By Olufemi Olaniyi, Ibadan
The President-General of Yoruba World Congress, Prof Banji Akintoye, has maintained that Nigerians, including Yoruba people, have the constitutional rights to demand to cease to be part of the country.
Akintoye, an emeritus professor of History, however cautioned Yoruba people against using violent means to assure independence from the country.
He said this in a statement on Sunday to debunk a statement credited to hi that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, could be the last President of Nigeria
He said some words he did not use were exported into the interview while blaming this on some persons he said wanted to discredit him.
The statement read partly, “Nigerians have constitutional rights to organise peaceful protest over the state of the nation and have the right to demand to leave Nigeria, however, the YWC, has cautioned the Yoruba people against the use of force or violence.
“I have said in meetings, messages and other interviews that our youths should be peaceful and law abiding in all their actions. I have never said anything about October 1st other than that if anybody insist on rallies in Nigeria on October 1st, they should observe uttermost peace and respect for the law.
“That they must not regard law enforcement agents as enemies; that if the police order them to disperse, they should do so and never argue with the police.”
Akintoye, a senator during the Second Republic said those who were close to him knew that he stood only for peaceful negotiations out of Nigeria’s present situation.
“There are suggestions that some persons who are bent on discrediting me in order to destroy the YWC and stop the Yoruba aspirations are behind these distortions, but I will review contacts with some media outlets to unmask these cowards. (Punch)