By Emmanuel Adeleke
Renowned historian, Prof. Banji Akintoye, has resigned as the chairman of Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (NINAS), a coalition of self-determination groups in the Southern and Middle Belt regions of the country.
NINAS was the umbrella body of self-determination groups like Ilana Omo Oodua, representing the South West; Lower Niger Congress, representing the South East and South South; and the Middle-Belt Rennaissance Movement, representing the Middle-Belt Region.
Akintoye, who was one of the arrowheads of self-determination group, in a statement on Tuesday, accused some leaders of NINAS of having objectives which conflicts with self-determination, saying his resignation was with immediate effect.
Akintoye and 44 other leaders said it is 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 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 objective 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, 30th November, 2021.
“Furthermore, Ilana Omo Oodua hereby withdraw its membership of NINAS with immediate effect. All the Yoruba People Worldwide that believe in the agitation for 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.”