The leadership crisis of the Yoruba nation deepens as the Yoruba World Congress (YWC), insisted that the removal of their protem leader, Prof Banji Akintoye, was final and irreversible.
YWC is an umbrella body of all Yoruba socio-cultural, self-determination, and advocacy groups in Nigeria and the Diaspora.
Akintoye was elected sometime last year to chair the Assembly of all Yoruba Groups Worldwide by about 70 pan Yoruba groups. The seat had been vacant for years following the demise of the late Chief Abraham Adesanya.
Akogun Tola Adeniyi, Yoruba referred elder statesman alleged that Akintoye’s recent actions violate the constitution of the YWC and that his removal is premised upon the fact that his leadership style is flawed.
But Chief Taye Ayorinde said Akintoye remains the Yoruba leader as agreed by over 70 groups that elected him in Ibadan in August last year.
The leader in the eye of the storm, Akintoye, however, said four people do not have the capacity to remove him, saying he knows why they were angry.
He said, “In a family, there can be disagreement. But it must be resolved. I know why they are angry. But only four people cannot remove a leader. The crisis will soon be over because people will come together after the storm.
The late Chief Obafemi Awolowo was the first leader of Yoruba, followed by Chief Adekunle Ajasin, then Chief Abraham Adesanya and Akintoye are now the fourth in that succession. Nobody can undo whatever we have done.”
Meanwhile, Akogun Adeniyi said the miscommunication lies with equating the 70 groups of Yoruba leadership, which did not go beyond Ketu in the Benin Republic to that of global leadership for the race, of which Akintoye was the protem chairman before his removal.
He said further that it is that some people in Ibadan that appointed or elected Akintoye as their leader that were desperate to hijack the leadership of the Yoruba World Congress.
He said: “That may be the thing, and that we in the leadership of the YWC, unfortunately, did not make it clear enough that the Yoruba World Congress did not appoint Akintoye. Like I keep saying, Akintoye was elected as Yoruba leader in the homeland and it does not extend to Cuba or any other parts outside Nigeria”.