Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress APC, Bola Tinubu has knocked the leader of the Yoruba separatist group, Ilana Omo Oodua, Prof. Banji Akintoye for again threatening to pull the Yoruba nation out of Nigeria.
Director, Media and Publicity of the Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, Mr Bayo Onanuga in a statement on Thursday night said Akintoye’s position is “unfortunate, misdirected, misplaced and divisive”.
According to Tinubu, since there has been no referendum in Yorubaland about whether to stay in Nigeria or not and no such referendum has been held in any part of Nigeria, it is then appropriate to assume that this separatist idea is basically Akintoye and his group’s sole idea.
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The APC standard bearer also berated Prof. Akintoye for saying he was seeking to be president of Nigeria for his personal interests alone, describing the statement as malicious and unwarranted.
“We join other bona-fide and critical stakeholders in Yorubaland to advise Professor Akintoye not to plunge our people into a needless and precipitate crisis or create another Rwanda.
“We find it quite preposterous the professor’s sweeping outlandish accusation that Asíwájú Bola Ahmed Tinubu is only pursuing his personal interest in running for the presidency of Nigeria. Such a statement is malicious and unwarranted. It is pertinent to state that Asiwaju Tinubu is contesting for Nigeria’s presidency because of his readiness to render unflinching service to Nigerians and because of his abiding faith in a strong, united and prosperous Nigeria where every man and woman, regardless of their ethnicity and religious beliefs, can be proud and prosperous”, he stated.
Onanuga noted that most of the issues around the structure of Nigeria’s federalism raised in Prof. Akintoye’s “poorly thought-out statement” have been sufficiently addressed in Asiwaju’s Action Plan with his promise to address some of the problems plaguing our federalism and the will to make the states to be more viable as federating units by devolving more powers to them.
“From the foregoing, it is inexplicable that a Professor Akintoye who once served as Senator of the Federal Republic under the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) from 1979-83, will in the twilight of his life on earth at 87 years old, wants to leave a legacy of hatred, bitterness, intolerance and acrimony in our country when he should be a voice of reason, wisdom and stability.
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“The Yoruba aphorism states that “the head of a newly born baby cannot be lopsided in the presence of market elders”. These immortal words of our forebears appear to be lost on Professor Akintoye who should be a centripetal force rather than a centrifugal figure or a totem of anarchy.
“Tinubu is not a hopeless tribalist and definitely not delusional ethnic irredentist. Tinubu believes in Nigeria and its manifest great destiny and he is prepared to provide the required leadership to make our country one of the best nations on earth”, the statement added.