Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide, the apex body for the Yoruba self-determination struggle, has dismissed claims that its former leader, Prof. Banji Akintoye, resigned from his position to abandon the group and what it stands for.
The group said contrary to claims from several quarters that Akintoye resigned and left the struggle, its former leader only stepped down on account of old age.
In a statement on Friday signed by its General Secretary, Tunde Amusat, the group advised Nigerians to be wary of those trying to twist Akintoye’s resignation.
According to Amusat, Akintoye never said he was withdrawing from the Yoruba Nation agitation nor resigning his membership of IOOW.
The statement read, “We wish to state that the letter of resignation of Professor Banji Akintoye was very explicit and was without ambiguity. Baba never said he was withdrawing from the Yoruba Nation Agitation nor resigning his membership of IOOW. He remains our lifetime Mentor and one of our Patrons.
“For the sake of emphasis, Ilana was formed by over 100 Yoruba Self-Determination Groups in 2019, first as Yoruba World Congress before it was rebranded to IOOW in 2020 in order to make the struggle indigenous and traditional.
“Baba Akintoye was elected by these groups to lead the Yoruba Nation struggle which he graciously accepted on September 11th, 2019. Baba joined the struggle through a group, Oodua Foundation Inc.
“We, therefore, wish to set the record straight that Professor Banji Akintoye is our lifetime Mentor and one of our Patrons in the Yoruba Nation Self-Determination Struggle.
“We appreciate his commitment to the development of the Yoruba Self-Determination Movement through Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide and we will continue to consult him at all time as we progress in the struggle for the freedom and liberation of our land.”