloggs) on or before close of work by 4pm of Friday 23rd August, 2019 , i shall not hesitate to commence strict legal sanctions (both crininal and civil litigation simultaneously) at a court of competent jurisdiction against the culprits forthwith.
“We owe our integrity in high esteem as the Supreme umbrella body for all yoruba youths in Yoruba Land and globally, while calling on all great people of Yoruba Land to condemne in its entirety this heinous crime and distortion of traditional ethos of Omoluabi we are renowned for”.
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