According to Prof. Banji Akintoye, the head of the Yoruba Nation self-determination struggle, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s presidential ambition on the platform of the All Progressives Congress is motivated by “personal interest” rather than the interests of the Yoruba people.
He made it clear that he is not supporting Tinubu and will not cast his ballot for him in the 2023 election.
Akintoye, in a statement, said that Tinubu’s “Emilokan” which meant “I am the next person” comment, is an obvious proof that Tinubu’s mission to become Nigeria’s president was personal and not for the welfare of the Yoruba people.
The professor of history distanced himself from an interview he gave two years prior in which he had endorsed Tinubu for president, claiming that the former governor of Lagos State was running at the wrong time.
Akintoye also criticised other Yoruba politicians running for leadership positions, expressing regret that they were doing so at the expense of Yoruba citizens wanting emancipation to establish the Yoruba Nation.
He said, ”I have no personal animosity towards any Yoruba person seeking election. But I am sorry for you. You are creating a legacy that your children’s children will be ashamed to know about very soon in the future of the world.
“Our brother, Tinubu, you are fighting for yourself alone when your whole family is perishing. There is fire on our roof as a nation.
“It is unbelievable that any Yoruba man would do to his people what you are doing to our people now. You have been carrying around a video of an interview that I granted Alaroye in the campus of Obafemi Awolowo over two years ago.
“They asked me that if there was no struggle for self-determination and you want to recommend a Yoruba person for President of Nigeria, who would I recommend? And I said yes! If that is so, I would recommend Tinubu, without any hesitation.
“But that is if the times are right, the times are not right, you know, I do not endorse any Yoruba man, Tinubu or any other for any elected position, any position at all in Nigeria at this time. I stand fully and without looking back, with the Yoruba struggle for self-determination for our own country, for Yoruba nation now!
”That’s the truth of the matter. Dear Tinubu, please don’t deceive yourself. You cannot deceive our people. You think you can carry that kind of video around and deceive our people, our people are smarter than that.
”The world is watching you. Our history will judge that at a time when our nation needs to stand up and defend itself, you started to bring up an agenda.
“A personal agenda of your own before them. You are asking us to vote for you. We will not vote for you. Whether it is for the Presidency or the Senate or House of Rep or whatever, we will not vote for you.
“We would have taken our country out of Nigeria by then. So, we advise you now to return to your people. I am advising you now, return to your people and wash your soul clean. You are doing a thing that is unpardonable.
“Tinubu, you are destroying the Yoruba future. You are creating a legacy for yourself that your children’s children will be ashamed to know in the future. We ask you to return.
“You can still save yourself now and your future. We are determined to take our country. And I’m standing solidly with the young people who are running around trying to take their country. Oh! you might say they are fighting themselves, that’s what young people do everywhere.
“That does not mean that they don’t want their country, they want their country. And the Lord God, the creator of All Nations, has given them that country, and very soon, the Lord will deliver their country into their hands.
“Then it will be their duty to settle down and begin to do for their people the kind of government that Yoruba people have been giving to their people from the beginning of time, a government whose objective is the improvement of the life of the people of our nation.”
On other Yoruba leaders contesting for elective positions, the Yoruba Nation agitators leader said, “l have no personal animosity towards any Yoruba person seeking election. But I am sorry for you.
“You are creating a legacy that your children’s children will be ashamed to know about very soon in the future of the world.
“My advice? Turn around and come to support your people. This is the time to show that you are a man. You have men. You have the heart of men.”