Prominent Yoruba leader, Prof. Banji Akintoye has refuted the claim that Yoruba Nation agitators have an alliance with the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Naija News reports that the Presidency on Wednesday attacked the agitators for protesting alongside IPOB members at the United Nations Headquarters, New York, United States of America.
A statement by the presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, said no one can take the Yoruba Nation agitators seriously if they continue to associate with IPOB, which has been labelled as a terrorist organisation.
But in a statement on Thursday by his media aide, Maxwell Adeleye, Professor Akintoye berated the Presidency for linking the protest organised by the agitators with IPOB.
The leader of the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination also described as ridiculous the attempt by the government to paint the peaceful protest in a bad light.
Akintoye accused the government of planting IPOB banners at the protest venue with the hope of using it to discredit the group’s agitation before World leaders.
He, however, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to listen to the yearnings and aspirations of the people rather than wage war against the citizens.
He said, “Rather than listen to the yearnings and aspirations of our people, the Buhari-led government has consistently waged war against people who attempt to checkmate the menace of Miyyetii Allah in the name of grazing of Cows.
“Now, the Government is attempting, unintelligently, to criminalise peaceful organisations like NINAS, Ilana Omo Oodua, Lower Niger Congress, and Middle-Belt Rennaissance Movement for embarking on a peaceful March outside the shores of Nigeria where the guns and ammunitions of the Presidency cannot touch them.
“For the record, we wish to state very expressly, and with all due respect to whatever they represent, that NINAS and its affiliate organisations – Ilana Omo Oodua (IOO), Lower Niger Congress (LNC) and Middle-Belt Rennaissance Movement (MBRM) have nothing whatsoever to do with IPOB.
“We also want to put it on record that IPOB is not in any way involved in the ongoing March in New York. The IPOB banner you saw was obviously planted by agents of the Nigerian government masquerading as members of NINAS for photoshoots which we have since unraveled and checkmated.
“We say to the Presidency that the unintelligent attempt to cause frictions and divisions between the Yoruba people in the West and the Igbo people in the East is dead on arrival. We shall continue to collaborate, peacefully, for the salvation of our people.
“Instead of planting IPOB banners in our March venue with the hope of using it to paint our struggle black before the world leaders on 24th September that he wants to address UNGA, we advise President Muhammad Buhari to stop mortgaging our future through the borrowing of endless loans.
“We shall resume the March on 24th September, Opposite the United Nations Headquarters to tell President Muhammadu Buhari to his face that his Miyyetii Allah people are the enemy number one of the people of South and Middle-Belt of Nigeria, and they are the authentic Terrorists.”