A Yoruba self-determination group, Ilana Omo Oodua, headed by Professor Banji Akintoye has denied having any links to the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.
The statement is coming amidst reports that the Federal Government intends to proscribe the Yoruba group also. Speaking on the development, Maxwell Adeleye, Akintoye’s spokesman.
“There is no basis for the prescription of Ilana Omo Oodua. The government can only proscribe a terrorist group and not a peaceful group like Ilana Omo Oodua.
All our members arrested in Ojota (area in Lagos), were charged with disturbance of public peace but later released. Why weren’t they charged with treasonable felony or murder?
“If the government proscribes us, we are going to challenge it in the court of law because we have committed no offence.
It is an organisation that believes in peaceful agitation for self-determination. We even released a manual on peaceful agitation for self-determination as authored by our Leader, Emeritus Professor Banji Akintoye.”
“I do not think the Nigerian government will descend so low to proscribe a peaceful organisation like Ilana Omo Oodua. Professor Akintoye has released a formal statement that he is not afraid of arrest and that he is coming to Nigeria soon.”
While insisting that the group has no association with IPOB, Maxwell pointed out that they do not believe in the sit-at-home order issued in the South-East.
“Sit-at-home is never in our plan. Ilana Omo Oodua has no association with IPOB, so comparing IPOB methodology with ours is heretical.
Our modus operandi is totally different. With all due respect to the members of IPOB, the only thing we have in common is that they want Biafra Nation and we want an independent Yoruba Nation.”
“We are for peaceful self-determination; we believe in the referendum, we don’t want war, we are not going to shoot a gun or carry a cutlass to attack anyone.
We do not have any military wing, we might have set up Amoteku for the protection of our people before IPOB set up their ESN but We are for peace and we believe the best way to achieve this is by NINAS (Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination) strategy of the referendum and that is why we have been holding rallies to sensitise our people,” he said.