Popular Yoruba historian, Prof Banji Akintoye, has given reasons for leaving Nigeria to Benin Republic.
In an interview with BBC News Yoruba on Tuesday, Akintoye, who is also the leader of the Ilana Omo Oodua revealed that he left Nigeria due to reports that the Muhammadu Buhari government was planning to assassinate him.
Professor Banji Akintoye
Akintoye said he had been advised by some Yoruba elders to leave Nigeria alongside Wale Adeniran to avoid getting killed.
According to him, there was no way the government could have arrested him as his group has not been violent neither did it get involved in the shedding of blood, adding that his group has a strong conviction that Nigeria is not for Yorubas.
Akintoye noted that his only crime is championing the cause for the secession of the Yoruba Nation and not preaching the violent breakup of the country
He said, “I learnt some Yorubas are part of those conniving with the government to keep Igboho in detention forever, well, such things can happen, there will always he betrayers. You can’t see a town without a betrayer. If you could recall the story of Moses and the children of Israel, some people troubled Moses including his elder sister.
“There will always be betrayers, it’s not a big story. This is a country where they obey the law. If it was a country like Nigeria where officials act with impunity but fortunately, Benin Republic is not like that, we do not have fear of any plans to extradite him to Nigeria.
“Lots of those in government position inform me of the plans, but none of them has ever told me there are plans to arrest me, I have done nothing wrong, why will they want to arrest me, I speak my mind as a Nigerian.
“I have never ordered young people to go-go and fight, disrupt the peace of the nation or any of sort. I have even written a book on the processes to take to achieve our revolution, there will be no fight, we will leave Nigeria peacefully and we will be good nations to others we are leaving behind and they will be good neighbours to us.
“We do not hate any tribe. We just believe Nigeria is not a place where the Yoruba people should still be part of, Nigeria is declining and it will continue to decline because there is no order.
“The young people who inform me of the plans by secret agents tell me that they know I cannot be arrested but they can cause my death.
“They can come at night with guns and kill me. That was why some elders met and advised me to leave the country for now. That was why I left Nigeria. I left Nigeria over the death threat not for arrest; there is nothing to arrest us about.”
SaharaReporters, New York