An alleged N350 million gift has divided a self-determination group, according to a report by Sahara Reporters.
The Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (NINAS) said the President of Ilana Omo Oodua, Prof Banji Akintoye, and his deputy, Shade Olukoya are still at war over the money, which has nothing to do with NINAS.
The self-determination group disclosed that the main problem started when Prof Akintoye accused Olukoya of receiving N350million from Abuja to support Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to be the next President of Nigeria.
While wishing Prof Akintoye a success in his endeavour, NINAS affirmed that it had not retrogressed from seeking self-determination for the indigenous peoples in Nigeria.
These were contained in a press release signed by NINAS Secretary, Tony Nnadi in reaction to an announcement made by Prof Akintoye that he had quit his chairmanship role with NINAS.
In a copy of the statement which was made available to SaharaReporters on Wednesday, NINAS also stated that it was Olukoya that introduced Akintoye to the group in 2018.
The statement was titled, “NINAS Alliance Is Intact And Focused On Its Stated Mission Despite The Resignation Of Its Erstwhile Chairman, Prof Banji Akintoye And The Exit Of His Faction Of Ilana Omo Oodua.”
It read, “An emergency conclave of the board of the conveners of the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (NINAS) was held today December 1, 2021 to review amongst other things, recent developments in one of our alliance organisations, Ilana Omo Oodua; the resignation of Professor Banji Akintoye from the Chairmanship of NINAS and the exit of his faction of Ilana Omo Oodua from the NINAS Alliance.
“This statement is to address the deluge of enquiries that has poured into the NINAS Secretariat from concerned members of public regarding these developments: Let us recall that the Secretariat of NINAS, while reaching out to all sides involved, had on the 18th of November 2021, issued a statement to calm altercations arising from an Ilana Omo Oodua press conference addressed November 18, 2021 by the Deputy Chairman of Ilana Omo Oodua, Otunba Shade Olukoya concerning months of lingering difficulties within Ilana Omo Oodua, bordering on certain actions and liaisons of the Leader of Ilana Omo Oodua, Prof Banji Akintoye that could imperil the Self-Determination Campaign of Ilana Omo Oodua, inviting Prof Akintoye, therefore, to step back from his role as Ilana Leader in order to abate the many conflicts and controversies emanating from the aforementioned actions and liaisons.
“While frantic mediation efforts were still being made by the Secretariat to douse tension, Maxwell Adeleye who described himself as “Communications Director” of Ilana Omo Oodua, issued and massively circulated in the media, outlandish falsehoods in which he avoided the well-known issues rocking Ilana Omo Oodua and claimed amongst other things, that the sum of N350million was disbursed by Abuja to procure the Ilana Press Conference of November 18, 2021. Adeleye also deliberately created the impression that NINAS was somehow behind the Ilana Press Conference of November 18, 2021.
“Unfortunately and to our utter shock, Prof Banji Akintoye who knew for certain that these claims of Maxwell Adeleye were just fabrications, went on to corroborate the fabrications in a virtual meeting of a Yoruba Global Audience the next day, putting names and motives to Maxwell’s falsehoods. (In that virtual Meeting, Prof Akintoye said that the money from Abuja came from Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and given to Otunba Shade Olukoya, for the purpose of dragging him (Akintoye) off the stage. To compound matters, Prof Akintoye went on to allege that Otunba Olukoya had been pressuring them in Ilana to help work Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo into becoming the next President of Nigeria. We do hope that Professor Yemi Osinbajo will take up this matter with those who crafted and circulated this tale.
“The statement issued by Maxwell Adeleye on behalf of Prof Akintoye and 43 others, November 30, 2021, conveying the resignation of Prof Banji Akintoye from the Chairmanship of NINAS as well as the exit of his faction of Ilana Omo Oodua from the NINAS Alliance, contained even more egregious falsehoods.
“The false impression was deliberately created by the said November 30, 2021 Statement that there was a type of Self-Determination being pursued by NINAS and LNC that was different from the type that Ilana Omo Oodua was pursuing.
“This is strange because the Objectives, RoadMap and Strategy Outlines of NINAS are very clearly stated in all of NINAS’ Public Communications over the years particularly the December 16, 2020 NINAS Constitutional Force Majeure Proclamation.
“Combined with the earlier falsehood that Abuja had procured the November 18, 2021 Press Conference, it is clear that the orchestrations of the departed faction of Ilana were targeted at deceiving the Public into believing that NINAS was somehow working for other Objectives apart from its Clear-Cut and Unwavering Pursuit of Self-Determination for all the Indigenous Nationalities of the Alliance Territories being the South and Middle/Belt of Nigeria.
“For the Records and for the avoidance of doubt, Prof Banji Akintoye was first introduced sometime in 2018 to NINAS by Otunba Shade Olukoya who had been involved with the processes for many years.
“There is no doubt whatsoever that Prof Banji Akintoye meritoriously advanced the NINAS Campaign, particularly in Yorubaland, reaching out to his Associates across the Country and substantially shattering the long-standing jinx around the Igbo-Yoruba Collaboration which he said was Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s Solemn prescription in the last days of the sage - who was Prof Akintoye’s Political Mentor. Credit for this feat will forever go to Prof Akintoye and we wish him Good Health and Longevity even as he veers off in another direction in search of the Destination we all identified in NINAS.
“In closing, the NINAS Board of Conveners is pleased to announce to all the organisations across the South and Middle-Belt of Nigeria which have been clamouring to join the NINAS Alliance, that modalities have been emplaced to admit all organizations that publicly and fully subscribe to the propositions and prescriptions of the December 16, 2020, NINAS Constitutional Force Majeure Proclamation, into regional delegations to NINAS. These modalities will be made public in the second week of December 2021 by the NINAS Secretariat.”