Yoruba activist and convener, Yoruba World Assembly (YWA), Dr Victor Taiwo, has revealed that inability to manage people made the group to collapse under renowned historian, Prof Banji Akintoye.
Taiwo, who also facilitated the emergence of Akintoye as the president of the group, disclosed this while featuring on South West Political Circuit, an analytical and interactive political programme on Ibadan-based radio station, Fresh 105.9FM, at the weekend.
Taiwo said that it took him four years to identify the history professor to lead the Yoruba group, adding that Akintoye failed to manage the other leaders working with him as members of the executive, thereby leading to the collapse of the organisation.
The YWA was formed in 2019 as a coalition of all socio-cultural and self-determination groups in Yoruba land with the goal of helping them speak with one voice in the interest of the Yoruba nation, particularly to coordinate efforts against herdsmen oppression and general insecurity.
Akintoye emerged president of the assembly in a controversial circumstance. While the professor was said to have garnered over 80 votes in the said election, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was said to have polled only three votes. With his emergence at the time, YWA described Akintoye as the new and acceptable Yoruba leader.
The YWA gave Akintoye a stronger voice on matters affecting Yoruba since then. He also gained more traction in the public sphere since last year when the South West experienced a surge in farmer-herder crisis and kidnapping for ransom. Akintoye has been promoting peaceful secession in recent times but the YWA has become weak due to leadership crisis rocking it.
“I thought we should come together as a single powerful front to fight our enemies who were trying to overrun Yoruba land. To achieve this, I believe we needed a leader to guide us and give us a direction. I met him and he accepted. Then we launched out, thinking he would give us the leadership and the direction needed. But unfortunately the house collapsed on his head… The YWA is no longer existing due to lack of human management. We are all disappointed,” Taiwo said.
He said Akintoye began to derail from the goal of YWA almost immediately after he was elected president, adding that as knowledgeable and passionate as he is about Yoruba, he doubted if Akintoye knew how to Yoruba nation can stand on its own.
Akintoye has worked hard to register Yoruba as one of the people classified as ‘not represented’ in the United Nations. It is seen as the first step in exploring the power of the UN to back the agitation for self-determination of an ethnic group.